2019: Speaker Dogara allegedly dumps APC, picks PDP nomination form
Indications emerged on Wednesday that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has picked the nomination form to return to the lower chamber on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to a report by Premium Times, the speaker picked the form on Wednesday, a day after dozens of his constituents travelled to Abuja from his home state of Bauchi
Dogara told his constituents during the rally,which held at his residence in Abuja Tuesday, that he all but threw in the towel on partisan politics — having served 12 years at the House, four out of which he spent as Speaker — but their overwhelming demand forced his hands to continue his lawmaking career.
“Some people said they will retire us from politics, but we want to inform them that only God and the electorate can retire us,” Dogara said in an apparent reference to his state governor Mohammed Abubakar.
Dogara has apparently now chosen to leave the APC.
Recall that the Bauchi politician was first elected to the parliament in 2007 as a member of the PDP, Nigeria’s ruling party from 1999-2015. He defected to the APC in 2014 as part of the new-PDP bloc that revolted ahead of the 2015 elections.
“He has picked up a PDP nomination form,” a source close to the Speaker confirmed on Wednesday night. “They are filling it now and should be submitting it by tomorrow (Thursday).”
The disclosure was corroborated by another top PDP official at the Wadata House Wednesday night.
“I can confirm it, he picked up the form already,” the official said under anonymity to avoid offending the Speaker, whom they described as “a new bride”.
The low-key affair under which Dogara obtained his nomination form from the PDP follows a consistent pattern of his political style.
The Speaker has long been identified as amongst those expected to leave the APC, but he declined to make this public unlike Senate President Bukola Saraki and a host of other top APC politicians who abandoned the ruling party in recent months.
Dogara was amongst APC chieftains who moved to polarise the party in early July, alleging unbridled marginalisation and frustrated by a reconciliation effort that was characterised by distrust between all parties.
Although Dogara did not formally announce his defection to the PDP, his acquisition of the party’s form to run in his Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency next February has effectively made him a chieftain of the opposition party.
The loss appears the biggest since the ruling party lost Saraki to the PDP late July. The senate president is now in the race for the opposition party’s presidential ticket in primaries scheduled for next month.
Meanwhile Kola Ologbondiyan, a spokesperson for the PDP, declined comments Wednesday night. A spokesperson for Dogara did not immediately return calls for comments.