Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has commended his Ebonyi counterpart, Gov. David Umahi, for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The commendation was contained in a press release signed by Zailani Bappa, the Special Adviser to Gov. Matawalle on Media, and made available to journalists on Friday in Gusau.
Matawalle, who also belongs to the PDP, said he would “rather commend Umahi for his bold decision rather than condemn him because everyone feels welcome only in a house where he feels comfortable’’.
He said he had a very bad experience recently from some of his PDP governor-colleagues which, according to him, he found “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”, Matawalle was quoted as saying in the presser.
The governor said that curiously it was the APC-led Federal Government that came out to defend him in the saga, noting “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 commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being supportive of Zamfara effort at organising the economic sector to avoid using the mineral deposits to promote insecurity in the state.
“If this trend of generating bad blood among us continues unabated, our great party (PDP) will increasingly be on the receiving end as we move towards the year 2023″, Matawalle observed.
The governor pointed out that the Federal Government was currently issuing licences to deserving companies to operate in the mining sector in Zamfara and that the biggest company with a multi-billion naira investment was owned by a Nigerian from Anambra.
“I wonder where the idea of Zamfara State owning the gold mines emanated from.
“As at now, the state government does not have a hand in any of the mining activities in the state because the constitution does not empower us to do so,” Matawalle said.