A former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmed Yerima, has acknowledged Governor Bello Matawalle as the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
In an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Friday, Yerima asked all members of the APC in the state to respect the decision of the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, Mai Mala Buni.
The former governor called his successor, Abdulaziz Yari, and former Senator Kabiru Marafa to follow Matawalle’s directives and accept his leadership.
He said, “For every member of the APC in Zamfara now, whether he says it or not, the Constitution gives Bello Matawale the leadership of the APC.
“Because of that, all of us are under the leadership of the present governor of Zamfara State.
“In the constitution of the APC in Nigeria, the leader of the party in Nigeria today is President Muhammadu Buhari. In every state, the leader of the party is the governor of that state.
“That is why the National Caretaker Committee Chairman, when he went to Zamfara State, said from that day, the state executive of the party was dissolved and the leadership of the party had been bestowed on the Governor Bello Matawalle.
“Recall, even the former governor, Abdelaziz Yari, in one of the interviews he granted said if the party had the governor, the governor was the leader but since there was no governor at the time and he was the immediate past governor, he was the party leader.
“Since we now have a governor, what he told the BBC has come true. Even among family members, there are instances where there will be disagreements between an elder brother and I younger one. That’s how politics is.
“As the Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai said, this is not the end of the matter. There will still be discussions on how a new caretaker leadership will emerge because permanent leadership will be decided after the national body comes out with the guidelines for elections.
“Whoever God gives will be elected. What will I do with the leadership of the APC in Zamfara? I’m like a father to all of them. When I was governor, both Yari and Matawale served under my government.”
Giving a historical background to the crisis in the state chapter of the party, Yerima traced it to Yari’s decision to hand-pick candidates for the party ahead of the 2019 elections.
He said, “The former governor picked candidates before the elections. President Muhammadu Buhari sent me to Yari to inform him that he wasn’t in support of his decision. I went to Yari to deliver Buhari’s message.
“In response, Yari said it was a matter between him and the former national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. When the President visited the Zamfara Government House, he repeated the message he sent me to Yari and said he would not support any of the candidates.”
This article was originally published on Nigeria News