Bello Muhammad Matawalle is a Nigerian politician who currently serves as the Governor of Zamfara. He contested for the governorship seat on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party but defected to the All Progressives Congress in June 2021. Matawalle was previously a member of the House of Representatives for Bakura/Maradun between 2003 and 2015. He is one of the strongest politicians in the state, having served in various capacities. Matawalle is a teacher by profession.
He was born on February 12, 1962, in Maradun Local Government Area, Zamfara State. Dr Matawalle is married to four wives and blessed with children.
|Thames Valley University, London, United Kingdom|
|Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State||1984|
|Vocational Teachers College, Bunza, Zamfara State|
|Maradun Township Primary School , Zamfara State||First School Leaving Certificate||1979|
|Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Abuja|
|Government Girls College, Kwatarkoshi, Zamfara State||Teacher|
|Government Girls College, Moriki, Zamfara State||Teacher|
Maradun Local Government Area, Zamfara State
12th February 1962
All Progressive Congress (APC)
House of Representatives, Bakura/Maradun Federal Constituency (2003-2015)
Governor, Zamfara State (since 2019)
Matawalle joined politics in 1998, when he ran for a House of Assembly seat, and won under the banner of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP). He briefly served in this capacity until General Sani Abacha died. Following this, Abdusalami Abubakar dissolved the political parties and announced that elections would hold in 1999. Between 1999 and 2003, Matawalle served as the Zamfara State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Commissioner for Environment, Rural Development; Commissioner for Youth and Sports.
Now under the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), in 2003, Matawalle was elected as a member of the House of Representatives, to represent the Bakura/Maradun Federal Constituency. He was re-elected in 2007 and 2011. However, in 2011, he defected to the People’s Democratic Party. Matawalle retained his position in the House of Representatives until 2015. In 2019, Matawalle became the PDP candidate for the Zamfara gubernatorial elections. He polled 189,452 against the 534,541 votes for Muktar Idris, the All Progressives Congress candidate.
The Supreme Court however ruled against the victory of APC in the state, saying that APC did not conduct valid primaries in the buildup to the 2019 general elections in Zamfara. The Court ordered that the candidate with the second-highest votes be sworn in. Matawalle, being the first runner-up, was sworn in as the Governor of Zamfara State.
In June 2021, Matawalle, alongside most Zamfara State elected officials, defected from PDP to APC after a defection rally in Gasau, the state’s capital. He will be contesting to retain his current position as the governor of Zamfara State in the upcoming 2023 election.
Awards & Honours
- 2021 Media Friendly Governor of the Year conferred by the Nigeria Media Nite-Out Award (NMNA)
- 2020 Best Governor of the Year on Security and Humanitarian Services by the Access Weekly Magazine
- 2020 The Sun Newspaper “Man of the Year” Award
- Secured a ₦1 billion Intervention Fund for Abdu Gusau Polytechnic, Talata Mafara and the enlistment of Zamfara State University by NUC.
- Granted over 200 students educational scholarships to study abroad
- Constructed 613 primary school classrooms, equipped them with 14,810 desks and chairs, 962 desks for staff, and modern ICT centres
- Established ultramodern Women and Children Hospitals across the 14 Local Governments of Zamfara, at a free cost for pregnant mothers and children under five
- Completed Canteen Daji Area road rehabilitation
- Ongoing construction of 147 Primary Health Centres across local government wards in the statement
- In 2022, Matawalle was criticised by residents of Zamfara, for failing to implement the recommendations of a committee he set up in 2019 to unravel the cause of (and proffer solutions to) banditry in the state.
- In February 2022, a leaked audio exposed how Matawalle allegedly gave ₦20 million to five relatives of former federal lawmaker, Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa, in a move to buy them over. The Zamfara State chapter of APC had been splintered into two factions at the time. One with their loyalty to Matawalle, with the others to Marafa. In the audio recording, according to the relatives, Matawalle asked them to tell the world that Marafa did not help members of his family, and if they carried out the assignment, he (Matawalle), will pay them.