It is no longer a secret that former Governor of Zamfara State Ahmed Sani Yerima is frantically going helter-skelter planning how to convince Governor Muhammadu Bello Matawalle into defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Matawalle was sworn in as governor of Zamfara state after a controversial supreme court verdict that invalidated the candidature of the 34 APC candidates who won the general elections in the state.
The real intendments of Yerima, who ruled Zamfara state for eight years (1999 to 2007), and then went to the senate for another 12 years (2007 to 2019) before his unceremonious retirement from the corridors of power, is not clear.
While his intentions are not yet glaring, revisiting his antecedents will provide the requisite aperture through which his #DragMatawalleToAPC project will be properly deciphered.
One thing that is incontrovertible is: Yerima is bent in destroying APC in Zamfara state. His pre and post – 2019 elections activities speak volumes of his loath of the party.
It was an open secret that on the eve of 2019 primaries, he deployed his treacherous tentacles by coercing the conflicting parties in the APC not to allow primaries to hold so as to discredit the victory of the party and finally destroy it.
He went further by hobnobbing with the rebellious elements in the APC, popularly called the G-8, almost making the group metamorphosing to G-9.
He privately met with Dauda Lawal Dare, Kabiru Marafa, Ibrahim Wakkala, Mansur Dan Ali, and Aminu Jaji. His consistent message to these people was that they should not allow primary elections to hold. While he is hobnobbing with these elements, at the same time the former governor was in bed with the then state Governor Abdulaziz Yari’s group, proffering all manner of solutions to the impending crisis.
He undermined the APC by working round the clock until the disaffection was so cancerous and culminated into the usurpation of the Zamfara people’s mandate through the instrumentality of court by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He continued his sabotaging projects by trying to influence the outcome of the elections petition tribunal of Zamfara state at the behest of the PDP- led state government where three senators, four House of Representatives members, and 14 state assembly members who were returned unopposed at the primaries, took their case seeking validation of their elections.
After court verdicts, Yerima went back to the drawing board, trying to break the ranks of the distraught APC family in Zamfara state.
Is it not therefore an onslaught on the aggrieved APC family in Zamfara that Yerima is inviting Governor Matawalle into their fold? Is he not aware that some of the elected APC members still have their cases- seeking for review of the judgment- at the Supreme Court? What does he want them to do? Does he want them to abandon their legally acquired mandate they earnestly and painstakingly worked for?
It is clear that his over 20 years experience in Zamfara politics doesn’t help his understanding of the state political ecosystem. If it does at all, he wouldn’t have contemplated cross carpeting Matawalle into the APC. He has forgotten that being a serving governor in Zamfara doesn’t amount to victory. That is to say, you don’t need to be governor to win elections in the state. Yerima has forgotten how he was massively elected as governor in 1999 from nowhere. Governor Yari also got a landslide victory and displaced a sitting governor in 2011.
Another likely reason why Yerima is desperately trying to win over Governor Matawalle to APC is simply for pecuniary reasons. Yerima needs a governor that will bankroll his marabouts- induced presidential project in 2023, thus Governor Matawalle becomes handy.
In another bizarre development, the former governor is said to be working with the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole on the #DragMatawalleToAPC project. This is purposely to despise former Governor Yari who is being promoted by the party national stakeholders as Oshiomhole’s replacement.
Finally, it is abundantly clear that dragging Matawalle to APC is a lethal gamble that won’t work. Matawalle is the same governor that can’t even manage the small PDP family in Zamfara state. What will he therefore do in APC? Certainly to destroy it. That won’t happen.
*Mr Ibrahim wrote from Gusau, Zamfara state