- There is an alleged mounting pressure on Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara to dump PDP for the APC ahead of 2023
- One of those leading Matawalle's defection move is said to be the former governor of the state, Senator Ahmed Sanni Yerima
- But Matawalle, in a reaction to the defection rumours, said he is focused on the affairs of the state
With the dust of the 2019 general election already driven into oblivion after a series of legal battles, there are strong indications that Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamafara, is under immense pressure to defect the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Governor Matawalle is, of course, the greatest beneficiary in the last general election having ridden to power through the pronouncement of the judiciary following APC's shocking defeat despite winning the guber election in the state.
APC's attempt to get power back hit a setback, with the Supreme Court later adjourning its verdict on the Zamfara APC application asking for a review of the ruling which disqualified it from the 2019 elections.
And there are insinuations that pressure is being mounted on Governor Matawalle to dump the party that gave him the ticket, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to Daily Trust, among those leading the defection move of the governor is Senator Ahmed Yerima, a former governor of Zamfara state who confirmed Matawalle may change his party ahead of 2023.
“Yes. We are working and we are talking. Every politician tries to get more people to their party especially governors.
"If I can have governors with me, the party will be better. Very soon he would join,” the former senator said.
Governor's office reacts to defection rumour.
Addressing the defection rumour, Governor Matawalle, though his media adviser on public enlightenment, media and communication, Zailani Bappa, said the rumours are just being peddled to distract him.
Bappa said his principal is busy with state duty and is not ready to leave the party that gave him the opportunity to serve as the political leader of the state.
"People in the ruling PDP are speculating about it but I can tell you that there is nothing like defecting to APC by his Excellency Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle.
"And ever since people are saying all such things, he has been busy attending to serious administrative issues not distractions like these.
"Even if there is anything like that it will officially be made public, but Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle hasn’t expressed any interest to decamp to APC yet,” Bappa said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the APC has berated the PDP for saying that the Supreme Court should dismiss the party's application for the review of its verdict over the Zamfara state governorship election.
The APC through its national spokesman, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said that with this move, the PDP is trying to intimidate the court.
In his reaction, Issa-Onilu alleged that the opposition party is notorious for employing intimidation to thwart the rules of law and due processes, adding that the PDP has no stake in internal issues, especially as it relates with matters of the apex court.
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