Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is becoming hostile for its members, lamenting over his recent experience with his governor colleagues from the South-South region of the country.
Mr Matawalle, who made the lamentation in a statement on Friday by his media aide, Zailani Bappa, commended Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State “for his bold decision” to leave the party.
According to the governor, the extent of bad blood in the PDP is partly responsible for Mr Umahi’s defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, saying “everyone feels welcome only in a house where he feels comfortable”.
Speaking further, Mr Matawalle said: “I am having a very bad experience of recent from some of my PDP governor colleagues which I still find very puzzling.
“They are also the same people who brewed controversy over the so-called Zamfara gold, [which was] premised on deliberate misinformation and outright lies.
“Surprisingly, it is the APC Federal Government which has all the correct records on the gold mining issue that came out to defend me in this saga.
“As PDP colleagues, I expected the governors to contact me first and find out my own side of the story before unleashing their venom in the media,” Mr Matawalle posited.
“As the brouhaha lasted, I commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being supportive of our efforts to organise the economic sector in the state to avoid using the mineral deposits to promote insecurity in our dear state”
“Today, the Federal Government is issuing licences to deserving companies to operate in the mining sector in the state. The biggest company with an investment of billions of naira is owned by a Nigerian from Anambra state.
“And I wonder where the idea of Zamfara state owning the gold mines emanated from. As at now, the state Government does not have a hand in any of the mining activity in the state because the constitution does not empower us to do so,” Mr Matawalle noted.
The governor, therefore, called on the South-South governors “to eschew intellectual idleness and support its people to operate modular refineries as provided by the law and lift their people out of fear rather than sit behind and start chasing shadows rather than substance.”