By Stephen Ubanna
Ahead of the February 18, 2023, general elections, Nigeria, appears to be heading towards a one party state. This is because of the activities of the unprincipled and non-ideological Politicians prostituting from the Opposition people’s democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, and from the APC to the PDP both at the states. Of the Federal level.
Take for instance, in the last one year, three elected governors on the platform of the Opposition PDP, had decamped to the APC, on the promptings of President Muhammadu Buharu, a retired Army General. The first to decamp to the ruling APC, from the PDP, was Dave Umahi, an Enginer and governor of the south east state of Eboyi. The exit of Umahi, from the PDP to the APC, may have given Yahaya Bello, governor of the north central state of Kogi to open up last April that more of the PDP governors will still decamp to the APC.
Yahaya, who is the ruling APC, Chairman, of the Contact and Mobilization ommittee, had confirmed that some political heavy weights from the PDP, both the state and Federal level, will be decamping to the ruling APC, to further strengthen the party. He had said that the decamping of the Opposition PDP gladiators to the APC, is part of the expectations ahead of the 2023 general elections in order for the party to still retain power at the centre.
Uknown to may, the Kogi state governor may have an insight on the discussions between Benedict Ayande, a Professor and governor of Cross river state and Bello Matawalle, his counterpart in Zamfara including some National Assembly members , elected on the party Platform. The PDP, Political heavy weights who were said to have concluded plans to decamp to the APC, were said to have assured the Katsina state born Nigerian President who was said to have spoken to them to dump the PDP, described as a sinking boat, of joing the rruling APC.
Ayande, the Cross river state governor may have proved Governor Yahaya , who had revealed that more PDP, governors will decamp to the APC, when Umahi, the Eboyi state left right, when he decamped to the party last May. He had justified his decisions to decamp to the ruling APC last May on the premise that ‘’we need to join hands with the Nigerian President in his determination to enhance the fortunes of the county’ to do so’’. Apealing to other PDP governors to take the bold initiative to join him and decamp to the APC, he opined that it is the only way there could be stability and speedy development in the country.
Bello Matawalle, the PDP, governor of Zamfara, described as the home state of the Bandits in the north west geopolitical, and who had been rumoured , over the last couple of months, of having concluded plans to decamp to the APC, in order to win the heart of the retired army General to support his efforts to develop the state and consequently make the region to wholly controlled by the APC, and fasten its development. The APC Chieftains at the state , regional and Federal level that the Nigerian President had assigned to work on him were said to have drawn his attention to the support which Babagana Zulum, a professor and gover of the BokoHaram devastated stat of Borno is getting from the government to develop the state.
Signsigns that the Zamfara state governor had dumped the PDP, emerged when he failed to attend the recent PDP governors strategic meeting at Uyo, Capital of Akwa Ibom state hosted by Emmanuel Udom, the state governor without any valuable reasons. He was said to have sent Mahdi Mohammed, the Deputy governor to represent him at the meeting. In spite of the fact that he did not attend the PDP gvernors strategic meeting, he did not show any remorse nor bothered to hear from hear from the Mohammed, the Deputy who was at the meeting, showing that he had lost interest in the party that brought him to prominence.
The Value News learnt the Leadership of the Opposition PDP and some governors , elected on the platform of the party , had confronted him repeatedly over his plans to decamp to the APC, but he had denied the allegations, assuring them that he is a card carrying member and Leader of the party in the north west state. Matawalle, may have given the PDP governors opportunity to doubt when the rumour that he had dumped the PDP, became rife as he refused to relate with them any longer on party matters.
It was therefore , not very surprising when he eventually decamped to theAPC on Sunday , June 26, 2021. Bashir Ahmad , the Personal Assistant, to the Nigerian President on Digital and New Media, may have exposed him that he has joined ruling APC in his Facebook Account in order to alert the Nigerian public and the PDP, Leadership that the Zamfara state governor is no longer a card carrying member of the party but now a member the APC and the party Leader in the state.
Many believe that Matawalle, the latest PDP governor to cross-carpet to the APC, ordinarily was not supposed to find himself in Zamfara Government House, Gusau. This may have informed why people described him as aback door governor who may likely bow to pressure to decamp to the APC. Note that he was elected on the Platform of the Opposition PDP, after a Supreme Court ruling which had nullified the victory of the APC Candidate in the 1019, governorship election of the state, due to an internal party crisis.
The governor who was said to have concluded plans to join the APC, on June 12, 2021 but had to make it open on June 26, 2021. He had boasted while joining the ruling party that Buhari is doing a good job at the Federal level. Nyensom Wike, the governor of oil Rivers state who was not bothered that Matalle had dumped the Opposition PDP, had said that ‘’the credibility and integrity of the Zanfara state governor is now at stake following his defection to the APC’’.
There are fears that governors Bala Mohammed, Bauchi, and and Abdullahi Sule, gov Nasarawa, state, w who were said to be currently discussing with the Governor Yahaya Contact and Mobilization Committee of the APC, as well as the party Caretaker Committee,leadership may likely follow the foot step of the three PDP governors that had joined the APC. A recent remarks by Sule, the Nasarawa state governor that the opposition PDP, ‘’has become weak’’, noting that the situation is getting worse with the xit for the three governors and more political heavy weights from the party decamping to the APC, speaks volume.
Hear him: We have been a very strong party in the past and we can be stronger by getting the right people to be at the Leadership position of the party’’, meaning that the Uche Secondus, the Chairman of the Party and his Executive Council members had failed to reposition the party on the part of becoming a strong party that could win the 2023 general elections.
Despite the impression being created by the three Opposition PDP , governors that had decamped to the APC, that the party is weak and unstable, Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesperson of the party had assured Nigerians who are looking forward to the party taking over the leadership of the country in 2023, that ‘’the party is stable and unwavering’’. Ologbondiyan, who could beat his chest that that the APC, does not have the experience of the PDP which was in power for 16 years had said that that the party have the established structures in the 36 states of the Federation and 774 Local government Areas, as well as over the 2,000 wards across the country, ,which the APC, would find difficult to match in 2023. ‘’PDP is very state’’, he insists.