Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has concluded plans to join the All Progressive Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ending months of speculation around his rapport with the ruling party that was deemed too close for comfort by his fellow members of the opposition.
Mr Matawalle’s planned move from the opposition to the ruling party was confirmed to Peoples Gazette by his spokesman Ibrahim Dosara, who said his principal will officially announce his exit from PDP on Tuesday.
Also, Bashir Ahmad, a social media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, said on Facebook on Sunday that Mr Matawalle had joined the ruling party.
“So Zamfara is back home! Welcome, Matawalle,” Mr Ahmad said.
Mr Matawalle became governor via a Supreme Court judgement that disqualified all APC candidates in Zamfara in the 2019 general elections for breaching electoral guidelines in picking candidates and installed PDP candidates who were runners up in the elections.
The Zamfara governor was said to have been hobnobbing with the APC while keeping studied distance from his party PDP. All through, he hardly attended party functions, preferring to detail his deputy in his stead.
On a few occasions, emissaries of the Progressives Governors’ Forum met with Mr Matawalle in the state capital Gusau to persuade him to join to their party.
The PDP Governors’ Forum has also made counter visits to convince him to stay in the party.
Mr Matawalle becomes the third governor from the PDP to cross over to the APC since 2019.
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Last month, Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross Rivers state left the PDP to join APC, saying his decision was base on the interest of the state. He was elected senator under the PDP and won two terms as governor as a member of the same party.
Weeks ahead of Mr Ayade’s decision, another long-time PDP member Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi left the party for the ruling APC, alleging maltreatment of the South-East region and an unwillingness to hand the presidency ticket to the zone.