Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, says sponsoring people to “lie and say despicable things” about him won’t get him removed as a minister.

Matawalle, the immediate former governor of the Zamfara state, said this while reacting to corruption allegations leveled against him by the state government.

Matawalle was governor between 2019-2023.

He lost his bid for a second term in March to Mr Dauda of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The Zamfara government accused Matawalle among other forms of financial recklessness, of embezzling billions of naira from the state cargo airport project.

He was also accused of directing the ministry of local government to withdraw N1 billion from the local government joint account on October 25, 2021, and to pay N825 million to the contractors without any valuation.

But, speaking in an interview with DCL Hausa, Matawalle accused Lawal of sponsoring lies against him.

He said the challenges in the state did not begin with his administration.

He said: “On the issue of the airport road, after Dauda became governor, he deceived the people by saying he was going to repair the airport road, only for him to take a bulldozer there and scrap the road we already constructed,” he said.

“He did that to humiliate me and to say Matawalle did not work in the state. He did the same thing with Ruga. We did everything, and invested money but he destroyed the Ruga.

“He should know that he didn’t do that to me but cheated the people of Zamfara. He also cheated himself because he took an oath to protect the lives and properties of the people of Zamfara.

“Just one of the airport roads, it cost over N4 billion but he came out lying about everything. He also destroyed our infrastructural projects in the state just so he could come out and lie against me.

“I heard what he said about state education. I have the documents but he refused to understand because he is so blinded trying to humiliate me.

“Sponsoring people to lie and say despicable things about me won’t push your agenda of me being removed as a minister.”