Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has claimed that he was asked by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to beg for the party's ticket in order to be re-elected as the representative of Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa federal consistuency in Bauchi State.
Dogara said this on Thursday when some of his supporters visited his Abuja residence to present to him the expression of interest and nomination forms of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to his surprise, The Cable reports.
Speaking after their presentation, Dogara reiterated his claim made earlier in the week that he had prepared to step down as his constituency's representative after 12 years but that the call of his people asking him to re-contest was just too enormous to turn down.
The Speaker boasted that he would easily win the constituency's election even if he contested under a "zero party" because he had the backing of the people, adding that no political party could intimidate him over his choice of affiliation.
He said, "Truly, I have decided that I will not seek election again. They said they will give me ticket in APC but that I must go and beg for it. I said I do not need the ticket. In politics, I have never gone to anybody’s house to beg for ticket.
“My ticket is my people. I have assured them that even if I run under zero party, my people will vote for me. So long as it is Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa, even if we run under zero party; we will win by God’s grace. We have thrived well in many political battles in the past and this one too, we shall overcome it. Nobody can threaten us or tell us that we cannot contest election in a political party we spent our resources to establish, only God can stop us.
“I had heard your voices and the voice of the people is the voice of God. We are in politics to serve and not to be served. As I said, if it were for myself, I will quit because truly I am tired and even thought of stepping aside. But we must run election so long as our people say so."
Dogara, however, urged the people to give him more time to "consult further" with all his supporters in the APC and his political associates before he declares the political party under which he would re-contest his consituency's seat in the 2019 general elections.
“I have seen the forms you brought. I don’t know how you got it but I must thank you for this sacrifice. Left for me; I will appeal that you give me sometime to go and consult further.
“I have a lot of supporters in the APC but I have not told any of them what I intend to do or where I will go because I was not given the opportunity but I will assure you that wherever you want me to go or whatever you want me to do I will obey you because you have been with me. This is leadership", he said.
He also spoke about how he asked the APC leadership to rectify the alleged injustice to some National Assembly members before he could settle his own grievances in the party.
According to him, he said he was going to reject the free ticket of the party given to him if "they do not do justice to Senator Sulieman Nazif, Senator Isa Hamma Misau, Honourable Ahmed Yerima, Hon. Aminu Tukur, Hon. Maryam Bagel and others."