The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday reacted to news making the rounds that Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara defected to the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday.
The party insisted that the top lawmaker has no political value to be considered a loss.
“We have read reports that he has picked up PDP nomination form,” APC spokesperson Yekini Nabena said in a reaction to the defection. “It is not a surprise to us, we already know that he has been working with the PDP.”
However, despite picking the nomination form, Dogara is yet to formally announce his resignation from the APC or defection to the PDP.
Dogara has long been expected to leave the APC like scores of federal lawmakers who were locked in bitter and prolonged political rivalry with their governors across the country. More than 50 senators and representatives defected to opposition parties at the height of the wave in July, an exercise that proportionately benefited the PDP.
Senate President Bukola Saraki also defected at the time, a decision that seriously angered the APC and exposed him to impeachment and removal threats.
Although both the party and President Muhammadu Buhari dismissed Saraki’s defection as inconsequential — and that it was, in fact, a desirable result of a deliberate strategy aimed at driving out “corrupt elements” within its ranks — the party still threatened to sue the former Kwara State governor for a slew of anti-party offences.
Nabena said the APC would not expend much energy on Dogara because it might not be worth it.
“He is not a loss to us. Even if we give him the ticket he would lose on ground. He is not even on ground in the first place,” Mr Nabena said. “Those kinds of people we call them Abuja politicians.”
“He is not a problem as far as I am concerned. Yakubu Dogara has no electoral value in the APC,” the spokesperson emphasised.
A spokesperson for the speaker, Turaki Hassan has however refused to comment on his principal’s controversial defection to the PDP.