Defection: Dogara’s dilemma

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House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, is biding his time to switch from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) because his future party does not currently enjoy a comfortable majority in the chamber, The Nation gathered yesterday.

It was also learnt that the Speaker and PDP lawmakers are considering the adoption of the method used by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal when he was the Speaker ahead of the 2015 elections.

During that period, Tambuwal covertly romanced with the opposition while clinging to his leadership position nominally on the ticket of the PDP.

Sources said Dogara has already accepted the terms offered him by the PDP, including a return ticket to the House in 2019 and retention as Speaker if he is re-elected.

It is understood that Dogara has completed 95 per cent of the defection formalities.

“I can tell you that Dogara has not defected because he is trying to adopt the tactical style of ex-Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. He is waiting till the last minutes before defecting,” a source familiar with his plan said yesterday.

“The Speaker is being diplomatic in his approach because he does not enjoy a comfortable majority in the House, and with the way the APC is going about its desperation to sack the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and Dogara, he has to manage the House terrain very well.

“Even the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yusuf, is not yet with Dogara on the defection. The situation in the Senate is not the same as the House.

“Dogara is already using this period of recession to reach out to members and build consensus.

“So far, the Speaker has completed all the defection processes which can be put at about 95 per cent. All his followers in Bauchi State have defected to PDP. They are only waiting for their leader.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “The PDP has accepted all the terms of Dogara bordering on a return to the House and the retention of the office of the Speaker if he wins his re-election.

“It is left to him to decide on when he will formally join the party. What I am sure of is the fact that he might defect on or before the PDP primaries of which date has not been fixed.”

When contacted, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, Mallam Hassan Turaki, was not forthcoming on the fate of his boss.

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