Supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) took to the streets in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital to witness Governor Bello Matawalle’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The roads leading to Gusau Trade Fair Ground, the venue of the event where APC National Caretaker Committee Chairman Governor Mai Mala Buni, led others to receive Matawalle, were crowded.
With Buni were 11 APC governors, ministers, senators, and House of Representative members.
At the reception were governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Mohammed SaniBello (Niger); Mallam Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); Aminu Masari (Katsina); Prof Babagana Zulum (Borno); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Badaru Abubakar (Gombe); Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).
Others included Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, who led the Federal Government delegation; former Governors Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno) and Ahmed Sani Yerima Zamfara, among other dignitaries
Announcing his defection to the APC at a special grand rally, the governor said: “As from today, I Bello Matawalle Maradun, governor of Zamfara, I am happy to announce my defection from the PDP to the APC.
“As from today, I am a full APC member and leader of APC in Zamfara. I am calling on all APC stakeholders in the state to join hands with me to build the party and move the state forward.”
Buni described Matawalle’s defection as a welcome development to the APC, not only in Zamfara, but in Nigeria in general.
He said: “I am happy to announce that APC has received Matawalle, three senators, six House of Representative members and 24 members of the State House of Assembly, who defected from the PDP to the APC.
“As we all know, according to the party’s constitution, President Muhammad Buhari is our leader at the national level and in each state, the sitting governor from the party is the APC leader in that state.
“Therefore, Matawalle is the new leader of the party in Zamfara. With this development, all the party executives, state, local governments, and wards level are hereby dissolved.”
One of the senators, Hassan Mohammed Gusau (Zamfara Central), announced his resignation from the PDP.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read Gusau’s letter informing his colleagues of his action at plenary.
Gusau, according to the letter, attributed his decision to the alleged factionalization and infighting in the Zamfara State chapter of the PDP, promising to make his decision on what party he hopes to join known in due course.
Former Governor Abdul’aziz Yari described Matawalle’s defection as a timely and welcome development.
He promised to support Matawalle to build the party as well as tackle insecurity challenges facing the state.
The Supreme Court declared Matawalle, then of the PDP winner of the 2019 governorship election in the state, since the APC that got the highest number of votes did not produce a valid candidate from its primaries.
His deputy Aliyu Gusau said he was not dumping the PDP.