There will be an emergency meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party’s National Working Committee today to discuss the planned defection of Zamfara State Governor, Hon. Bello Matawalle, to the All Progressives Congress (APC), which is scheduled for tomorrow.
According to an announcement made yesterday by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ibrahim Dosara, the state government has invited the governor’s supporters to attend the defection ceremony.
The statement went on to say that the governor of Zamfara State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, as well as other APC stalwarts would welcome him into the party.
Mr. Idris Yusuf, the state’s Director-General of Media, had told THISDAY earlier in the day that the governor would address journalists on the subject the following day about the situation.
The PDP, on the other hand, claimed that Matawalle had not informed them of his decision to defect to the APC.
Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), told THISDAY: “All I can tell you is that an emergency meeting of the party will take place on Monday, during which the report of the defection will be discussed.
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Moreover, the governor has not yet notified the PDP that he is resigning from the party, according to the report.
Nevertheless, there have been concerns raised that Matawalle would be unable to defect due to legal constraints.
The reason for this is that the Supreme Court’s decision, which ceded the governorship of Zamfara State to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) immediately after the 2019 elections, did not take into account any individual in reaching its decision, only the party.
The opposition party, rather than Matawalle, is believed to have been declared the owner and sole beneficiary of the governorship as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Already, plans are said to have been finalized for the governor to defect to the APC on Wednesday, and he is expected to be greeted by Mai Mala Buni, the chairman of the ruling party’s National Caretaker Committee and the governor of Yobe State.
To make room for some members of the APC in the new calculations, Matawalle had on May 31 sacked his cabinet, which included commissioners and special advisers, the Secretary to the State Government, the Chief of Staff, and the Deputy Chief of Staff. This was done so that the APC could be accommodated.
THISDAY has learned that some commissioners were dismissed to prevent a backlash similar to that experienced in Ebonyi and Cross River States, where some commissioners and aides refused to defect with their former principals to the APC, from taking place in the state of Lagos.
According to reports, the governor has been promised a return ticket for the year 2023. He is currently in the midst of his first term as president.
In the 2019 elections in Zamfara State, the APC won all of the state and national elections, while the PDP finished second. However, as a result of the Supreme Court judgment, the PDP inherited the victory across the board.
The state was considered to be an APC state, and Matawalle was being courted to defect to the APC in order to ensure his re-election in 2023, according to reports.
Another party source also hinted that he would not receive a free ticket in the APC by 2023 because the former governor of the state, Mr. Abdulaziz Yari, and Senator Kabir Marafa have reconciled and will undoubtedly fight him in the primary election in 2019.
However, according to the source, it was unclear whether all of the PDP senators and representatives in the House of Representatives who benefited from the Supreme Court’s decision would be willing to defect with him.
“What will happen to Senator Marafa’s governorship ambitions if the governor resigns?” the source speculated. Will he be able to control his ambition, which was the source of his initial political feud with former governor Yari, or will he be forced to return to the Senate? In the event that he decides to run for Senate, what will happen to the current senator who represents the PDP?”
It has been reported that Yari, the state’s immediate past governor, is plotting to become the APC’s national chairman. He has been at loggerheads with Matawalle, who has emerged as an unexpected beneficiary of the APC’s internal crisis during the state’s 2019 primary elections.
Several PDP sources claimed that the party had obtained intelligence reports indicating that the governor of Zamfara had gone so far as to seek the opinions of some top judicial officers, who had advised him that leaving the PDP could cost him his seat as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in 2019.
Secondus claims that the Anambra Congress complied with the rules of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
While this is happening, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, stated yesterday that the party adhered to the instructions of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of the governorship congress, which elected Mr. Valentine Ozigbo as the party’s candidate for the November 6 governorship election.
Secondus told THISDAY that when the party received the letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) directing compliance, a meeting of the National Working Committee was convened, and it was agreed that the congress election for the election of the governorship candidate should be conducted in accordance with the party’s constitution.
“There are two courts of concurrent jurisdiction issuing different orders, so under the circumstances, we are required to remove the list of the three-man ad hoc delegates that has been complained about,” he explained.
It also went one step further by dissolving the state executive committee, which had powers derived from the constitution, and, as a result, it instructed the zonal executive for the South-east to coordinate with the Governor Samuel Ortom committee in order to organize the congress for which the automatic delegates were to be present.
“The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, issued a statement to that effect,” the statement read. As a result, we are operating within the legal framework.”
Meanwhile, leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State have congratulated Ozigbo, the winner of the party’s primary election held on Saturday in the state.
Mr. Peter Obi, a former governor of the state, was among the PDP leaders present, as was Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, who was one of the party’s governorship aspirants, and Mr. Oseloka Obaze, who was the party’s governorship candidate in 2017.