From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Former Speaker Yakubu Dogara has explained his decision to step down from contesting for the position of National Deputy Chairman (North) in the just-concluded National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.
Dogara, who addressed the notification of withdrawal from the race to the Chairman of APC National Convention Election Subcommittee before the convention, explained that his decision was to strengthen the party’s position, especially in Bauchi State the North East.
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‘The Party couldn’t hold on to two States after just four years and indeed across all the States (in the North East) because of the extensive network and reach to serving and former members of the National Assembly,’ Dogara, who represents Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency in the lower chamber, said.
‘But it turned out that our respected Party leaders have better ideas. Consequently, they micro-zoned the position to Borno State, whose stakeholders under the leadership of our amiable revolutionary leader, His Excellency B Zullum, and Sen Kassim Shetima, have endorsed a brother and a long-standing supporter/ally, Sen Abubakar Kyari for the position.
‘In the light of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives to adopt consensus in filling Party positions at this Convention and as one of those who are comfortably disposed to Mr President’s political philosophy, I wish to unequivocally express my unalloyed support for consensus and also my endorsement of Sen Abubakar Kyari for the position of Deputy Chairman (North).’
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Dogara called for the cessation of bickering over party positions saying it was detrimental to the health and unity of APC.
He opined that if the party must attract more members, it must be united as no one would board a boat of bickering sailors.
‘It remains for me to thank my friends from the North West who bought the forms for me. These are the true disciples of the late sage, Sardauna Ahmadu Bello, who believe in one North and are committed to walk the talk,’ he said.
‘They were in such a hurry that they actually paid twice for one form. May God reward you a thousand-fold and may he restore the peace that we once took for granted in the North and across the nation.’
The former Speaker called on all his teeming supporters across the length and breadth of this country to take this decision in good faith.