• Tambuwal, others in Gusau to divert the transition to APC
• NWC members visit zamfari guv
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday launched efforts to stop the governor of the state of Zamfar, Mr. Bella Matawall, from defecting to the ruling Congress of All Progressives (APC).
THIS OPEN DAY learned that the party had held a series of meetings and consulted with critical stakeholders on how to stop the governor, who is rumored to be planning to defect to the APC on April 14.
It was gathered that as part of strategies to stop the governor from leaving the PDP, the party’s national president, Prince Uche Secondus, would lead other members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to visit Matawalle tomorrow.
NWC members met earlier yesterday at the party’s national secretariat, Abuji, to persuade the governor of Zamfara not to leave the opposition party.
Party officials resumed work yesterday after the Easter break and received information about Matawall’s planned defection after a meeting with APC governors.
It was also gathered that NWC members agreed to move to the state of Zamfara to reach an agreement with the governor on how to stop his planned defection.
THIS OPENING was also attended by the governors of the PDP, led by their chairman and the governor of the state of Sokoto, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, were already in Gusau, the capital of Zamfara state, to persuade their colleague not to switch to APC.
The NWC is also considering offering the governor an automatic ticket for a second term and control of party structures in the state as an incentive to stop the planned defection.
A source told THISDAY that the planned governor’s governor is not because of any quarrel in the PDP, but because of permutations around securing a second term until 2023.
Speculation about Matawall’s defection became widespread after his recent meeting with three APC governors, led by the chairman of the National Transitional Committee / Extraordinary Committee for Planning APC Conventions and the Governor of Yobe State, Mr. Mai Mali Buni.
In addition to the budget for the second term, THIS DAY also learned that former Zamfara Governor Alhaji Ahmed Sani Yerima, now a senator representing Zamfera West, as well as a deputy minority leader in the Senate, also wants to use Matawalle to oust his predecessor Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari.
By permutation, Matawalle would be in charge of the structure of the APC, to ensure his election victory in his second term and as an introduction to the move of Yari.
The PDP was declared the winner in the state of Zamfara when the Supreme Court ruled on May 24, 2019, that the APC did not conduct valid pre-election preparations until the general elections in the state in 2019.
The Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the Court of Appeals, Sokoto Division, which ruled that the APC in the state of Zamfara did not conduct valid preliminary preparations.
The court ruled unanimously in a five-member panel that a party that did not have valid candidates could not be said to have won the general election.
The candidate for the governor of the APC, Mr. Mukhtar Idris, was declared the winner of the elections after he collected 534,541 votes, despite the controversies that accompany his candidacy.
The PDP candidate, Matawalle, who was second in the election, was subsequently proclaimed elected governor.