President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Bello Matawalle, Zamfara state governor, in the wake of his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Matawalle was earlier on Tuesday presented with the APC flag by Mai Mala Buni, governor of Yobe and chairman of the APC caretaker committee, at a rally organised for him in Gusau, the state capital.
Commenting on his move from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Buhari said the governor’s “voluntary decision” is “timely and wise”.
In a statement released by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, Buhari was quoted as saying the ruling party “is becoming more popular because of its impressive performance record and commitment to good governance”.
The president made the comment in a message delivered on his behalf by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), at the defection ceremony.
“I’m proud of your timely and wise decision to join the governing party and our doors are wide open to other politicians who believe in our vision to rebuild Nigeria,” he was quoted as saying.
“Your voluntary decision to join our party confirms the fact that our agenda for good governance is the only reason why Nigerians are getting attracted to the APC because the other alternative didn’t work.”
The president advised APC governors and elected lawmakers across the country “to continue to work harder to ensure our party maintains its popularity and retains power beyond 2023”.
He said their performance at all levels will “impact significantly on the fortunes of the party”, adding that “party leaders should avoid complacency at all times in order to build the APC from strength to strength”.