Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has been hinted to have shown interest in joining the All Progressive Congress (APC) following his ongoing consultations with party chieftain, according to a source who chose to speak on condition of anonymity. It was revealeded that the ruling APC had extended the nationwide membership registration in a bid to accommodate the Governor among others who plan to defect. There have been speculations on the governor's plan to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party that ushered him into power as governor after a court declaration that nullified the APC party primaries in the state.
The source said Matawalle moves to join the ruling party predated that of the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi who dumped the PDP in November last year for the progressive.
Former governor of the state, Sani Yariman Bakura had hinted that governor Matawalle was strategizing to join the APC.
It was revealed that one of the impeding factors that were delaying the governors move to the progressive was the insecurity that has rocked the state, and the factional camps of the former Governor Abdulaziz Yari and the erstwhile, Kabiru Marafa that dragged the party in the mud ahead of the 2019 tussle.
A source who is an associate to Governor Mala Buni of Yobe state who is also the interim chairman of the APC hinted that “The talks on Matawalle’s defection have gone far but wait for him to formally announce it,”
Another source confirmed that a former governor in the Northwest was championing the defection of governor Matawalle.
He said, “We were told that he will join our party this month. They also told us that the defection is sanctioned by the presidency. Nocturnal meetings to finalise the arrangement are being held,”
In preparation ahead of the defection and also against the 2023 General election, as the whole of the seven states in the Northwest, only Zanfara and Sokoto states are of PDP government, therefore, Matawalle was said to have met with big shots of the party in his state to discuss the planned defection.
Due to the secrecy of the planned defection, Sani Gwamna Mayanchi, the APC state vice chairman in the state said they were not in the picture of the game and therefore cannot comment.
One of Matawalle’s commissioners, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara also said, “I haven’t discussed anything like that with the executive governor.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the APC Extraordinary Convention planning Committee, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, in a statement disclosed that the party had to extend the registration of its members to accommodate more defectors.
However, the PDP has chid the ruling party to stop what they described as a dance of shame.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbandiyon, said, “Our party urges the APC leadership to listen to voice of reasons coming from elders of their party like former Governor Bisi Akande and end this dance of shame.
Ologbandiyon added, “In any case, our party will, at the appropriate time, expose all the shenanigans of the APC, including the roles played by desperate individual APC leaders in this attempt to beguile Nigerians with a fictitious membership register."