Mattawale flays South-South governors…

Mattawale flays South-South governors

Backs Umahi’s defection to APC

By Dirisu Yakubu

The much-touted imminent defection of governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, may see the light of the day in the months ahead if comments credited to Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state are anything to go by.

From all indications, Matawalle is bitter with happenings in the ranks of his party, particularly governors from the South-South geo-political zone, whom he accused of portraying him in a bad light in the media recently.

This is even as the governor commended his Ebonyi State counterpart, Dave Umahi for recently quitting the PDP to team up with the APC.

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In a statement issued on Friday by Zailani Bappa, spokesperson to Matawalle, the governor was quoted as saying: “I am having a very bad experience of recent from some of my PDP governor colleagues which I still find very puzzling. For instance, the South-South governors accusing me in the media are PDP governors and they are the same people who brewed controversy over the so-called Zamfara Gold, premised on deliberate misinformation and outright lies.

He attributed Umahi’s defection to “bad blood in the present Peoples Democratic Party.” Mr. Matawalle said he would rather commend Mr. Umahi for “his bold decision rather than condemn him because everyone feels welcome only in a house where he feels comfortable”.

“If this trend of generating bad blood amongst us continues unabated, our great party will increasingly be on the receiving end as we move towards the year 2023,” he added.

The statement further read: “Surprisingly, it is the APC federal government which has all the correct records on the gold mining issue that came out to defend me in this saga. As PDP colleagues, I expected the governors to contact me first and find out my own side of the story before unleashing their venom in the media”, he said.

“As the brouhaha lasted, I commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari for being supportive of our efforts to organize the economic sector in the state to avoid using the mineral deposits to promote insecurity in our dear state.

“Today, the federal government is issuing licenses to deserving companies to operate in the mining sector in the state. The biggest company with an investment of billions of naira is owned by a Nigerian from Anambra state. And I wonder where the idea of Zamfara state owning the gold mines emanated from. As of now, the state government does not have a hand in any of the mining activity in the state because the constitution does not empower us to do so.

“I call on the South-South governors to eschew intellectual idleness and support its people to operate modular refineries as provided by the law and lift their people out of fear rather than sit behind and start chasing shadows rather than substance,” he added.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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