I’m not aware Dogara has left APC— Bauchi gov
By Dirisu Yakubu & Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA— Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, boasted that nobody could retire him from partisan politics.
Dogara, who made the remark at an occasion to mark his formal return to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also submitted the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms to contest the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State.
He said he took the difficult decision to return to PDP because the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, failed to fulfil the promises it made to Nigerians in the preparation for the 2015 elections.
Accompanied to the party’s national secretariat by 20 chairmen in the 20 local government councils in the state; former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed; ex-Senate Deputy Leader, Abdul Ningi and scores of others, Dogara pledged his readiness to work for the salvation of not only Bauchi State but also Nigeria.
He lauded some good people in the APC, adding, however, that the party was also home to “some ravenous people with a wayward sense of entitlement.”
According to him, “when it serves their interest, they praise the party; when it does not, they castigate the party, including the leadership.”
The speaker came short of accusing the ruling party of plot to make him deny the objective reality, saying: “ I will rather be hated for who I am than to be loved for whom I am not.”
He said: “Nobody can retire me from politics. Nationally, we all know what is happening. I will speak of that maybe on another occasion because I must tell you that I am still shocked.
“So, when I recover from my shock, I will now tell my story in a way that is devoid of sentiments so that people can clearly understand the reason I am taking the decision that leads me to the PDP today. And I will certainly do that.
“Permit me to say that for some of us who are here, who are wondering because it has been said that I cannot move from where I was to perhaps any other political party. That discussion has been ongoing and so, today’s event marks the end of all speculation.
On why he chose to return to PDP, Dogara said: “I have decided to come back to my original root because the truth is that when we went into APC after the general elections, there was never an occasion in which we were not reminded that we did not belong.
“When there are discussions, you will hear reference to the fact that those who joined us from the PDP are our problems. So, that discussion will end from today since we have left. So, I have decided to join my brothers – members of this great party, the PDP – so that we can chart a new frontier in our state of Bauchi and for our dear nation, Nigeria.
“I am here not because they have denied me ticket to contest in APC. And I am not bothered about contesting election; what bothers me is the state of my state.
‘’So, even if you give me a ticket to work in a situation where my conscience is totally not aligned with, to be candid, I cannot function effectively.”
I’m not aware Dogara has left APC— Bauchi gov
Reacting to Dogara’s defection yesterday, Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar said he was not aware that the federal lawmaker had left the APC.
He boasted that the speaker’s exit would not have any negative effect on the electoral chances of the party in Bauchi State.
The governor said: “Well, I do not know whether he has defected. Has he?”
APC Reps consulting
Meanwhile, APC members in the House of Representatives have commenced consultations among themselves and with national leadership of the party on their reaction to the defection.
The members who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, said there would be no reaction on the issue until the House resumes in the next few weeks.
Dogara’s defection would be the second time in as many legislative sessions that a presiding officer of the legislature would defect.
A source privy to this development said: “We’ll only react on the floor of the House as we are consulting with all our members on the next line of action to take on this issue.”
“We have sent messages to all our core members and we are going to meet with the APC leadership at the national level before declaring our common position.”
Asked for his reaction to the development, he said: ‘’Well, I do not know but I learned some people presented him with a form, PDP form. But we haven’t heard any specific statement from him that he has defected. So, I am waiting for that.
“The speaker represents a constituency that has a total of 70,000 registered voters. In 2015, I won election with a margin of 393,000. So, that answers your question.’’