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MATAWALLE 2023: VICTORY FORGED IN THE FIRES OF UNITY

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(Opinion Article)

By

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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Daily News

ZAMFARA NUJ ELECT MAI ZARE, M.B UMAR AS NEW CHAIR & DEPUTY

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Members of Zamfara State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) have elected their new Chairman, who is to steer the activities of the union.

Ibrahim Musa Maizare who was the former Chairman of the Zamfara State based newspaper chapel “The Legacy” was elected alongside Haliru Muhammad Umar from the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) chapel as his Deputy.

The remaining seats of the state officers of the union were returned unopposed, except the office of the Treasurer.

The election of the new executives followed the expiration of the tenure of the current executives, led by the Publisher of the Analyzer Newspaper Mai Haraji Altine Salah.

Mai Zare who was immediately sworn into the office alongside other executives, thanked the members of the state council for having confidence in his leadership and assured that he is going to reposition things in the union for a sustainable change.

He promised to come up with innovation that will transform the union and reposition it to be more sound like before and called for continued cooperation from all the members of the union.

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I NEVER ASK GOV. BELLO MATAWALLE TO DASH ME A CAR.

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The Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara state Faruk Ahmad Shatiman Rijiya has challenged those in the APC to prove whether the embattled eighteen seater bus they were making noise over was personally donated to him by Governor Matawalle or for the office of the PDP Publicity of Secretary.

Shatima who declared this during a Press Conference in Gusau on Friday said, contrary to the noise making round the public, he has never, for once, begged Governor Matawalle to dash him a car instead, the Governor personally feels he wanted to donate the car to him because of the role he played during his electioneering campaigns in 2019.

“If they wanted the car to be returned as claimed, let them tell the world how the Governor donated out the car to me through late Ibrahim Mallaha of blessed memory. The Governor gave the car to late Mallaha for onward handing over to me as personal donation, and I am certain if they met the him, he will confirm this to them.

“I am not in politics for vehicle, asked those who were with us in 2019. I used my personal Peugeot (406) to move with the Governor throughout the campaign period. I was not paid even money for fuel and the Governor knew that, and may be in his wisdom that was why he decided to dash me a vehicle I did not beg for”.

On the new security measures taken by the Governor, Shatiman Rijiya said he is sure the measures are targeted at the supporters of the PDP and because election is approaching, noting that they have every reason to entertain fear.

If the measures are initiated to get the lives of the typical Zamfara citizen better and secured, PDP will welcome the idea but noted that, under the current situation, the party and its members are not confident enough with the Governor’s pronouncement.

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SHATIMAN RIJIYA TO GOV. BELLO MATAWALLE: STOP INSULTING PDP

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The Zamfara State Secretary of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Faruk Ahmad Shatiman Rijiya has called on Governor Bello Matawalle to desist from insulting PDP because it was the platform he used to become the Governor of Zamfara state in 2019.

Shatiman Rijiya who stated this during a Press Conference on Friday reminded Governor Bello Matawalle that, the certificate of return issued to him by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was bearing the name of the PDP not APC the political party he defected to.

He described as morally wrong for the Governor to be rendering insult on the party that produces him as a substantive Governor, noting that even the people who are very familiar with his political antecedent and how he emerged as the Governor of Zamfara would not be happy with him abusing his original political platform.

He added that, PDP will continue to watch things as they unfold in Zamfara and continue to raise alarm where right decisions are not taken in the overall interest of the people of the state

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