Dogara To Drag Reps, Others To APC

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Barely four days after his defection, immediate past House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara on Monday led some members of the House to the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni for likely defection talks.

Buni, who met with the delegation at his home in Abuja, said the doors of the APC were open to more progressive-minded leaders.

The session was held behind closed doors between 1 p.m and 2 p.m.

The Federal lawmakers, who accompanied Dogara, included Danjuma Usman Shidda (APGA, Taraba State), Sam Izuigbo (Anambra); Hembe Hembe (Benue) and a former member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, simply introduced as Alhaji Saidu.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Dogara had a robust session with the delegation, which bordered on the incoming defection of some members of the House of Representatives from various parties to the APC.

“There were indications at the meeting that some respected members of the National Assembly from Bauchi State will soon join Dogara in APC. The talks on Monday also touched on their likely shift from PDP to APC.

“The APC chairman said the party is not imposing any conditions for the defection; instead, it will give a sense of belonging to old and new members.”

It was learnt that after the meeting, the delegation and Buni retired to a private location in Wuse 2, Abuja, to meet another group.

The Chairman of PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jubrin, has said Dogara’s defection might have been informed by his ambition to get APC’s presidential or vice presidential ticket in 2023.

In a statement on Monday in Abuja, Jubrin said: “I have read with mixed feelings the reasons given by the former Speaker for defecting to the APC.

“I am equally sorry for Dogara for not exploring available channels of dispute resolution in the party’s constitution before defecting to the ruling party.

“I became more disturbed considering Dogara’s position as a former Speaker and a member of the BoT of the PDP.

“With his position as a member of the BoT, Mr Dogara never laid any complaints to me as the chairman of BoT, which is the highest advisory organ of the party, and remained the conscience of the party.

“Considering the reasons he gave for his actions, one is compelled to believe that Mr Dogara has other strong reasons for leaving the PDP.

“I am beginning to suspect that the former Speaker has underground motives for joining the APC. I am beginning to suspect that he has a plan of becoming President or Vice-President in 2023 on the platform of the APC, which he thought he could never archive in the PDP.

“I want to assure the former Speaker that the PDP shall continue to be very strong and united and its doors will remain open to all Nigerians.

“As Chairman of the BoT, I urge all members of the party to remain calm and strong as the BoT will continue to play its role as the conscience of the party, as contained in its constitution.”

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