Yakubu Dogara Perfects Last-minute Defection, Continues APC Talks

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has kept his next political destination close to his chest amid growing speculations that he will finally pitch his camp with the Peoples Democratic Party.

Findings by SUNDAY PUNCH showed that as of Saturday, Dogara had not made any contrary official declaration on his continued loyalty to the All Progressives Congress or whether he would defect to the PDP as rumoured or not.

The expectation, a few weeks back, was that Dogara would join the Senate President Bukola Saraki in moving to the PDP, but his camp kept mute after Saraki exited the APC.

Dogara came to the fore again on Thursday last week when he was absent at the National Executive Council meeting of the APC held in Abuja.

He has not been attending ward, local government and state meetings of the party as well.

However, a letter the speaker’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Cyril Maduabum, sent to the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, gave the reason for the speaker’s absence on Thursday. The letter indicated that Dogara was out of Nigeria.

His Deputy, Mr. Yussuff Lasun, was also absent.

However, investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH showed that the speaker would leave the APC eventually.

Some of his close associates confided in SUNDAY PUNCH that Dogara was doing some “calculations to get things right” before leaving.

One of them said, “The issue about defection or no defection is that at the appropriate time, things will take their natural course.

“For Dogara, it is not too late. He is neither vying for the Presidency nor governorship; so, he has time on his side.

“If he were to vie for the Presidency like Saraki, he would have long made a public declaration because time would have been against him.

“But in the case of the House of Representatives, which is a localised constituency election, he can still defect at the last minute. There is still time for that.”

Another Dogara close colleague in the APC described the speaker as “APC in body” but “a PDP member in spirit.”

The source added, “What I see is that Dogara is still negotiating with the APC, taken that he is a speaker on the party’s ticket.

“If the negotiation does not end in his favour, he has time to announce his next move.”

Incidentally, the House of Representatives primary of the PDP will be held on September 19.

Another associate pointed out that Dogara’s area in Bauchi State, Bogoro Local Government Area, was under the firm control of the PDP, saying this was a sign of what to expect from Dogara in the days ahead.

“During the last senatorial bye-election in Bauchi State, PDP won the speaker’s ward and local government.

“A number of his friends and associates are already seeking elective positions on the platform of the PDP,” the associate said.

His media office frustrated every effort by SUNDAY PUNCH to get a reaction on the official position.

His Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, declined to speak and generally gave no useful responses.

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