Let Zamfara Gov Be, PDP Colleagues Tell APC

I won’t leave opposition party, says Matawalle

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Six governors under the auspices of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF) led by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, yesterday urged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to steer clear of Zamfara State.

This is coming as the Zamfara State governor, Mr. Bello Matawalle has debunked insinuation that he was planning to leave the main opposition party.

Tambuwal who led the PDP governors of Rivers, Taraba, Bauchi, Adamawa and Oyo states to commiserate with the government and people of Zamfara State over a recent fire incident in the state, appealed to leaders in the country not to take advantage of misfortune to play politics.

Announcing the donation of N100 million to the victims of the Tudun Wada market inferno in Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State, Tambuwal asked: “Where were some of these visitors when all that has been happening to the people of Zamfara?”

According to statement by Muhammad Bello, Special Adviser Media and Publicity to Tambuwal, the Sokoto State governor noted that: “No life was lost during the inferno. How many lives were lost from the time when APC was in charge of this Government House till now? How many of them came here to commiserate with my people of Zamfara State even those of us who are neighbours?”

He decried the poverty level and the bogus fight against corruption by “the APC government of the federal government,” and regretted that “we are busy playing politics.”

“That is wrong. We must not take advantage of misfortunes to come and play politics,” he stated, emphasising that: “We the governors’ of PDP; this is our home. We are not visitors. No visitor can come and supplant us here. We have come home and I will take off my mask so that you can see me well, not as visitors but owners of this home, to commiserate with our own people that have been affected by this inferno.”

“I pity any leader who seeks to take advantage of his people’s misfortune to play politics. We as leaders must always remain as leaders and provide leadership. And, know where, when and how to play politics.

“So, I appeal that as leaders we must demarcate between politics and leadership; and when it is time for us to come together, to work together, irrespective of party, to save our people from the excruciating level of insecurity, particularly in Zamfara State; and even in Katsina State,” he noted.

He called on “the people of Zamfara State to know who their friends are.

“You should know who your brothers and friends are. And, we are here as your friends and brothers. We are here as your genuine friends to commiserate with you and tell you; and we are telling our brother that come rain, come shine, we will not tolerate any intimidation,” he affirmed

“You know me. Can I be intimidated? Not by any federal might. And, you know it, because we believe in God. No fly zone. Fly in, fly out will not take power,” he further affirmed.

Meanwhile, Matawalle has denied making arrangement to quit the PDP for the APC.

A statement issued yesterday in Gusau, the state capital, by the Director-General, Media and Public Enlightenment Affairs, Government House, Mr. Yusuf Idris Gusau, said Matawalle described the people disseminating “the unfounded and baseless information as power-drunk politicians looking for cheap publicity.”

“I have not in any way discussed the issue of defecting to APC with any politician either in the state or elsewhere. My main priority now is to restore peace in the state, which disappeared during APC tenure,’’ said the statement

According to the statement, “after all, the terror attacks and banditry came into existence in the state during the unfortunate tenure of APC. Even with the rate of banditry, which my administration inherited from the APC, no reasonable person can agree to defect to the party.”