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(Opinion Article)


Buhari Yunusa

For a very long time, the APC in Zamfara was enmeshed in an orgy of very vicious infighting among high ranking members. Some of the biggest masquerades in this faceoff include erstwhile Senator, Kabiru Marafa, immediate past governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari and former governor, Sani Yarima.

In fact, this unfortunate absence of compromise cost APC all her electoral victory as parties aggrieved over the 2019 primaries approached the courts. PDP benefited from the eventual judgement despite placing a distant second in the election.

Two years into his reign as governor under PDP, the beneficiary of the Zamfara electoral ruling, current governor, Bello Muhammed Matawalle will come under intense fire from vested interests within the PDP who were hell-bent on ruining his administration from within.

Also, after battling to salvage the situation with no success, he was left with no option than to cut his losses and head over to the APC. Naturally, as a seating governor, he was handed over the structure of the party as its new leader in the state.

This development did not go down well with legacy members of the APC in Zamfara who felt slighted, especially has they were said to be aggrieved that the Mai Mala Buni led National Exco that perfected Matawalle’s defection to APC did not accord them the respect they deserved.

This immediately set off another hue of in-party agitations as old foes reunited to resist the leadership of governor Matawalle. It didn’t take long for tongues to start wagging and rumours to start flying that highly placed stalwarts of the party had perfected modalities to cross carpet to the PDP, this was even as prophets of doom began to predict a repeat of 2019.

At a time, the situation in APC appeared truly hopeless until a breakthrough in talks between contending interests in the party was brokered by its national leadership on 9th May of this year.

Today, the APC in Zamfara has ever been stronger. With two former governors and all her pioneer members now reuniting their interest with that of the seating governor, the 2023 election is looking a lot more like 2019 where APC secured an overwhelming victory, but only this time, it will do so without a legal baggage weighing it down.

Recently, APC members met under the leadership of the APC state chairman in Gusau to rejig and revalidate the ceasefire as well as adopt strategies that will deliver the party in the polls come 2023. In truth, the meeting was a show of force, a media spectacle to reassure teeming members of the APC that everyone is committed to the new atmosphere of peace within the party as it deploys every oar to steady the ship in its predicted home run to victory come 2023.

Expectedly, excitement in Gusau and the rest of the state is reached fever pitch. Party members in their numbers have been trooping into the home of erstwhile governor Abdul’Aziz Yari to congratulate him for taking the moral high ground to allow for the hatchet to be buried between him and Governor Matawalle in the interest of the party. Senator Marafa has also been saluted by so many of his supporters for his gesture of peace which has been described as both selfless and forward looking. The feeling around Gusau and the rest of Zamfara is gay. Excitement over an all but assured APC victory has reawakened the hope of the masses on the party as the only vehicle upon which their collective growth and development can be negotiated.

In a twist of fate, the PDP has entered into a new regime of crisis following the party’s primary elections that have been dismissed as a sham and a charade by many. Already, Mahdi Gusau, erstwhile deputy governor to Governor Matawalle whose disgraceful show of moral bankruptcy and dearth of maturity before he was impeached by the state House of Assembly and other aggrieved members have dragged the PDP to court seeking a complete annulment of the primaries, citing glaring irregularities.

At this rate, it will appear the PDP is heading straight for a brick wall. Not that it will matter anymore, but the PDP, ever a party of little or no substance in Zamfara that is also now caught up in a legal battle in the year leading to elections is a clear enough sign that APC will be without any opposition in the 2023 election.

Indeed the APC in Zamfara has risen above its mere existence as a party and had morphed into a viable movement peopled by individuals capable of suppressing their personal interest for the sake of the masses. All eyes then will be on the PDP to either find a way to settle their differences or take a box seat and watch as APC sweeps through Zamfara state in its victory parade.

Yunusa writes from Gusau

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The mamooth crowd of young agile and vibrant politicians who are mostly the initiators of PDP and Atiku support groups that gathered at the APC North West Zonal Secretariat to surrender their political support for Asiwaju is an eye-opener that APC is gathering momentum and will in 2023 sweep the North West with relative ease.

Governor Bello Matawalle in company of the North West Vice Chairman for the APC Alh Salihu Lukman spent hours receiving the PDP and Atiku support groups who came on with their different narratives of how they have suffered in the hand of the PDP.

The National Secretary of the PDP Transformation Ambassadors Mal. Bashir Muhammad said despite the investment they have made in the PDP for years, they are pleased to have a political U-turn and join forces with Governor Bello Matawalle ok m the APC so that they will support him to deliver the Asiwaju presidential project.

He lamented that despite having strong political structures with a network of other political support groups across the divides of Nigeria, the PDP did not see reason to honor them with even recognition for the commitment they have demonstrated over the years.

Atiku Kawai another political support groups, lamented that PDP and Atiku had never for once, recognize their effort despite using their resources to build up structures across the (36) states of the Federation and Abuja where their headquarters is located noting that, to even see Atiku Abubakar after Investing on his Presidential candidature since after the primary election become something difficult.

Usman Muhammad Rabiu Bichi who is the National Coordinator of the movement said he went to the extent of reaching out to one of the biological children of Atiku for him to be able to see how he can take the leadership of the group to the Presidential candidate of the PDP, but it was story full of folktales.

He said with the support of Alh Masud Danguruf from Katsina and Alh Abdullahi Gama they have now rescinded from the PDP journey and agreed to join forces with the Governor Bello Matawalle in the APC.

