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Tuesday 12 March 2019

Speakership: Dogara Backs Down From Race

Yakubu Dogara
Political observers believe that Dogara's decision to seek re-election into the House was borne out of his desire to retain the Speakership. Indications have emerged to the effect that incumbent Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara may not by seeking re-election to the position he currently occupies.
This may not be unconnected with emerging realities surrounding the political fortune of his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.
This was as the House, which returned to legislative business, had to adjourn sitting to Wednesday in honour of deceased colleagues, Hon. Temitope Olatoye Sugar, from Oyo and Hon. Bethel Amadi from Imo states respectively.
Speaking to INDEPENDENT, a source close to the Speaker who pleaded anonymity, said the Bauchi-born lawyer-turned legislator has said that he won’t be seeking election into the office of the Speaker in the 9th Assembly.
Recall that Dogara defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in September 2018 to contest the seat of Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi state, having fallen out with his State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar over irreconcilable political differences.
Political observers believe that Dogara’s decision to seek re-election into the House was borne out of his desire to retain the Speakership and the conviction that the opposition PDP may upstage the APC by winning the presidency and majority seats in the National Assembly.
“The Speaker is not running but is likely to support someone he can rely on. He won’t attempt it because he knows he’s in the opposition which has minority in the House, as well as the PDP’s inability to win the presidency.

“He’s encouraging members from the North-East region to show interest in the hope that the APC may zone it to them,” the returning lawmaker said.
Asked if Dogara would go for any principal position meant for the opposition, the source said “I don’t think he has any such interest.

“I think he will prefer to divorce himself of any leadership tension and controversy in the House.”
Recall that INDEPENDENT, in a report, examined factors militating against any move by the incumbent Speaker to retain his seat which include his party’s minority status in the incoming Assembly, as well as possible lack of goodwill among some members from PDP dominated zones.
Meanwhile, the House upon reconvening on Tuesday, adjourned sitting in honour of two deceased colleagues: Hon. Bethel Amadi, a former member in the 7th Assembly from Imo, and Hon. Temitope Olatoye Sugar from Oyo.
While the late Amadi who was President of Pan African Parliament in the 7th Assembly was said to have died after a protracted illness, Hon. Shuga, a serving member of the 8th assembly was reportedly shot in the eye by suspected political thugs who allegedly invaded a polling unit in his area on Saturday March 9, 2019.
He was said to have been rushed to the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan where he gave up the ghost
The House will reconvene on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

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