The immediate past speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has explained why he dumped the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former Speaker questioned the payment of N4.6 billion loan taken from a bank and paid directly into a private company’s account by the government of Governor Bala Mohammed. Dogara also decried outsourcing of payment of state workers’ salaries to a private firm. In a letter of resignation addressed to the Bogoro ‘C’ Ward chairman of the PDP dated July 24, 2020, Dogara alluded to failure or breakdown of governance in Bauchi State under the administration of Governor Mohammed whom he helped install as a governor in the 2019 elections.
Dogara, who raised questions on issues relating to failure of governance in Bauchi State, noted that he cannot successfully ask questions about those issues without being accused of disloyalty if he were to remain in the PDP. He argued that if he abdicates the responsibility of telling the truth to power in Bauchi State, having done same under the administrations of former Governors Isa Yuguda and Mohammed Abubakar, he will be “the most irresponsible and unprincipled politician in Bauchi State”.
In his resignation letter, Dogara said: “This (resignation from PDP) became necessary because the same reasons why we fought hard in 2019 to effect changes in the governance of our dear state are festering now. “I intend to bring these issues to the front burners once again as the fight to install decent and egalitarian government in our dear state continues.
“Specifically, I intend to ask questions about the following: What has happened to LGA allocations since May 2019?; What happened to our campaign promise to conduct LGA elections within six months of the PDP government?
What happened to the N4.6 billion loan taken from a bank and paid directly into an private company’s account?; Why are we segmenting salaries and why is payment of salaries of state workers outsourced to a private firm as consultants? “Why are contracts inflated, awarded and payment of mobilisation done in violation of extant rules on procurement?;
Why are our highly revered traditional rulers and elders treated with odium contrary to the guarantee we gave during the campaign that such will not happen under a PDP government?
“Mr. Chairman, you will agree with me that I cannot raise these issues and many more questions without a charge of disloyalty levelled against me if I were to remain a member of the PDP. “I cannot also fail to raise these questions now, having raised similar ones during the administrations of Governors Isa Yuguda and Mohammed A. Abubakar. If I abdicate this responsibility on the altar of partisan loyalty, I will be the most irresponsible and unprincipled politician in Bauchi State.
“Thus, by this letter, I have resigned my membership of the PDP to enable me keep faith with my principle of fighting for good governance in our dear state.”
Meanwhile, New Telegraph has gathered that Dogara will formally announce his return to the APC on September 15, when the House of Representatives reconvenes from its annual recess. It was also learnt that some members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly may, in the weeks ahead, join Dogara in the APC. There are 15 representatives from Bauchi with the APC controlling 12, PDP, one and the PRP, two. In the state assembly, there are 22 APC members, eight PDP and one NNPP member.
According to the lawmaker, at least half of the eight members of the state assembly elected on the platform of the PDP may cross over to the APC with the former speaker.