Emerging report reaching indicates that the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has concluded plans to dump the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the All Progressives Congress, APC, any moment from now.
Governor Matawalle, who became the Governor of the State following a Supreme Court judgement on the internal squabble that rocked the APC primaries in 2019, has dissolved the State Executive Council, SEC, ahead of his alleged defection.
The Governor, it was gathered, has been perfecting plans to join the ruling party at the centre, but the stiff rivalry between himself and the APC Leader in the State, Abdulaziz Yari, has been a clog in the wheel of his plan.
Yari, Zamfara State’s immediate-past Governor, has been at daggers-drawn with Governor Matawalle, who became an unexpected beneficiary of the APC’s wrangling.
Page 36 gathered that if Governor Matawalle joins the ruling party, he would be third Governor to jump ship since President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in for a second term.
The first to dump the PDP was the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, and he was recently followed by the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade.
Since February, when the two warring camps in the State Chapter of the APC, Yari’s and that of Senator Kabir Garba Marafa, were reconciled by the National Caretaker Committee of the party, politicking and scheming for the 2023 race in the State peaked.
While the Governor is being touted to join the APC, Yari and his co-travellers are against it.
Recently, a Delegation of APC Governors, led by the party’s Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, visited Governor Matawalle, at the State Government House, in Gusau, the State capital.
As part of the visit, it was gathered that a closed-door meeting was held, with the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, in attendance.
It is a battle to grab the soul of the party ahead of the 2023 elections.
A top Ally of the Governor revealed that barring any last minute change, Governor Matawalle will join the APC, before the end of this month.
He also disclosed that the Governor had separately met and briefed Members of the State House of Assembly, as well as those of the National Assembly from the State, about his planned defection.
The Ally said: “I am not sure about the date, but what I can assure you is that all is set for the defection. He recently met with Members of the National Assembly from the State, and he has done same with members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly.”
Similarly, one of the sacked Commissioners, while confirming the planned defection, said that the dissolution of the cabinet is part of the arrangements for the defection.
He stated: “The Governor does not want a repeat of the Cross River State scenario, whereby after the Governor decamped to APC, some of the Commissioners refused to follow him.”
The Governor had on Monday night, dissolved the State Executive Council, and sacked principal political appointees with immediate effect. The Secretary to the State Government, SSG, the Chief of Staff, and the Deputy Chief of Staff, were also relieved of their appointments.
Speaking to Journalists on Tuesday night, Governor Matawalle confirmed ongoing consultations for his political fate, insisting however, that it is not a definite decision yet.
“There is nobody that I told I am moving to any party. But as someone who is well-groomed in politics, I feel it is only fair to intimate my people about overtures towards me, and seek their own thoughts and opinions.”
Yari’s Spokesperson, Alhaji Ibrahim Birnin Magaji, reacting, said that there is no anxiety in their camp, stressing that, they are not bothered.
His words: “As far as we are concerned, this is mere rumour. We will respond when it is official.”