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FLASHBACK: How Shinkafi defected as Zamfara sitting gov then lost reelection like Matawalle

The more things change, the more they stay the same goes a popular proverb which rings true in the Nigerian political context, especially in Zamfara…

The more things change, the more they stay the same goes a popular proverb which rings true in the Nigerian political context, especially in Zamfara State where a sitting governor just lost his reelection bid.

With a total of 377,726 votes, Dauda Lawal Dare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeated incumbent Governor Bello Matawalle, who polled 311,976 votes. Of the 11 governors who sought to be reelected, Matawalle is the only one who did not scale through. The other person whose fate is yet to be sealed is Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa whose election did not end on first ballot. Unlike Matawalle, all hope is not yet lost for Fintiri.


Many factors have been adduced to Matawalle’s loss, among which is his defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The governor lost the 2019 election but came to power by virtue of the Supreme Court judgement which nullified the Zamfara APC Governorship primaries a week to the May 29, 2019 inauguration of a new government. He lost the election as a PDP contestant but became a major beneficiary of  the judgement against APC.

Zulum, Fintiri leading as Matawalle battles reelection survival

ANALYSIS: How Matawalle’s PDP ‘betrayal’ cost him second term



On May 29, 1999 former governor Ahmad Sani Yarima and his deputy at that time, Shinkafi, were sworn in as first executive civilian governor and deputy governor of Zamfara State. They were re-elected under the platform of the then All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2003.

At the expiration of their tenure in 2007, Yarima anointed Shinkafi as his successor and supported him strongly, as such, Shinkafi was able to defeat the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, a former governor of the old Sokoto State, Mallam Yahaya Abdulkarim. Yarima was the only governor who handed over power to his deputy in the country, a development that attracted praises from different political quarters.

Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima
Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima

But the duo fell apart and Shinkafi defected to the PDP alongside the party leaders of ANPP. The ANPP led by Ahmad Yarima braced up to wrest power from Shinkafi and in 2011, the then incumbent governor was defeated by the Yarima-anointed – Abdulaziz Yari.

Today, it’s Matawale, who knows what the future holds. The more things change, the more they stay the same. So true.

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