A group, Gold buyers and jewelry shop owners Association has alleged that the National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen. Babagana Mungonu has ordered the arrest and detention of some of its members.
Acccording to the group, the action is allegedly aimed at intimidating and coercing them to implicate the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mattawalle of involvement in buying of gold from them in exchange for arms for bandits.
The group stated 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 exchange for arms with bandits.
The Association in a Statement by its Chairman, Anwalu Musa said that their members Musa Mustapha, Ibrahim Sani were arrested in Zaria while Abdullahi Mohammed was arrested in Minna on the orders of the NSA, who they claimed is trying to frame them up to maliciously implicate Governor Mattawalle of buying gold from them in exchange for arms to armed Bandits in his desperate bid to blackmail and mischievously pull him down.
The statement recalled that alleged desperation of the NSA to continue to sabotage the peace initiative of the Governor Mattawalle administration at all cost, had also resulted in the concoction of lies that an air plane was being used to take out gold from Zamfara and being in arms for bandits in the state.
“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.
“The arrested gold buyers have reliably confirmed to an investigative journalist that they are currently undergoing serious torture, harassment, threat to life and intimidation all aimed at coercing them to implicate Governor Mattawalle of buying gold from them, an allegation they have denied, adding that they have never had any business transactions with the Governor, but they are still under duress to confess to having dealings they with the Governor.
“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.
“This is as the group had accused Mungonu of orchestrating the fake news all in the bid to intimidate and frustrate the peace efforts of the Mattawalle administration.
“A 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.
“The Executive Director Dr. Bello Usman Abdul Ganiyu in a statement on Thursday in Abuja stated that there is no such plot as the National Security Adviser (NSA) is constantly raising alarm where there is none all in the bid to cover his alleged deals and create an impression of tension in Zamfara State. How can there be a plot to sabotage the no fly zone ? When Zamfara State does not have an airport or airstrip.
According to the group “our attention has drawn to a very misleading and malicious information being allegedly peddled on the internet to the effect that the Executive Governor of Zamfara State Bello Mattawalle has been using an aircraft to transport gold out of Zamafara State in exchange for arms and ammunition for Bandits.
“This malicious and wicked allegations is allegedly being sponsored by the National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj Gen Babagana Monguno to blackmail and intimidate the Governor Of Zamfara State for his selfish agenda. Ordinarily we would not have responded to this unfounded allegations but for the fact that if the facts are not presented it would look as the truth” Abdul Ganiyu added.
“It is important to note that the NSA Maj Gen Mongonu and his cronies allegedly owns many mining sites in many states of the Federation with Exploration License number EL28121 & EL 27820 and many others. They use so many companies as conduit pipes in these alleged nefarious illegal mining activities. Some of the companies are Atlas Fields Integrated NIGERIA LTD, Atlas Fields Group Of Companies LTD, Gee Links Beverages Industries LTD, Atlas Plastic LTD, Classics Block Industries LTD.
“With this vast network Of companies dealing in illegal mining across the Country, Monguno in the bid to extend his tentacles to Zamfara State allegedly sent his cronies to Governor Mattawalle to allow his companies to begin to engage in illegal mining activities in Zamfara State.
“It was the refusal of the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mattawalle to allow this illegal activity in the State that irked Monguno and his cronies as the Governor had insisted that he must get his approval from the President or the Federal Ministry of Mines and Solid Minerals Development.
“With the refusal of the Governor to accede to his demands, the National Security Adviser (NSA) declared a total war on Zamfara State and Governor Mattawalle” the group alleged.