Updated: February 26, 2021
The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said on Thursday his supporters are asking him to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress for the People’s Democratic Party.
“Hundreds of supporters of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, from Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal constituency of Bauchi State have presented Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nomination and expression of interest forms to the Speaker, urging him to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),” the Speaker’s spokesman Turaki Hassan said in a statement to Today News Africa in Washington DC
[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]
Hassan said about 1000 people on Thursday “thronged his Abuja residence, saying they decided to present the PDP forms for the Speaker as a result of high level injustice meted on them by the APC”.
Hon. Mohammed Aminu Tukur, Alhaji Adamu Jambil and Mrs. Amina Saleh, who led the delegation and spoke on behalf of the of the constituents, said their new political platform is Dogara Peoples Party as they will follow him wherever he goes.
“The day Buhari joined partisan politics in 2002, I was the only person from Bauchi that travelled and I have been with him since then. Mr Speaker, I swear to almighty God that He spared my life. I and our people will vote for you and we urge you to heed to our cries and accept this form. We pray that God returns you to your seat. APC is not a religion as it is neither Islam nor Christianity,” Aminu Tukur said.
For his part, Alhaji Adamu Jambil, who is a former deputy chairman of Tafawa Balewa local government, said, “The people have sent us to you with these forms. Bauchi State today is retrogressing. They have not constructed 30 kilometres of roads but they are busy lying that they have done 500 kilometres.
“Our people have sent us to tell you that they will not allow anybody to humiliate you. They love you and will not allow APC to embarrass you and turn around to you beg you to remain in their party. They said we should tell you that as their son, they are not giving you any option but directing you to accept these forms and leave the APC. They said time has gone so they will not give you any option and if you refuse to listen to them, they will desert you. But we know you are an obedient child and you will listen to your parents. Whether you like it or not, you must leave the APC. This is the message from our people to you.We have seen all the good works you are doing and they have sent us to tell you that they will not allow you to rest.”
Mrs. Amina Saleh, from Dass local government, said women in the constituency have sent her to inform the Speaker that they will be with him: come rain, come shine.
She said, “You told us to join APC and we did. We worked for the party but they have betrayed us and that is why we said instead of building another house, it is better we return to our former home where we are more welcome. They are already celebrating that we are here to present these forms to you. Please our leader, we appeal to you to accept it and wipe away our tears.”
It can be recalled that the APC in Bauchi State has been engulfed in a crisis arising from failed party congresses which has led to thousands of defections and resignations of many of its chieftains and supporters.
There are also two litigations against the party instituted by aggrieved party members; one by the former adviser to the governor, Alhaji Sanin Malam and another by a group of parliamentarians and other stakeholders of the party, including Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar and Dr. Yakubu Lame, among others.
Commenting, Hon Ahmed Yerima, Sarkin Malaman Misau, member representing Misau/Danbam Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, said, “The party has failed to honour its commitments to hold direct primaries which contradicts its earlier promise of using it to resolve internal discontentment. APC had drifted faraway from its original concept of internal democracy, rather, it has now been strangulated. On a long-term, these disenchantments will lead to a disintegration of any political institution that allows imposition, money and incumbency to hijack it”.
Responding, the Speaker told the mammoth crowd that, “I have listened to you and I want to say that I am not a novice in politics. So even if they do not regard us, they should know that we are in full control of our five senses. We know what looks like justice and what is not justice, we also know if you want to humiliate or honour us.
“We built the APC in Bauchi and with time left the PDP and entered the APC. I was the first and only lawmaker from Bauchi State that left the APC then and we knew why we left. We also know what we promised the people of Bauchi State then.
“But I must thank you all. This is not the first time we would face these of kind of threats and betrayal. Our only fault is that we have chosen not to side with injustice or wrong. We always voice out when we see that we are beginning to derail from our election promises to the people and that is why some people said they will retire us from politics and have even started celebrating that they have buried us politically. But throughout all this, I remained unperturbed because I knew that we had our people with us.”