By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Gold buyers and Jewelry Shop Owners Association have accused the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen Babagana Mungonu, of ordering the arrest and detention of some of its members with the aim of intimidating and coercing them into implicating the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mattawalle, of buying gold from them in exchange for arms for bandits.
The group alleged that three of their members in Zaria and Minna have been arrested and are being tortured on the orders of the NSA to get them to admit that the Zamfara State Governor Mattawalle was buying gold from them which he allegedly exchanged for arms with bandits.
The association, in a statement by its Chairman, Anwalu Musa, alleged that their members: Musa Mustapha, Ibrahim Sani were arrested in Zaria, while Abdullahi Mohammed was arrested in Minna on the orders of the NSA, whom he claimed is trying to frame them up to implicate Governor Bello Mattawalle of buying gold from them for exchange for arms to armed bandits in his desperate bid to blackmail and mischievously pull the Governor down.
It claimed that the NSA has continued to sabotage the peace initiative of the Governor Mattawalle administration at all cost, resulting in the concoction of lies that an air plane was being used to take out gold from Zamfara and bring in arms for bandits in the state.
The statement by the association said “The allegation among several others has led to the imposition of a no fly zone and the banning of all mining activities in Zamfara State by the Federal Government.
“After the failed attempts to link Governor Mattawalle with the said alleged aircraft supplying arms to bandits in exchange for gold in Zamfara State, it has now changed to another dimension of witch-hunting and intimidation of the gold buyers to implicate the Governor of Zamafara State.”
It would be recalled that a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), the Centre For Sustainable Peace and Development had declared that the allegations that the Zamfara State Governor, Mattawalle, was using an aircraft to take out gold from the state and bring in arms and ammunitions for bandits is a hoax and lie from the pit of hell.
The group had also accused General Monguno of orchestrating the fake news to intimidate and frustrate the peace efforts of the Mattawalle administration.
The group had also faulted the allegation by the NSA that the Federal Government had uncovered plots by some individuals to sabotage the implementation of the presidential directive banning gold exploration and the no fly zone order in Zamfara state, noting that the State has no airport or airstrip.