THE All Progressives Congress has opened talks with three Peoples Democratic Party governors with a view to winning them over, The PUNCH has learnt.
Our correspondent gathered in Abuja, on Monday, that the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee has begun talks with three PDP governors namely: Okezie Ikpeazu, his Enugu State counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi and Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri.
A top-ranking member of the party, who spoke in confidence for fear of retribution said, “The Zamfara State, Bello Mattawalle, is already in the kitty. We expect at least 18 of our governors to attend his home coming to Gusau tomorrow (Tuesday).
“After him, we are expecting Governor Ikpeazu to follow. Talks have reached an advanced stage. You know will be concluding his second term by 2023 and of course, he would want to remain politically relevant. Details of conditions are still being worked out by both parties.
“The other governors have sent emissaries and talks are progressing. Recall that we extended the membership registration/ revalidation exercise. We did this to accommodate some of these people.
“We expect that they and their supporters will take advantage of our ward, local government and state congresses to get a foothold in the party, the APC is a party for all Nigerians.”
In response, Spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, in an interview with one of our correspondents dismissed such talks.
He said, “It is unfortunate that we have a ruling party that has completely lost focus. The APC is one political party that came to power using propaganda and still thinks it can sustain itself using the same means.
“They wish to have all of our governors in their midst because they are not performing, but Nigerians know the difference and cannot longer be deceived.”
Attempts to get a reaction from the Abia State Government were futile. When contacted, the Abia State Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu, declined to comment. The governor’s Chief Press Secretary was also unreachable.
Recall that Okozie recently reiterated his resolve to remain with the PDP because according to him, it was the party that brought him to power.
Efforts to get Governor Ugwuanyi’s reaction were unsuccessful as he could not be reached for comment. His Media aides could not also be reached for reaction and their phones rang out.
Meanwhile, the PDP has cautioned the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mattawale, members of the State and National Assemblies against leaving the party.
This was contained in a statement titled, “Zamfara: PDP Cautions Matawalle, NASS, SHoA Members Against Defection,” which was signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, on Monday.
The party cautioned its legislators in the State and National Assemblies against taking actions that contravene constitutional provisions.
Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP categorically cautions Bello Matawalle to know that his plans amounts to a decision to vacate office as no law allows him to cross over to any other party with the governorship mandate statutorily given to the PDP through the ballot box, as already established by the provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the standing judgment of the Supreme Court.
“The PDP hopes that Bello Matawalle as well as members of the National and State Assembly from Zamfara state will take caution.
The party also announced the dissolution of the State Executive of the party. The decision is in line with the provision of Section 29 (2)(b) of the PDP Constitution 2017 (as amended).