Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said he was still consulting on his political future, contrary to reports that he had defected to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Dogara spoke in Abuja while addressing hundreds of his supporters from Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal constituency of Bauchi State who presented him with PDP nomination and expression of interest forms and urged him to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, the speaker said: “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 PDP 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 kind of threats and betrayal. “Our only fault is that we have chosen not to take 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.” He also recalled how his supporters were denied forms during the last APC congress, despite making payments on time, adding that the new leadership of the party failed to live up to its assurance that all states that had issues with their congresses would be allowed to hold direct primaries, thereby depriving them of any hope that their supporters would have the opportunity to vote for their choice.
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 have 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.
I have a lot of supporters in the APC but I have not told any of them what I intend to do or where I will go because I was not given the opportunity but I will assure you that wherever you want me to go or whatever you want me to do I will obey you because you have been with me.
This is leadership. “Even when they were talking about reconciliation in APC, we told them that even if I will be given free ticket in APC, so long as they do not do justice to Senator Sulieman Nazif, Senator Isa Hamma Misau, Ahmed Yerima, Aminu Tukur, Maryam Bagel and others, I will not accept it. I even said that if they will do justice to these people, I will be satisfied.
“You have now given us another opportunity to correct the greatest mistake we did in politics, which was to bring this present government in Bauchi State. This is one of the reasons we must run for election and do away with this plague, chase these termites from Bauchi State. “I will not disobey you but before I fill these forms, I will have to inform all my supporters in the APC about the decision taken by my constituents since all politics is local.”