The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reportedly wooed three governors of the People Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2023 general elections.
According to the PUNCH, the ruling party has initiated moves to lure Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle; Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed and his Cross River State counterpart, Ben Ayade, into the APC.
It was gathered the APC also reached out to Governor Ifeanyi Uguwanyi of Enugu State, but rejected their advances due to his loyalty to the PDP.
A source to the newspaper that the party’s aim is to ensure that APC has at least three South-East states out of the five ahead of the 2023 elections.
He said If the APC cannot get Ugwuanyi, the party will ensure that we win the Anambra governorship election which comes up later in the year.
According to the source, the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State led the negotiations with the three PDP governors.
A chieftain of the PDP said Governor Matawalle had already been accepted by top APC leaders in Zamfara State like a former governor of the state, Senator Ahmed Yerima.
He added that Matawalle is seeking a second term in office and has to get the support of APC leaders in Zamfara to do that.
The source said the Zamfara governor has also been at loggerheads with the South-South governors for sparking the controversy over the Zamfara gold issue in November 2020.
He asserted that that Governor Mohammed was also expected to join the APC soon and had already begun taking talks with Buni and Bello.
The source said that Mohammed is also seeking a second term and his recent statements on herdsmen and his refusal to blame the Federal Government are due to his relationship with the Presidency.
The PDP stalwart disclosed that Governor Ayade was ready to leave the PDP for the APC after falling out with his predecessor, Senator Liyel Imoke.
He noted the reason for the planned defection of Ayade was because the governor had lost control of the PDP structure in the state.
Speaking further, the PDP chieftain said former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode is also expected to dump the PDP for the APC before the registration exercise of the APC ends.