REWIND: 14 years ago, PDP controlled 31 states in Nigeria

On Tuesday, Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state, formally joined the All Progressives Congress (APC). Matawalle was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the 2019 general poll.

The in-fighting within the APC in Zamfara paved the way for the emergence of Matawalle after the supreme court cancelled the votes garnered by the APC.

The apex court held that the APC did not hold congresses and could not have presented candidates for the election.

The in-fighting was between a faction led by Kabir Marafa, a former senator, and that of Abdulaziz Yari, former Zamfara governor.

Matawalle’s cross-carpeting on Tuesday came after David Umahi, Ebonyi governor, and Ben Ayade, Cross River governor, had defected to the ruling party.

There are also indications that a PDP governor in the south-east is making plans to dump the party for the APC.

If that comes to fruition, it will be another heavy blow dealt to the plans of the PDP ahead of the 2023 elections.

But the recent spate of defections was not always prevalent in the former ruling party.

In 2007, the PDP held sway across the country and prided itself as the “largest party in Africa”. It also boasted that it would rule the country for 60 years.

As of May 30, 2007, the PDP had 31 states under its control. They were Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara.

While the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) had Yobe, Kano, Bauchi, and Borno states, the defunct Action Congress (AC) had Lagos.

A court later sacked Andy Uba of the PDP as Anambra governor, and this paved the way for the emergence of Peter Obi who was in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) at the time.

Going by the recent defections, the APC now controls the majority of states in the country.

The ruling party has 22 states, the PDP has 13 while APGA has one.

At present count, the 13 states under the control of the major opposition party are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto and Taraba.

The APC, on the other hand, controls Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, Yobe and Zamfara.

The Anambra governorship poll scheduled to take place in November will determine if the PDP will be able to recover its losses by taking the state from APGA.


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