Deputy governor of Zamfara Muhammad Gusau has insisted he will remain with his People’s Democratic Party, hours after the governor Bello Matawalle decamped to All Progressives Congress.
All of Zamfara’s three senators, six House representatives and 24 state lawmakers joined the defection to APC, leaving the deputy standing alone.
“I will continue to stand by our party and the people who stood by us in our time of need,” he told a press briefing after Matawalle’s defection.
“I accept the consequences of my decision in good faith.”
He said he took the decision to stick with the PDP after “deep” consultation with his friends, family and the party.
His decision to remain puts him at the helms of the biggest opposition party in Zamfara.
Gusau said he was never consulted by Matawalle or any representative in the runup to the governor’s defection—and was not aware of any “planned defection”.
He admitted hearing rumours of the defection but only confirmed it when the defection materialised on Tuesday.
He noted decision to leave him out was “deliberate and another ploy to sow discontent” in his relationship with the governor.
Gusau called Matawalle’s defection a “bold move” that gives opportunity to “apportion more energy in addressing the myriad challenges faced by our people.”
“A lot can be achieved with this renewed vigour and focus,” Gusau added.
Tuesday’s defection is seen as a major loss for the party in Zamfara.
The state came under PDP Control after the Supreme Court nullified all the votes cast for APC in the 2019 elections.
The apex court had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the party with the second-highest vote in the elections as the winner.
The landmark judgment was delivered a few days to the May 29 inauguration day.
However, the APC bounced back on Tuesday with the defection of Matawalle, all the three senators from the state, six house of reps members and 24 state assembly members.