With the conclusion of the legal tussle on Zamfara 2019 polls, pressure is being mounted on the state governor, Bello Matawalle, to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Matawalle, the biggest beneficiary of the intra-party feud that rocked the All Progressives Congress (APC), is being pressured to defect to the opposition APC in the state, Daily Trust gathered.
A former governor of the state, Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima, was the first to make public the pressure on Matawalle to join the APC.
Yarima is leading the struggle to get Matawalle to the APC. The party’s quest to recover the state through the apex court failed penultimate Friday.
In a recent exclusive interview with Daily Trust, Yarima said Matawalle would soon dump the PDP. He said plans have reached advance stage for the governor to join the APC.
“Yes. We are working and we are talking. Every politician tries to get more people to their party especially governors. If I can have governors with me, the party will be better. Very soon he would join,” Yarima said.
One of his cabinet members, Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar Tsafe, who is the commissioner for Rural Development, is also asking his boss to join APC.
Tsafe, an APC member belonging to Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa’s camp of the party, is among the members of the opposition who are in the government of the PDP in the state.
He said they noticed the governor’s outstanding leadership qualities that led to, among others, the restoration of peace, a feat that the governor’s predecessor could not achieve in eight years as the executive governor of the state.
Sources within APC in the state told our correspondent that some members of the party are jittery over calls on Governor Matawalle to defect to their party, citing possible demystification of those who laboured to form and nurture the party in the state.
“Zamfara State is the birthplace of APC. The first convention that paved way for the consolidation of merger of political parties that formed APC took place here. Where were the current PDP leaders when these things took effect?
“So the efforts of those APC leaders that helped to build the party would be stultified. The issue is who will be the party leader? We have not forgotten what had happened when former governor Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi decamped to PDP from the then ANPP.
“His defection relegated the original owners of the party to the background despite the resources, time and energy they committed to building the party in the state at that time,” the party chieftain said.
Those wooing Matawalle are PDP members – Mayanchi
Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in the state Alhaji Sani Gwamna Mayanchi has dismissed calls by some politicians on Governor Matawalle to defect to their party.
“Why should people worry about this? Those calling Matawalle to defect to APC are PDP members. They are in PDP government, they don’t have any moral justification to ask Matawalle to join the party they don’t belong to.
“As I told you, they are not recognised at the national level even if they are APC members. Their leader, Senator Kabiru Marafa, is not recognised as party leader in the state, then why ask someone to join a party you don’t belong to. It is a hoax and Governor Matawalle should understand that.
“Former governor Abdulaziz Yari is our leader and in everything in politics in Zamfara State. We don’t care a hoot where he decides to go, we will follow him there. And as for former governor Yarima, he was a party to the destruction of his own home,” Mayanchi said.
My boss is busy with state affairs – Media aide
However, the Special Adviser to Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication, Zailani Bappa, said people were just speculating about the possible defection of his boss to APC but there were no plans to such effect.
“People in the ruling PDP are speculating about it but I can tell you that there is nothing like defecting to APC by his Excellency Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle. And ever since people are saying all such things, he has been busy attending to serious administrative issues not distractions like these.
“And we should understand that we cannot stop people from expressing their opinion. Even if there is anything like that it will officially be made public, but Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle hasn’t expressed any interest to decamp to APC yet,” Bappa added.