- Buhari welcomes Zamfara gov
- Why I didn’t follow gov – Deputy
- PDP’ll still win 2023 presidency – Secondus
Former governors of Zamfara state, Sani Yerima, Abdulaziz, Yari and the incumbent governor, Bello Matawalle yesterday reunited in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during the official defection of Matawalle in Gusau, the state capital.
This is as Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, announced the dissolution of the party’s Zamfara executives at the ward, local government and state levels.
Buni made the announcement yesterday during the formal defection of the Zamfara state governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC in Gusau, the state capital.
He also said with his defection, the governor has automatically become leader of the party in the state.
Matawalle’s defection has brought to three the number of PDP governors who have defected to the APC in recent time. Governors Dave Umahi of Ebonyi and Ben Ayade of Cross River State had earlier defected.
Matawalle became governor after the Supreme Court ruled on the internal crisis that bedeviled the APC in 2019.
The court had annulled the votes of the APC in the 2019 elections on the grounds that the party was not eligible to field candidates over its inability to conduct primaries.
Addressing the gathering Buni urged all stakeholders to support the governor in delivering good governance to the people.
“Today, we are receiving our brother, Governor Bello Matawalle, all the 24 members of state assembly including the speaker, 3 senators, all the six federal lawmakers and many other stakeholders into our fold. It is really a joyous moment for APC,” he said.
Speaking at the event, former governor of the state, Abdulaziz Yari, said he had accepted the party’s decision and was ready to offer all necessary support to the governor to succeed.
“We will support the state governor and I want to remind him to be wary of sycophants so that the cordial relationship being enjoyed will not be truncated,” Yari who was leader of the party in the state before Matawalle’s defection said.
In his address, Matawalle said he has remained leader of the party and would make sure that every party faithful was treated fairly.
Governors of Katsina, Borno, Ogun, Plateau, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Jigawa, Niger and Kebbi states attended the ceremony.
Why I refused to follow Matawalle — Deputy gov
The state’s deputy governor, Mahadi Aliyu Gusau, who addressed a press conference Tuesday evening in Abuja, said he did not follow Governor Matawalle to the APC because he was not consulted about the move throughout.
The deputy governor said he only came across “several news items” in the media, like everybody else, concerning the plan by his boss to dump the PDP. He said neither Matawalle nor anybody broached the issue to him.
“I was not briefed either in my official or personal capacity for any planned defection. For all intents and purpose it is obvious, the decision to leave me out of it was deliberate, and perhaps, another ploy to sow discontent in my relationship with His Excellency,” he said.
The deputy governor said he has decided to remain in the PDP and lead it as opposition party, with the hope of returning the state to the party’s fold.
Gusau said aside him, a member of the House of Representatives representing Anka/Talata Mafara, Hon. Kabiru Yahaya and a member of the state’s House of Assembly, Hon. Salihu Usman Zurmi have also decided not to move with the governor.
The deputy governor eulogized Matawalle, praising the governor’s “brotherly conduct”, as he expressed hope that they will continue to have a cordial relationship. Gusau said it is not unusual for a governor and his deputy to belong to different parties but serve the same government, citing the example of similar instance twice in Sokoto State.
He however said the PDP as a party, at the national level, has the pejorative to fight for its “stolen mandate” through the courts since the judgment that brought the Matawalle government to power was clear.
Buhari welcomes Matawalle
President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed Governor Matawalle to the APC.
Buhari, in a statement issued Tuesday by his media aide, Garba Shehu, congratulated the governor on his defection from the PDP.
The President said the ruling party “is becoming more popular because of its impressive performance record and commitment to good governance.”
We’ll still win 2023 presidency — PDP
Reacting, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus said the party’s chances of winning the 2023 presidential poll were still bright despite the defection of governors.