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2023: Why Matawalle may not defect to APC for now

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With the 2023 political permutations in focus, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State might have concluded plans to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), but there are far more serious grounds why his defection might be impossible for now.

The reason is that the Supreme Court decision, which ceded the Zamfara governorship to the PDP immediately after the 2019 elections, did not consider any individual in arriving at the decision but the party, a situation which makes the opposition party the owner and sole beneficiary of the governorship and not Matawalle.

Already, arrangements are said to have been perfected for the governor to defect to the APC on June 12, where he is expected to be received by the ruling party’s National Caretaker Committee Chairmanand Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni.

Also, as a prelude to the defection, Matawalle had on Monday, May 31, sacked his entire cabinet, including the commissioners, special advisers, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff in other to be able to accommodate some members of the APC in the new calculations.

The cabinet sack was to prevent some commissioners from refusing to defect with him and avoid the kind of backslash experienced in Ebonyi and Cross River States, where some commissioners and aides refused to go to the APC with their former principals.

Curiously, however, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP has yet to officially speak on the developing story, but an informed party source hinted that having given all the political structures in the state to the governor, the PDP was at a loss as to why Matawalle wanted to leave the party.

But the source was confident that the governor would not gamble with the idea, knowing that the seat is the party’s and not his, the reason the deputy governor is said to have declined being part of the defection plan, since he would be the sole beneficiary of Matawalle’s false move if he eventually dared the consequences.

It was gathered that the governor’s planned defection was due to the politics of 2023. The governor, it was learnt, has been promised a return ticket for 2023. He is currently serving his first term in office.
In 2019, the APC won all the state and national elections in Zamfara State, the PDP came second but due to the Supreme Court judgement, the PDP inherited the victory across the board.

The state was considered an APC state and it was therefore to ensure his reelection in 2023 that Matawelle was being poached to defect to the APC.
Another party source also hinted that, “There is no free ticket for him in the APC by 2023, as the former governor of the state, Abdulazizi Yari and Senator Kabir Marafa have reconciled and will surely give him a fight ”
But a PDP source said the APC in Zamfara State was like a shark infected water, waiting to consume the governor, if he made the mistake of defecting to the APC.

In February this year, the political feud between the two warring camps in the state chapter of the APC – Yari and Marafa – were reconciled, by the national caretaker committee of the party as part of the 2023 scheming.
The source said it was not certain whether all PDP senators and members of the House of Representatives that benefited from the Supreme Court judgement would be willing to defect with himtoo.

According to the source, “If the governor defects what will happen to the governorship ambition of Senator Marafa? Will he subdue his ambition that caused his initial political feud with former governor Yari or will he go back to the senate? If he decides to go to the Senate, what will happen to the current senator that is from the PDP?”, the PDP source stated.

Yari, Zamfara’s immediate past governor is plotting to become the national chairman of the APC, and has been at daggers-drawn with Matawalle, who became an unexpected beneficiary of the APC crisis in the 2019 primaries in the state.

The source that spoke to newsmen said Mattawlle was expected to join the APC on June 12 as ademocracy dividend to the state.
So far, two PDP governors have joined the APC. The first to dump the PDP was the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi and he was recently followed by the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, with Matawelle already in view, if he defected as being planned.

However, Yari is said not to be not living any thing to chance as he still holds the ace in the state.
But a source claimed that to weaken Yari, all the states structures of the APC in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory would be dissolved soon.

“This is part of the reasons APC is delaying their convocation of the national convention of the APC. By the delay, all the interests would be accommodated, including all that are defecting, so that everyone will be equal and own the structures at all levels of the party,” the source explained.

But, the former governor, the source noted, would not go down without a fight, because if Mattawelle joined, the APC, he might be finished politically, as state structures are naturally in the hands of the governors.
PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “I will see the National Chairman and thereafter contact you “, but he did not eventually get, even though sources claimed the opposition party was waiting for Matawalle to make the biggest mistake of his life.

A PDP source said the party was in possession of intelligence report that the Zamfara governor had gone as far as seeking the opinions of some Supreme Court justices, who had told him leaving the PDP would definitely cost him the seat, based on the Supreme Court judgment of 2019.
But the governor was said to have contacted some highly placed persons in the government and party, who had allegedly assured him that they would circumvent the law for his sake and ensure he did not lose the seat.

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POLITICS

Anambra Guber: Gov Abiodun heads APC primary committee

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has constituted the Anambra State governorship primary election committee headed by Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State.

Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

He said the party’s primary poll is scheduled for June 26, 2021.

According to the statement, Sen. John Enoh is Secretary of the committee, while Barr Uba Maigari Ahmadu, Hon. Goodluck Opiah, Cathleen Oby Nwofor, Alhaji Shitu Muhammed and Barr. Sylvester Imohanobe are members.

“In this capacity, the seven-member committee is expected to conduct the primary election to elect the party’s candidate for the governorship election for Anambra State in line with the provisions of our party’s constitution and guidelines for the nomination of candidates,” the party said.

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POLITICS

Soludo emerges APGA governorship candidate in Anambra

Former CBN governor, Prof. Charles Soludo has emerged the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

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Former CBN governor, Prof. Charles Soludo has emerged the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

Soludo emerged winner in Wednesday’s keenly contested primary election in Awka, Anambra State.

The primary election was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

His victory comes few hours after a faction of APGA in Anambra suspended him from the party for anti-party activities.

In his acceptance speech, the former CBN governor said he welcomed the nomination of APGA to fly their banner in the forthcoming governorship election.

“I accept your nomination in the November 6 governorship election. I am proud that I came from Anambra. I offer nothing but statement of gratitude, thank you for the mandate to fly our flag. I assure INEC that APGA is a law-abiding party.

“I salute the other aspirants. I salute you. This is the time to unite. We won the primary by over 80 percent, but let us come together. The coming election is consequential for the state. It will determine our match for progression of retrogression,” he said.

Soludo commended previous governors of Anambra for transforming the state, but noted that Governor Willy Obiano had taken the state to the next level.

He said there is no state government in Nigeria with comparable revenue like Anambra State that is doing well than the present administration, saying there is no need to change a winning team.

“We need continuity, consolidation and transformation, we need to build on what is on ground. We will unveil our campaign manifesto in August. I am a poor boy whom God has raised to serve. I have been decorated with over 200 awards.

“I believe it is now time for me to serve my people. I have decided to give back to the people. Opinion polls showed that members of other political parties said they would support Soludo if he emerged APGA candidate,” he said.

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POLITICS

PDP defeats APC to win Kaduna Assembly bye-election

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Alhaji Usman Baba (Ubale) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been declared winner of the bye-election for the Sabon Gari State Constituency seat in Kaduna State House of Assembly.

Declaring the results, the returning officer (RO), Dr Mohammed-Nuruddin Musa, announced that Usman Baba was duly elected having satisfied the requirements of the law and polled the highest valid votes cast of 9,113.

He defeated his closest contender from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Musa A. Musa, who polled 7,404 votes.

The returning officer also announced that Anas Abdullahi of the ADC polled 62 votes, Chindo Ibrahim of ADP polled 61 votes and Musa Halilu of PRP polled 305 votes.

Alhough there was low turnout of eligible voters during the election, voters, however, conducted themselves in a peaceful and orderly manner throughout the election.

The Sabon Gari seat initially occupied by the former Speaker of the House, Hon. Aminu Shagali of the APC, was declared vacant in April, after he was alleged to have absconded from activities of the Assembly for more than 360 days following his removal as the Speaker of the House.

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