Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara has dumped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. The Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Malla Buni, disclosed this after the duo met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Although Dogara declined to speak after the meeting, Mai Buni told journalists that the former Speaker “is now a member of APC.” He said that they were at the Presidential Villa to pay a courtesy visit on the President and to brief him on the development in the rebuilding efforts of the Caretaker Committee.
According to him, “We paid a courtesy call on the President in continuation with our efforts in rebuilding the party, we are here to see Mr. President and brief him on the development.” Reminded that some People may be surprised seeing him at the State House with the former Speaker who is a member of the opposition, he said that Dogara has returned to the APC as the reason that made him leave was no longer there.
He said,” Well, they (Nigerians) shouldn’t be surprised because the former Speaker is a member of the APC. He is because the reason in which he left the APC is no longer there. He is back now.” On the reaction of President Buhari seeing Dogara, Buni said, “The President welcomed him, he is happy with the development, that is what he is looking for.
We are rebuilding the party, and these are the steps we are taking towards rebuilding the party.” Also asked about the efforts he was making to ensure that he brings back other party members that decamped, he said that he was meeting all the aggrieved members to bring them back.
We are meeting all our aggrieved members particularly those who have interest in coming back to the party, they should feel free to do so, we are assuring them and there is no crime in double assurance.” He also promised to see the end of all crises in APC in a short time and assured that the returnees would be given equal treatment and opportunity.
He said, “We will do justice to all our members, that is what will bring peace, that is what will guarantee peaceful coexistence, that is what will guarantee the consolidation and rebuilding of the party. Without doing justice you cannot achieve that and we are sure of doing justice to all manner of our members.” When asked whether what he was doing was part of the 2023 strategy, he said, “Well of course not only 2023 strategy.
We are rebuilding the party to outlive all of us. It is not about a specific time or period, it is not about election or electioneering, it is about rebuilding our party.” Dogara, who is a member of the opposition PDP, served as the 14th Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The former Speaker currently represents Bogoro/Dass, Nigeria/Tafawa Balewa, the Federal constituency of Bauchi State since 2007. He first dumped the PDP in 2014 and re-contested for the House of Representatives seat in 2015 on the platform of the APC. Although he was not the party’s candidate for the position of speaker, he was supported by the PDP members to clinch the position. He later before the 2019 elections went back to the PDP and contested again and won.