Leaked audio has exposed how Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle splashed N20 million on five relatives of the former federal lawmaker, Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa in an apparent move to buy them over.
The Zamfara State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had been splintered into two factions at the time, SaharaReporters gathered.
One faction pledged loyalty to Governor Matawalle while the other belonged to the camp of Marafa.
Matawalle had in June 2021 dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC.
In an audio recording obtained by SaharaReporters, about five relatives of Marafa were heard discussing in Hausa, how the governor lured them with N20 million.
According to them, the governor asked them to tell the world that the former lawmaker did not help members of his family and promised to pay them if they carry out the assignment.
They were also heard narrating how they had shared N1 million while waiting for the balance of N19 million.
“Are you aware that the N20 million has been set aside by the governor for us? We have shared the N1 million while waiting for the balance of N19 million. Our list has been submitted to the governor. We will join his camp,” one of them said in the audio.
However, Alhaji Sanusi Mayana Gusau, one of them who is an uncle of the lawmaker, cautioned the other, saying they should be wary of the dangers of ingratitude.
He said that Marafa had done and was still doing much to empower and help many members of the family.
He said the vehicle and even the dresses the five relatives drove and wore to the Government House were given to them by Marafa, whom the governor was using taxpayers’ money to attack.
Marafa hails from the family of Sambo Dan Ashafa, the founder of Gusau, the present-day Zamfara State capital.
When SaharaReporters contacted the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Enlightenment, Media, and Communications, Zailani Bappa, for comments, he alleged that the audio came from the opposition in the state.
“Do you remember the alleged audio of former Inspector General of Police on the Security Report in the state? Was it not later debunked as bunkum by the same former IG where he distanced himself from the alleged audio?
“This is the style of the opposition in Zamfara state….trumped-up,” he said.