The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has thrown its support behind Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, in his bid to succeed Governor Bello Matawalle.
This followed Matawalle’s defection to the All Progressives Congress on June 29, 2021. (APC).
Matawalle and other elected politicians in the state had defected to the APC in droves. The Deputy Governor remained with the PDP.
The Deputy Governor’s decision to take over the governorship is based on a Supreme Court ruling on May 24, 2019 that declared all APC candidates who ran and won seats in the Zamfara State elections void.
In the said judgment, the apex court declared all of the candidates who ran on the PDP platform as winners in all of the elections.
However, police in Zamfara State are resisting Deputy Governor Gusau’s attempt to take over as governor.
The PDP’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, issued a statement yesterday condemning attempts by the police to undermine the Deputy Governor’s statutory powers.
Governor Matawalle, according to the PDP, lost his seat the day he defected to the APC.
The police were warned by the party not to harass the Deputy Governor.
It also chastised Zamfara police for obstructing a planned rally by the Deputy Governor in a “unlawful and vexatious” manner.
In accordance with the Supreme Court’s current ruling, the deputy governor was vested with statutory powers to take the governor’s seat “in a situation where the governor has vacated his office.”
“Rather than harassing the Deputy Governor Gusau, the police, as agents of the law, should be providing him with all the protection and privileges he deserves, especially since the formal process for his official declaration given Matawalle’s vacation of office has already begun at the Federal High Court,” the statement said.
“The Police should be aware that the Zamfara governorship mandate belongs to the PDP under section 221 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Supreme Court’s judgment in Falake v. INEC (2016), and that Gusau, not Matawalle, is now the holder of that mandate, given Matawalle’s willful defection to the APC.
“The mandate of the PDP cannot be transferred to the APC, and the police and all security agencies should be guided by this.”
The PDP also warned banks and other financial institutions to be wary of “unapproved” financial transactions with Governor Matawalle’s cronies, especially in light of alleged moves to clean out the state’s coffers ahead of Matawalle’s “inevitable eviction by the court.”
“Such institutions should be very cautious in their dealings with impostors who have since ceased to represent the state, immediately Matawalle defected to the APC,” the party continued.
The party urged the Deputy Governor to remain steadfast and unafraid, noting that the people of Zamfara state are solidly behind him in his fight against imposters and deserters.
The PDP also urged the people of Zamfara state to stay united, saying that the mandate they freely gave to the PDP would never be taken away by “traitors.”