Why Dogara's defection is causing ripples in APC, PDP


Since the purported defection of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara in June, there had been an uneasy calm in both the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) which he rejoined.

This stems from the circumstances leading to his leaving the PDP and rejoining the APC.

Recent happenings as regards to his membership of the two parties have sparked various speculations as his status remains shadowy.

Although his defection was confirmed by the Acting APC chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State after their visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, Dogara’s defection was not announced on the floor of the House like it was done for other members who joins APC from APGA, PDP and other parties recently.

The former Speaker who is representing Dass/Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa federal constituency of Bauchi State left the APC for the PDP prior to the 2019 general elections.

Dogara who was at the forefront of the fight to dislodge the APC left the party over the irreconcilable differences with the then Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar.

The political war between the duo and others brought in the Senator Bala Mohammed led PDP administration in the state.

However, the former Speaker also fell out with the governor over some political differences forcing him to rejoin the APC.

At a Court sitting to hear a suit filed against Dogara and four others by the PDP in Abuja, the APC while making a submission in a counter Affidavit stated that, Dogara’s name is not in their register.

The Counter Affidavit signed by the APC’s Head of Legal Department, Dare Oketade claimed that he is not aware of Dogara’s defection from the PDP and did not find his name in the party’s membership register.

An application FHC/ABJ/CS/1060/2020 was filed by some members of the PDP Bauchi State chapter by their lawyer, Jibrin S. Jibrin, challenging the defection of Dogara to the APC.

Defendants in the suit are; Dogara, the House of Representatives Speaker, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC.

The PDP and its Bauchi State Chairman Hamza Koshe Akuyam who were the plaintiffs in the suit, stated that Dogara won a re-election to the House on the platform of the PDP.

According to them abandoned the PDP for the APC when he submitted his resignation letter to PDP Chairman in Bogoro ‘C’ Ward in Bauchi State on July 24, 2020.

The plaintiffs citing Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution stated that, Dogara should have vacated hi seat for defecting from the PDP on whose platform he was re-elected to the National Assembly.

According to the suit, the former Speaker should not supposed to be involved in the activities of the House of Representatives on the PDP’s ticket.

In a supporting affidavit the Bauchi State PDP chairman, Hamza Koshe Akuyam stated that there was no crisis or division in the PDP to warrant Dogara’s defection from the party.

Akuyam submitted in the affidavit that, Dogara “has lost his seat/office as a member of the House of Representatives and is no longer entitled to participate in the legislative proceedings and other businesses of the National Assembly and/or entitled to salaries and allowances as a member of the National Assembly”.

He argued that given the facts of the case, the Speaker of the House of Representatives “is under legal obligation” to declare Dogara’s seat vacant and allow INEC to conduct an election for his replacement.

The House of Representatives has also maintained a sealed lip on the defection of former Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Yakubu Dogara from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and rejoining the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

His defection is yet to be announced on the floor of the House by his successor, Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila which was a deviation from the tradition.

Defection of members who defected from their parties to others parties is usually announced on the floor of the House by the Speaker or his deputy, defending on who presides at the plenary.

However, months after Dogara’s defection, the House is yet to disclose or read the letter of his defection.

Similarly, the former Speaker has also kept silent on the issue and had not been very active in the activities of the House since his exit from the Speaker’s seat.

However, Dogara recently spearheaded the campaign and eventual win of the APC to the vacant Dass State House of Assembly seat.

The election was held two months ago to fill the seat after the death of Late Mante Baraza who was killed by kidnappers cum armed robbers in his house.

He was also recently honoured by the women wing of the APC in Bauchi State which gave credence and confirmed his affiliation to the party.

In a chat with Daily Trust reporter on telephone recently, an APC official in Bogoro said he was not sure whether the former Speaker was issued the party’s membership card at his unit.

A state official of the party who spoke to our reporter on telephone confirmed Dogara’s membership of the party, he dismissed the speculations about the doubt on the status of the former Speaker’s defection from the PDP.

These happenings have been raising dust about the status of Dogara’s defection as people speculate on the ongoing disclosure counterclaims by the PDP and APC over the issue.

As it is now, the former Speaker appears to be floating between the two parties each of which had accommodated him and had won election on its platform.

For now, only an official disclosure and explanation by the parties involved as well as the determination of the suit in court will solve the raging controversy on Dogara’s defection.

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