By Sola Olugbemiro
Unknown to many, since year 2019 when Bello Matawalle became the executive governor of Zamfara state, a new style of administration has witnessed the state, emerging from relative unknown status, to global prominence in many areas of life.
Over the years, Matawalle has proven to be a man of the people, whow is equally loved by the people. One that can be compared to the likes of the Great Obafemi Awolowo in the west, Nnamdi Azikiwe in the east, and the Great Tarawa Balewa in the north, because of his charIslamic style of governance.
An achiever, Matawalle proved to be an able administrator. His first point strategy on assuming office was to face the states challenges which were illegal miners, tin gods and war lords and he successfully dislodged them, making peace with bandits and recovery their arms and ammunition.
With peace in place in the state, Matawalle introduced his blueprint for development. And he took all aspects of development one after the otherelease focusing on urban development on one hand and facilitatingredients rural development on the other hand.
Knowing fully well that education galvanises growth, Matawalle provided and equipped schools, later met with TETFund, where he secured N1b intervention for Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara, did the enlistment of ZAMSU.and kick-started UBE pilot scheme for the construction of International Standard Primary School in Maradun.
The schools in the rural areas, are supported with clinics and earth dams. A move which enabled rural grazing areas and settled rifts among cattle grazers.
Matawalle re-introduced school to the nomadic Fulani settlements and discontinuing the almajiri system through enlightenment campaigns and youth empowerment programmes enabling skills development among youths.
Matawalle brought scholarships for students to grow the educational ratio of the state, and paying of WAEC examination fees for many who could not meet up with the payment.
As part of encouragement, teachers were reminded of their importance in the development of the stateachers as teachers were paid their backlog of salaries and also re-inststed and promoted many.
He urbanised the capital city Gusau, opening commercial districts and building structures in the rural areas too.
Like the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the West who systematically created the Odua group, building infrastructureservices that have stood the test of time, Matawalle has taken to the same strides.with new infrastructure around the state being tested order of the day, with negotiated contracts with the Chinese to turn around the state into a state to be reckoned with.
A fine gentleman with taste for cleanliness that portrays excellence, Matawalle is gradually championing the new face of the North that will be competitive in commerce, infrastructure, diplomatic ties, and sociocultural development.
Always adorned in colourful sartorial wears, Matawalle protrudes a confidencertificate that governance is all about the people, to re-position the state in order that the citizens become relevant to themselves and the global community.
Matawalle’s success in re-positioning Zamfara state is a challenge to all part of the north, that democracy is about government of the people, to the people and for the people. It iseems also a statement to the country at large, that a new face of the North has emerged and here to stay.