Following the defection of Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has begun the legal procedure to transfer the party’s mandate in Zamfara State to Deputy Governor Mahdi Aliyu Gusau.
The PDP, in a statement published on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, criticised the police’s alleged attempt to undermine the Deputy Governor’s statutory powers in light of Governor Bello Matawalle’s choice to resign and join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Part of the statement reads: “The PDP’s position is based on reports of police harassment of the Deputy Governor, including the unlawful and vexatious obstruction of a planned rally by the Deputy Governor, despite the statutory powers vested in a situation where the governor has vacated his office, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s current ruling.
“Instead of harassing Deputy Governor Gusau, the police should be providing him with the necessary security and privileges as agents of the law, especially because the formal process for his official declaration following Matawalle’s vacation of office has already begun at the Federal High Court.
“Given Matawalle’s willful defection to the APC, the Police should be aware that the Zamfara governorship mandate belongs to the PDP under section 221 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Supreme Court’s judgment in Falake v. INEC (2016), and that Gusau, not Matawalle, is now the holder of that mandate.
“The PDP’s mandate is not transferable to the APC, and this should be followed by the police and all security agencies.
“The PDP also warns banks and other financial institutions to be mindful of unapproved financial transactions with Governor Matawalle’s allies, particularly in light of reported plans to clean out the state’s coffers ahead of Matawalle’s court-ordered removal.
“Such organizations should use extreme caution when dealing with impostors who no longer represent the state, as Matawalle did when he switched to the APC. The PDP urges Deputy Governor Mahdi Aliyu Gusau to remain steadfast and unfazed, noting that the people of Zamfara state are fully behind him in his fight against imposters and deserters.
“The party also calls on the people of Zamfara state to remain together, saying that the mandate they freely gave to the PDP will never be taken away by traitors.