The majority number of seats in the House of Representatives still retained by the All Progressives Congress, APC, has prevented Yakubu Dogara, the House Speaker, to purportedly defect to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, according to a report.
The Punch reports that while Dogara would like to move to the PDP following a political upheaval between him and Mohammed Abubakar, the Bauchi State Governor, he is more concerned about returning to the House as Speaker in 2019.
However, with the political equation in the House still heavily favouring the APC with the ruling party having 186 members as against PDP’s 162, political associates of Dogara have advised him to shelve his defection plans until there is a clearer picture of the political affiliations.
It was gathered that Dogara was torn between defecting to the PDP and having to fight for the Speakership position should the PDP emerge as the minority party in 2019 or remain in the APC and seek the support of opposition lawmakers to rturn as Speaker.
“In 2019, no one is sure how things will pan out. Dogara has less problems to contend with as a speaker today because he is still with the APC.
“No one is seriously demanding his resignation, neither is he facing any impeachment threat like the Senate President.
“The fear now is that if he hurriedly defects to the PDP to contest the election, his chances of returning as a speaker if the APC retains the majority become a tough call.
“On the other hand, if he remains in the APC to contest the election and the PDP captures the majority, it will be another problem for Dogara because the PDP, now hungry for power, will pick one of their own.
“A third option, which appears more appealing, is for him to stick with the APC, hoping it will retain the majority. He can then work across parties to get enough votes to remain the speaker”, a source told the newspaper.
The report noted that notwithstanding the open disagreement with Governor Abubakar, Dogara is guaranteed to return to the House as the representative of Tafawa-Balewa/Dass/Bogoro Federal Constituency under any political platform as he is very popular among the constituents.
His hands may, however, be forced to leave the APC irrespective of the calculations at the lower chamber as it was learnt that the Governor has chosen his own anointed candidate to battle Dogara in the forthcoming APC primaries for the constituency.
Dogara had shunned the ward, local government and state congresses of the party in Bauchi State and only made a brief appearance at the national convention in Abuja, where his speech dwelt more on the alleged injustice in the APC.