The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has not abandoned the All Progressives Congress (APC) to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of fear of losing his seat.
The Punch reported that there is palpable fear in Dogara’s camp because of the numerical strength of the APC in the House.
According to the report, Dogara is said to favour a move to the PDP like his Senate counterpart, Dr. Bukola Saraki, but is delaying after his advisers told him to wait a little longer.
While the APC has 186 members, the PDP only boasts of 162 in the 360-member House.
Another source of concern in the Dogara camp, according to the report, is the likely outcome of the 2019 general election.
Dogara is said to desire a return to the House as Speaker but is concerned the PDP may not be able to ensure the dream becomes reality.
An associate of the Speaker, who pleaded anonymity was quoted as saying, “ 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.”
Although a stay in the APC appears a logical conclusion, the Speaker enjoys a fractured relationship with his state governor, Mohammed Abubakar, who has reportedly seeded Dogara’s return ticket for Tafawa – Balewa /Dass /Bogoro Federal Constituency to his own candidate.
However, the Speaker is said to be very popular in his constituency and could easily win the Tafawa – Balewa /Dass /Bogoro Federal Constituency seat on the platform of any party.
It remains to be seen what course of action Dogara will take.