– Give me time to consult with my APC supporters – Dogara
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).
About 1,000 people in 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 constituents, said their new political platform is Dogara Peoples Party as they will follow him wherever he goes.
While speaking, Hon Aminu Tukur told the Speaker that the APC is now plagued by injustice and dictatorship, contrary to their expectations that under President Muhammadu Buhari, the party will be fair to all.
“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.
On her part, Mrs. Amina Saleh, from Dass Local Government Area, said women in the constituency have sent her to inform the Speaker that they will be with him: come rain, come shine.
According to her, “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.”
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.”
Hon Dogara, further said, “Truly, I have decided that I will not seek election again. They said they will give me ticket in APC but that I must go and beg for it. I said I do not need the ticket. In politics, I have never gone to anybody’s house to beg for ticket. My ticket is my people. I have assured them that even if I run under zero party, my people will vote for me. So long as it is Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa, even if we run under zero party; we will win by God’s grace. We have thrived well in many political battles in the past and this one too, we shall overcome it. Nobody can threaten us or tell us that we cannot contest election in a political party we spent our resources to establish, only God can stop us.
“I had heard your voices and the voice of the people is the voice of God. We are in politics to serve and not to be served. As I said, if it were for myself, I will quit because truly I am tired and even thought of stepping aside. But we must run election so long as our people say so.
“I have seen the forms you brought. I don’t know how you got it but I must thank you for this sacrifice. Left for me; I will appeal that you give me sometime to go and consult further.”