A former Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, and Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa are in a tight corner as top shots of the All Progressives Congress (APC), including three governors, have moved in to stop them from dumping the party.
On April 17, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State, Colonel Bala Mande (Rtd), in Gusau, announced that Yari and Marafa had joined the PDP.
Daily Trust reports that since June last year when Governor Bello Matawalle joined the APC, the party’s crisis in the state worsened following the inability of its leaders to agree on the “sharing formula” of the party and other positions. The national headquarters of the party also dissolved the State Working Committee (SWC).
When a new SWC was constituted, members of the camp of Yari and Marafa were edged out, thus the crisis ballooned.
Party chieftains told one of our correspondents that since then the camp of Yari and Marafa began moves to dump the party.
A leader of the camp said, “The arrangement to leave the party commenced months ago, but Yari’s ambition to become the National Chairman of the APC stalled it. When he was unable to get it, with all zeal we commenced the new moves to dump the party.”
He further said the announcement made by Col Mande was after series of meetings involving all the camps.
He, however, said the announcement opened a new chapter of negotiations as leaders of the APC, including three governors: Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Nasiru el-Rufai (Kaduna) and Mohammad Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), waded into the matter.
He added that, “It has been from one meeting to the other. Aside from Fayemi, El-Rufai and Badaru, the SGF, Boss Mustapha, and other leaders have been meeting with us on the matter.”
It was further gathered that the intervention of the APC leaders slowed down the pace of the completion of the defection processes.
The source said, “This is what is delaying us. We are neither in APC nor in PDP now.”
But another source said that the Yari and Marafa camps were likely to break up again.
The source further said, “From all indications, Yari will stay back in APC because of his business and legal issues. Marafa on his part will join another party where he would contest for the governorship of the state.”
Marafa had faulted the announcement that they had joined the PDP, saying, “It is not true that I have defected to the PDP. Three political parties, PDP, NNPP and AP, have approached us. We are weighing options.”
However, when contacted, the spokesperson of Yari’s faction, Alhaji Ibrahim Birnin Magaji, said they would make a formal declaration on their defection to PDP soon.
Magaji said, “Why are you in a hurry? We will invite you when the time comes and you will get to know all the issues concerning our defection.”