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Matawalle Set To Decamp To APC, As Former Governor Yari Presses Panic Button

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has concluded plans to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), multiple sources around the governor hint newsmen.

Recall that, Matawalle became the governor of the state following the Supreme Court judgement on the internal squabble that rocked the APC primaries in 2019, has dissolved the state executive council ahead of the defection.

The governor, it was gathered, has been perfecting plans to join the ruling party at the centre but the stiff rivalry between him and the APC’s leader in the state, Abdulaziz Yari, has been a clog in the wheel of the plan.

Yari, Zamfara’s immediate past governor has been at daggers-drawn with Matawalle, who became an unexpected beneficiary of the APC’s wrangling.

If Matawalle joins the ruling party, he would be third governor to jump ship since President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in for a second term. The first to dump the PDP was the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi and he was recently followed by Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade.

Since February, when the two warring camps in the state chapter of the APC – Yari’s and that of Senator Kabir Garba Marafa, were reconciled, by the national caretaker committee of the party, politicking and scheming for the 2023 race in the state peaked.

While the governor is being touted to join the APC, Yari and his supporters are against it. Recently, a delegation of APC governors led by the party’s caretaker committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, visited Matawalle at Government House, Gusau.

As part of the visit, we gathered, a closed-door meeting was held with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami in attendance.

It is a battle to grab the soul of the party ahead of the 2023 elections.

A top ally of the governor revealed that barring any last minutes change, Matawalle will join APC before the end of this month.

He also disclosed that the governor had separately met and briefed members of the state House of Assembly and those of the National Assembly from the state about his planned defection.

“I’m not sure about the date but what I can assure you is that all is set for the defection. He recently met with members of the National Assembly from the state and he has done same with members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly,” he said, pleading not to be named.

Similarly, one of the sacked commissioners, while confirming the planned defection said the dissolution of the cabinet was part of the arrangements for the defection.

“The governor does not want a repeat of the Cross River State scenario, whereby after the governor decamped to APC, some of the commissioners refused to follow him. His excellency is going to join the ruling,” he said in a phone chat.

The governor had on Monday night dissolved the state executive council and principal political appointees with immediate effect. The Secretary to the State Government, the Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff were also relieved of their appointments.

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