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April 11, 2021

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Three state governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Monday, visited Zamfara State to sympathise with Governor Bello Matawalle over a fire disaster last month at the Tudun Wada Market in Gusau, the state capital.

The visit, during which the governors announced a donation of N50 million to the victims of the disaster, comes amidst continued speculations that Mr Matawalle plans to move from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.

His media aide, Yusuf Idris, said the governors visited as a delegation of the Progressives Governors’ Forum and were led by the forum’s chairman, Abubakar Bagudu, who is the governor of Kebbi State.

Mr Idris said other members of the delegation were Governor of Yobe, Mai-Mala Buni, who is the acting national chairman of the APC and head of its Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee; and Governor Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa State.

However, sources close to Mr Matawalle said his defection was not discussed at his meeting with the APC governors.

Though the sources also dismissed the speculation as idle gossip on social media, the Zamfara governor did not appear to want to quell it when he praised the APC delegation for visiting Zamfara when his own PDP colleagues have not.

“The leader of the delegation, Mr Bagudu said it was in the state to commiserate with the government and people of the state,” Mr Matawalle’s spokesperson said in his statement on the event.

“The governors said because the sad incident at Tudun Wada Gusau Market affected the livelihood of the victims and business activities in the state, they found it necessary to show their concern and sympathy to the victims.

“The team was also in Katsina State where a similar sad incident happened and prayed Allah SWT to recompense the victims with more wealth,” Mr Idris said .

He said the APC governors commended the efforts of Governor Matawalle in ensuring the return of peace in the state and offered support and solidarity through a donation of N50 million to the victims, calling on the general public to be more careful in order to prevent a recurrence.

“Responding, Mr Matawalle commended the three governors for travelling by road to express their brotherliness and love across party lines.

“He particularly appreciated the gesture, which he noted his colleagues from the PDP have not done, assuring that it will be reciprocated.”

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The governor urged the delegation to “extend our appreciation to our President Muhammadu Buhari,” Mr Idris said.

Ganduje decries division in APC

In a related development in Kano, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Monday said the APC is yet to unite its members since the merger of parties that led to the formation of the party.

Mr Ganduje made the remark at a town hall meeting organised by the party’s constitutional review committee for the northwest zone. Mr Ganduje hosted the meeting at Government House, Kano.

The APC was formed in 2013 through the merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). A faction of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also joined the party ahead of the 2015 general elections..

According to Mr Ganduje, “the party started as a mixture of the various political parties trying to make a compound of its own. However, eight years after, the APC is still a mixture, it has not graduated to the next level to become a compound.

“A mixture is something you can easily separate while a compound is difficult to separate, it remains the same and solid,” Mr Ganduje said to illustrate his statement.

He said the party should seize the opportunity of the review of its constitution to proscribe the internal appendages that came together to form the party so as to form a united and solid APC.

He described the Northwest zone as a stronghold of the APC and the country’s most populous zone, saying it must be reckoned with by anyone who wants to become the president of Nigeria.

“The party made mistakes and lost and gained some governors. It is time to look back and reassess the situation through the review of its constitution,” Mr Ganduje said

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