The Governor who expressed happiness with the development insisted that Alh Masud Danguruf and Abdullahi Gama knew how hard he has invested for the PDP project and insisted that the best presidential project to be supported by the Nigerians is that of the APC.

He informed the young politicians that why he brought them to the Zonal Headquarters of the party in Kaduna is for the party leadership to be aware of their defection and also carried them along in the Asiwaju Ahmad Tinubu presidential journey.

He promised to support them at all time and urged them to redouble the commitment they have exhibited over the years for them to demonstrate the rationale behind their political movement.

They handed over their certificates of registration with the PDP to the Zonal Vice Chairman Salihu Lukman and hope to be re-registered in the APC.


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It was a series of political engagements for the Coordinator North West APC Presidential Campaign Council Governor Bello Matawalle as he received comity of PDP political support groups who decided to defect the opposition PDP for the ruling All Progressive Congress APC.

The APC North West Zonal Secretariat situated at Isah Kaita road Kaduna was filled to capacity as the groups mobilized supporters from across Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Somot and Kano.


The groups comprises the popular. Atiku Support Organization PDP Transformation Ambassadors Atiku Abubakar Kawai, PDP Mobilizers Initiative and Kasa Daya Al’umma Daya.

Others are Atiku/Okowo Frontiers Movement G7 Business Community, Katsina Biyayya Forum, Atiku Women and Youth Initiative as well as Atiku Nigeria Transformation Ambassadors.

The defection mantra attracted over 50,000 supporters from across the seven states of North West geo-political zone mostly involving youths, women and agile political class.

They both expressed confidence with the political maturity of Governor Bello Matawalle in unifying the party and making the APC stronger in the North West geo-political zone.

They also expressed dismay that they have to defect out of the PDP because the party and it’s Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar have refused to appreciate the effort of the support groups in the mobilization Frontiers for the success of the party.

Members of Atiku Support Organization and Atiku Abubakar Kawai specifically said they have invested heavily in the Atiku project since 2015 but noting that, nothing has came out of their suffering instead the candidate and indeed the party abandoned them to their fate.

They both expressed regret that they have to waste much of their times working for a party that does not recognized their effort and as such insisted that time has come for them to move ahead with the APC and bring the desired changes for the country.

G7 Business Community based in Kano and Katsina Biyayya Group explained that their movement is informed by the political behaviour of Bello Matawalle who is always advocating for true democratic reforms, Youth and women inclusion.

The two political groups invited Governor Bello Matawalle to honor them by going to Kano and Katsina and inaugurate their campaign officea which they rebranded after Bola Ahmad Tinubu and Kashim Shatima.

Governor Bello Matawalle who was looking visibly emotional thanked the young agile politicians for chosen to align with the Bola Ahmad Tinubu and APC noting that Tinubu project is the better option for transformed Nigeria.

He recalled that APC is the only party that uphold to the principles of power rotation saying the highest justice to be done to the people of the South is to be able to shift power to their region so that justice and equality can be ensured.

He told the defectees that Bola Tinubu has mapped out strategic development plans that would help consolidate the existing reforms embarked often by the party under President Muhammad Buhari.

He urged Nigerians to ignore those antagonists that are trying to hide under the umbrella of religion and raised baseless arguments that are of no effects to the political development of Nigeria.

He assured them of his commitment as the campaign Coordinator for Tinubu in ensuring that the defectees are well accommodated and also give them a sense of accommodation.

He promised the two support groups that extended an invitation to him that he will personally visit Kano and Katsina state to commission the campaign offices and also provide them with all the logistics support required.

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Governor Bello Matawalle narrated memory lane how the PDP Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar abandoned him after he lost election.

The Governor who stated this while receiving PDP Transformation Ambassadors at the APC Zonal Headquarters in Kaduna insisted that, PDP is not a party to relied on considering how it abandoned those that suffered in making the party what it is.

I have been in the PDP for long and I will be in better position to tell those in the party how bad the PDP has been treating us despite the investment we have made to make it a great party.


“I have joined the PDP in 2011, and I used my personal resources to build the party to greatness. When former Governor Mamuda convinced me to defect to PDP same party abandoned him to his fate and  and made him carelessly lost election despite having PDP at the control of the center”.

“I fought the former Governor Yarima who came from my zone and I won my seat of the Federal House of Reps without any support from my party”.

“In the year 2019 I contested for the post of Governor of Zamfara under the PDP and nobody from my party including Atiku Abubakar supported me with a dime and even after we lost election, I used my money to pursue the defeat of the PDP in court and I paid all the cost of litigation from Governorship to state assembly without the support of anybody in the party not even the Presidential candidate”.

“It will surprise you to note that, at a point, Atiku Abubakar stopped picking my calls because I have lost election, and he moved to Dubai and abandoned us to our fate”.

“After the Supreme Court announced my emergence as the substantive Governor of Zamfara Atiku called to congratulate me and promised to send his ADC to support me to manage the logistic aspect of the swearing in ceremony and to date, I have not seen the ADC”.

He cautioned the Nigerian youth not to trust PDP because it has never for once, fulfilled the wishes of the people, and instead he urged them to join the APC for a sustainable transformational drive of Nigeria.

He noted that Nigerian politics shall be driven by the youth because they have the potential of building a strong political alliance with the APC.

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