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Matawalle concludes plans to join APC

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Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has concluded plans to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Matawalle, who 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 co-travellers 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, 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 noted 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.

I’m still consulting – Matawalle

Governor Matawalle confirmed ongoing consultations for his political fate insisting, however, that it was not a definite decision yet.

“There is nobody that I told I am moving to any party. But as someone who is well-groomed in politics, I feel it is only fair to intimate my people about overtures towards me and seek their own thoughts and opinions,” he said.

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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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