A report by the DAILY NIGERIAN has it that the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has concluded plans to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.
According to the authoritative news channel, arrangements have been concluded for Matawalle’s defection, with the Chairman of the APC’s Caretaker and Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, set to formally present him to President Muhammadu Buhari.
DAILY NIGERIAN said the deal may be sealed on Tuesday when a Federal Government delegation visits Zamfara State to sympathise with the governor on the recent market fire incident in the state.
It said Matawalle had been in talks with at least two governors elected on the platform of the APC for several months.
Aside from the serving governors, a former Governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Sani Yerima, was reported by the DAILY NIGERIAN to be among the top politicians courting Matawalle for the APC in order to whittle down the influence of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari in the party.
Yari, a former political godson of Yarima, has taken over the control of the party in the state, deciding who gets what in the APC political equation.
In a February interview, Yarima first broke the news of Matawalle’s planned defection, saying: “I think we have gone very far.”
But sources told DAILY NIGERIAN that Yari had vowed not to remain in the APC as soon as the party transfers control of the structure to the governor.
“Abdulaziz Yari vowed to leave the APC the day Matawalle defects to the party,” said a source.
The highly authoritative newspaper said the reasons for Matawalle’s defection are not far-fetched as the governor himself once lamented that the PDP did not show solidarity to its governors.
In November last year, the governor lamented about the manner with which the PDP governors showed lack of solidarity for him when he needed them most.
Matawalle said: “I am having a very bad experience of recent from some of my PDP Governor colleagues, which I still find very puzzling.
“For instance, the South South Governors accusing me in the media are PDP Governors and they are the same people who brewed controversy over the so-called Zamfara Gold, premised on deliberate misinformation and outright lies.
“Surprisingly, it is the APC Federal Government which has all the correct records on the gold mining issue that came out to defend me in this saga.
“As PDP colleagues, I expected the Governors to contact me first and find out my own side of the story before unleashing their venom in the media.
“As the brouhaha lasted, I commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, for being supportive of our efforts to organise the economic sector in the state to avoid using the mineral deposits to promote insecurity in our dear state.”