ZAMFARA— More than 12,562 members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Zamfara, including former commissioners and local councils officials, on Thursday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The defectors were formally received into the PDP fold by Gov. Bello Matawalle in Gusau.

Among those who defected from the APC were three former commissioners, Alhaji Idris Keta, Alhaji Abdulkadir Ahmed and Alhaji Aliyu Tsafe along with their loyalists and supporters.

Others were two former local government council chairmen, Alhaji Musa Tsafe and Alhaji Ahmed Kantoma, as well as two former Directors-General, Alhaji Bashir Kwaren Ganuwa and Alhaji Saminu Lawali.

All the defectors are from Tsafe Local Government Area of the state.

In their separate speeches, Alhaji Idris Keta and Alhaji Habibu Alo said they were drawn to the PDP because of the peace being enjoyed by their communities under the present leadership of Governor Matawalle.

They added that by addressing the security challenges facing the state within a short period, the governor has earned their trust and would support him to further ensure sustainable peace in the state.

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Responding, Matawalle commended the defectors for the “wise decision” to join the PDP and assured that they would receive equal treatment as any other party member.

The governor reiterated his government’s determination to improve the living standards of the people including those affected by banditry.

He said that the government would roll out a social intervention programme to cater for the wellbeing of those displaced by banditry in the state.

He added that the resettlement process of all the IDPs in the state had reached advance stage with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Matawalle assured that the government would not rest until all displaced people were resettled and repentant bandits reintegrated into the society.

Earlier, the state PDP Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Mallaha said the party would continue to unite its members for the good of the state.

He assured the newly registered party members that they were entitled to all rights and privileges as provided in the party’s constitution.

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