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Dogara ‘thinking twice’ on defection

Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara is having a second thought over his planned defection from the All Progressives Congresses (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), sources told Daily Trust yesterday.

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Dogara was rumoured to be planning to defect to the PDP alongside Senate President Bukola Saraki and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

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While Saraki and Tambuwal have joined the PDP, Dogara remains in the APC, with some saying “he is in a fix” over the issue.

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The speaker has been at loggerheads with the Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, and there have been fears that he may be denied the APC return ticket.

A source said several close allies to the speaker advised him against following Saraki and Tambuwal to the PDP because the duo did it for their personal ambitions and political fight.

“It’s all about the theory of self-preservation. Dogara had wanted to go, but as it is now, he is back-tracking. Yes, his political mentor has defected, but he was told that it will be difficult for Tambuwal to become president.

“Dogara himself knows that he can get the ticket to return to the House, but even if he returns, he should drop his speakership ambition for the second time. We just want him to finish his tenure peacefully,” the source, an ally of the speaker, said.

Another lawmaker said, “He’s thinking twice, seriously because the game is changing by the day. Just a while ago, somebody, a prominent PDP member in the House, said we shouldn’t be surprised if we see them coming to APC. He may not have decided finally, but I can assure you he’s having a second thought.”

A third lawmaker said, “Some of us told him that this fight isn’t for him, it is a fight for Saraki and he shouldn’t involve himself too much in it. We told him that Saraki was governor of Kwara State for eight years and even served as the chairman of governors’ forum.

“He is now Senate President and he wants to be president in future. We said Saraki has seen it all. Dogara shouldn’t allow himself to be dragged into anybody’s fight. So, he should just focus on himself as Dogara and forget about Saraki.

“We said if he insists on following them, this government will fight him. Of course, unlike Saraki, he cannot withstand the pressure. In fact, after this government wins election, they’ll still come after him.

“We said let everybody answer his name. So it seems he has back tracked. One thing is for sure: that Dogara cannot work with the Bauchi governor.” 

But a lawmaker told our correspondent that Dogara was just buying time as his body and everything are with the PDP, saying “even the local politics in Bauchi is against him, so in the long run he’ll follow them.

“Saraki and Tambuwal played prominent role in his emergence as speaker, so he’s going to follow them. All of us know that Dogara is going, but he’s just buying time. Maybe he wants to do what Tambuwal did when he (Tambuwal) defected to the APC at the dying minute.”

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