The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara on Thursday confirmed his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP).
Dogara made the declaration at the national secretariat of the PDP while submitting his nomination form for his Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa federal constituency of Bauchi State.
This has ended speculations about his defection and political career in the past few weeks. The Speaker, who was elected on the platform of the APC, was silent on whether or not he has formally resigned his membership of the ruling party.
On his decision to dump the APC for the PDP, Dogara said he had decided to come back to his original roots, adding that he did not defect to the PDP because the APC denied him a return ticket.
The Speaker said, “I have decided to come back to my original root because the truth is that when we went into APC after the general elections, there was never an occasion in which we were not reminded that we do not belong.
“When there are discussions, you will hear reference to the fact that those who joined us from the PDP are our problems. So, that discussion will end from today since we have left.
“So, I have decided to join my brothers – members of this great party, the PDP so that we can chart a new frontier in our state of Bauchi and for our dear nation, Nigeria”.
“I am here not because they have denied me ticket to contest in APC. And I am not bothered about contesting election; what bothers me is the state of my state.
“The situation in which our people are and the state of this country. So, even if you give me a ticket to work in a situation where my conscience is totally not aligned with, to be candid, I cannot function effectively there”.
Dogara said he was still in shock over happenings within the APC, particularly at the national level, adding however that he would reserve the details for another occasion.
“When I recover from my shock, I will now tell my story in a way that is devoid of sentiments so that people can clearly understand the reason why I am taking the decision that leads me to the PDP today. And I will certainly do that.
“But permit me to say that in the APC when we moved in, obviously they are not all devils. There are wonderful people in APC but there are equally some people who have a ravenously wayward sense of personal entitlement.
“And this really are the problems with the APC. When it serves their interests, they said ‘the party is supreme’. When it doesn’t serve their interests, they castigate the party, including the leadership of the party.
“These are people who are the lots of the family. They do what they will while others are required to do what they must. And in such environment, I am disabled.
“We have a lot of bouncers in the party. And in such a situation where I had a very clear conscience, even though a lot of people were happy with me. But I can tell you that I would rather be hated for who I am than be loved for who I am not”.
In apparent reference to the frosty relationship between him and the governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar, the Speaker said he was ready for the challenge from those who said they would retire him from politics.
Daring his political adversaries, Dogara said he would be waiting for them in his constituency, adding that he had to prove to those who said he could not move from the APC to any other political party.
“Permit me to say that for some of us who are here and who are wondering becsuse it has been said that I cannot move from where I was to perhaps any other political party. That discussion has been ongoing. But today’s event marks the end of all speculations”, he declared.