The Leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been thrown into panic, reportedly, following an attempt by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to woo Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, and Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, to the ruling party.
The negotiations are being handled by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, who is also the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee, and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, allegedly.
An impeccable source within the APC, disclosed that Governor Ifeanyi Uguwanyi of Enugu State, was also being targeted by the APC, but declined their advances.
“Uguwanyi has been targeted, but he is proving stubborn. Our aim is to ensure that we have at least three South-East States out of the five, ahead of the 2023 elections. If we cannot get Ugwuanyi, we will ensure that we win the Anambra Governorship election, which comes up later in the year”, the source said.
It was learnt that Governor Matawalle had already been accepted by top All Progressives Congress Leaders in Zamfara State, like a former Governor of the State, Senator Ahmed Yerima, who had stated publicly that Governor Matawalle would defect.
Speaking, a PDP Chieftain said: “Matawalle became Governor through a Supreme Court ruling. Zamfara State is still very much APC, and Matawalle is seeking a second term in Office. He has been able to establish a good relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“He has also been at loggerheads with the Leadership of the PDP. In November 2020, Matawalle lashed out at the South-South Governors of the PDP, for generating bad blood in the party.
“He said he was disappointed with the South-South Governors for sparking the controversy over the Zamfara gold issue, and even said he was not surprised by the decision of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, to dump the PDP for the APC. He is therefore expected to join APC soon.”
It was learnt that Governor Bala Mohammed is also expected to join the APC soon, and has already begun taking pro-APC positions on several matters.
“Bala Mohammed is also seeking a second term. His recent statements on herdsmen, and his refusal to blame the Federal Government, are due to his relationship with the Presidency. We have made frantic efforts to keep him in the party, but it seems he may have made up his mind”, the PDP man said.
For Governor Ben Ayade, it was gathered that he has fallen out with his predecessor, Senator Liyel Imoke.
It was also learnt that Governor Ayade has lost control of the PDP structure in Cross River State.
Femi Fani-Kayode is also expected to leave the PDP soon, along with some Governors, before the registration exercise of the APC ends.
A former Governor said: “The recent membership drive is being championed by Governor Buni, Governor Yahaya Bello, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN. These are people who have the power to give you what the PDP cannot give.
“They have the President’s backing to make promises and keep them. They are not like Bola Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole, who were not empowered by the President.”