Speaker Yakubu Dogara has said that the injustice he and his supporters are suffering from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and how it is addressed would determine whether he would remain in the party or quit.
His declaration came on the heels of reported clamour by many of his constituents that he should dump the ruling for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after presenting him with Nomination and Expression of Interest forms of the PDP at his Maitama, Abuja home on Thursday.
Dogara’s constituents from his Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal constituency of Bauchi State as well as youths and women groups asked him to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) due to the high level injustice against him by the party.
The Speaker, who had few days ago accepted the request of his supporters to re-contest after considering stepping aside, however, said the injustice meted out to him by the party could force him out.
Listing conditions for his continued stay in the ruling party, Dogara told his constituents who presented the nomination forms: “I have listened to you and I want to say that I am not a novice in politics.
“So, even if they do not regard us, they should know that we are in full control of our five senses.
“We know what looks like justice and what is not justice. We also know if you want to humiliate or honour us.
“But I must thank you all. This is not the first time we would face this of kind of threats and betrayal. Our only fault is that we have chosen not to side with injustice or wrong.
“We always voice out when we see that we are beginning to derail from our election promises to the people, and that is why some people said they will retire us from politics and have even started celebrating that they have buried us politically.
“But through all this, I remained unperturbed because I knew that we had our people with us.”
The Speaker also complained bitterly about how his supporters who were allegedly denied forms during the last APC congress despite making payments on time.
He said the new leadership of APC failed to live up to its assurance that all the states that had issues with their congresses would be allowed to hold direct primaries, thereby depriving them of any hope that their supporters would have the opportunity to vote for their choice.
“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.
“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 some time 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.
“Even when they were talking about reconciliation in APC, we told them that even if I will be given free ticket in APC, so long as they do not do justice to Senator Sulieman Nazif, Senator Isa Hamma Misau, Hon. Ahmed Yerima, Hon. Aminu Tukur, Hon. Maryam Bagel and others, I will not accept it.
“I even said that if they will do justice to these people I will be satisfied.
“You have now given us another opportunity to correct the greatest mistake we did in politics, which was to bring this present government in Bauchi State.
“This is one of the reasons we must run for election and do away with this plague, chase these termites from Bauchi State.
“I will not disobey you. But before I fill these forms, I will have to inform all my supporters in the APC about the decision taken by my constituents, since all politics is local.”
Earlier, Hons. Mohammed Aminu Tukur, Adamu Jambil and Amina Saleh, who led the delegation and spoke on behalf of the constituents, said their new political platform is Dogara Peoples Party as they will follow him wherever he goes.
Aminu Tukur, to back the demand of the constituents, said APC is now plagued by injustice and dictatorship, contrary to their expectations that under President Muhammadu Buhari, the party will be fair to all.
“The day Buhari joined partisan politics in 2002, I was the only person from Bauchi that travelled and I have been with him since then. Mr Speaker, I swear to almighty God that He spared my life.
“I and our people will vote for you, and we urge you to heed our cries and accept this form. We pray that God returns you to your seat.
“APC is not a religion, as it is neither Islam nor Christianity,” Tukur said. (The Nation)