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Dogara stumped by APC, PDP tangle 


Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

Where would the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, be found in the divide between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when the National Assembly reconvenes for its final legislative year? 

The speaker seems to be caught in a web of confusion whether to follow the path of his predecessor, Governor Aminiu Tambuwal and the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and some federal lawmakers that defected recently to the PDP or to remain in the APC.
Sources said the speaker is giving serious thoughts to the possibility of joining his allies, since most of his mentors in politics during their PDP days have left the ruling party for their former base. 

But, beyond the defection gamble, one other reason the speaker might be seriously contemplating dumping APC borders on the growing apprehension among northern political elite about the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has also indicated interest a second term.
While some interests in APC, which want Buhari to retain his seat in 2019 to complete the two terms of the presidency in the north before it goes back to the South in 2023, the north is said to be really bothered about the President’s state of health and his ability to complete a second term without a repeating of the 2010 spectacle.
Further to this, the region has also expressed displeasure about the leadership style of Buhari, which according to Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has brought untold hardship to the region.
Recently, AYCF, out of seeming frustration warned the south, particularly the Southwest politicians not to foist anybody from the north on the zone as the choice presidential candidate in 2019.
The Guardian gathered that since the exit of the likes of Tambuwal, Saraki, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and others to the PDP, Dogara has not been regular at APC gatherings, including the last National Executive Council (NEC), which PDP defectors Senator Godswill Akpabio and former governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Udughan attended.
While he keeps stakeholders on both divides guessing, the speaker is also accused of prosecuting more of opposition agenda in the recent days. 
The possibility of Dogara defecting to the PDP became stronger when one of his media aides, Ilaya Habila, was said to have joined the race for Bauchi State House of Assembly.
Habila would be contesting for the Bagoro Constituency under the platform of PDP and this has further cast doubts on the chances of the speaker remaining in the party till 2019, because the aide is from the same constituency as Dogara.
Although, Dogara is yet to make any official statement on his plans, it is not in doubt that the likes of Tambuwal and Saraki weld some influence on him, just as the fear in the north is so strong that even if he decided not to defect his loyalty to the ruling party may be in serious question.
Yet, some sources claimed that Dogara seems reluctant to move considering the unshakable popularity of Buhari with the northern masses in recent times, especially in line with the APC victories in the various recent by-elections.
The speaker may have found himself in cul-de-sac of sorts in the ongoing political recalibration, not knowing whether to jump ship or keep afloat in APC.
Whatever the case, moving to PDP may likely narrow his chances of returning to the Green chamber in 2019, that is if at all he gets the opportunity to retain his speakership position.
Another factor that could be weighing down on the Speaker’s mind is the ongoing attempt to impeach him to pave the way for the House Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Ggbajabiamila, who is considered as one of the political foot soldiers of the APC national leader, Bola Tinubu.
Although his aides denied it, there weree moves to impeach Gbajabiamila himself as majority leader in recent times by some northern lawmakers, who were uncomfortable with the developments in the legislature, especially the kind of power Tinubu currently wields based on his new closeness to Buhari.  

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