The Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala-Buni, on Friday explained why a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, decided to return to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He disclosed this while giving details of his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in company with the former Speaker at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mala-Buni, who is the Chairman Caretaker/Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress, said he visited Buhari to brief him on efforts to re-position the APC.
“We paid a courtesy call on the President in continuation of our efforts to rebuild the party. We are here to see Mr. President and brief him on the developments”, he told State House Correspondents after the meeting.
He also told State House Correspondents that he came to see Buhari in company with Dogara because the former speaker had defected to the APC.
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When asked a specific question about Dogara’s mission to the Villa, he replied, “They shouldn’t be surprised because the former speaker is a member of the APC and he is (here) because the reason he left the APC is no more there.”
Dogara, who stood beside the governor as he spoke, was taciturn when asked for comments.
Mala-Buni added that all those who left the party with one grievance or the other were being encouraged to return to rebuild the party.
Asked what would change in the APC in the months ahead, he stated, “We will do justice to all our members and that’s what will bring peace and that is why will guarantee peaceful coexistence, that is what will bring the consolidation of the party, the rebuilding of the party. Without doing justice, you cannot achieve that and we are sure of doing justice to all our members.”
The governor added that repositioning for 2023 elections was also part of the ongoing reconciliation efforts.
He added, “Well, of course, not only 2023 strategy, this party, we are rebuilding the party to outlive all of us. It’s not only about specific time or period, it’s not about election, and it’s not about electioneering. It is about building a party.
Dogara is still a member of the current 9th Assembly.
As speaker between 2015 and 2019, the legislature and the executive had a very tumultuous relationship at a time Senator Bukola Saraki was also the President of the Senate.
Both Dogara and Saraki became presiding officers of the National Assembly on the ticket of the All Progressives Congress during Buhari’s first tenure.
While Saraki’s tenure had a shaky start from the onset, Dogara’s was a bit smooth, but along the line, the leaderships of both chambers parted ways with the executive, and ultimately, the APC.
By the twilight of Buratai’s first tenure, Saraki and Dogara had defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
They continued to preside over an APC-dominated legislature till the end of the 8th National Assembly.
Dogara won a re-election to the 9th Assembly, while Saraki lost his bid to return.