By Shamsuddeen Lukman Abubakar
It is not surprising that Speaker of the House or Representatives Yakubu Dogara’s cheerleaders and hangers-on would once again engage in wild publicity stunts to pull wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting people of Bauchi State as well as the members of the public at a bargain price in order to trickly gain undeserved political relevance.The orchestrated media misrepresentation and turn-facts-on-its-head against the true nature and status of the constituency projects that he had recently claimed to have commissioned in Tafawa Balewa, Bogoro and Dass Federal Constituency is indeed laughable and comical. Two days to the said event, there have been media hype by the speaker’s media handlers who have claimed that, he had constructed road projects worth over 50 billion naira throughout Bauchi State that would connect the three neighboring states and other states of the federation.
However, nothing could be further from the truth as the roads that Hon. Dogara claimed to have constructed were actually those of the Federal Government’s Sustainable Development Goals Projects (SDGs) and the projects funds were sourced from the Executive not from the coffers of the National Assembly or Dogara’s personal funds. That is just the hidden fact. So, who is really fooling who and what does Dogara want to achieve by selling a red herring to Bauchi people and indeed the vast majority of Nigerians? As the fourth most important office in Nigerian, the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives shouldn’t be trivialized on the altar of political partisanship or cheap popularity contests.
Never in the history of the National Assembly has the country witnessed the level of petty politicking and partisanship between a House or Representatives Speaker and a governor of his state as has characterizedthat of Dogara’s tempestuous tenure in the House of Representatives given the way he betrays the party and the governor who gave him the viable platform to return to the house.
Immediately he stepped into the green Chambers of the NASS, he has engaged and is still in infighting before and immediately after his inauguration as he was at daggers drawn with a faction said to be loyal to his archrival Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who was the All Progressive Congress’ choice on the job. If he is not antagonizing the executive arm, he is on a running battle with some governors to the extent it becomes very difficult for one to identify which party Dogara belongs to.
While in an outshow of glaring lack of political ideology and internal party philosophy, Dogara has found himself stepping into the trenches to do battle with those who have had cause to question the vast expenditure profile of the House of Representatives particularly the office of the Speaker. And he has had to fight hard and dirty to ward off any attempts at unearthingthe true state of income and expenditure of the House. This is evident when Hon. Abdulmumuni Jibrin raised the alarm over the notorious padding of the budget by the House Speaker and other principal officers of the House.The hapless Jibrin was met with ominous harassment and intimidation and when he persisted, the powers-that-be in the House sent him on compulsory six-month suspension, depriving the constituents of Kiru and Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State of credible and effective representation while reducing the APC’s supports in that constituency.
In his keep on truckin effort to fight his partymen, even the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai did not escape the fury of the Dogara gang.
Apparently for a reason best known to him, Dogara had without any provocative notion, engaged the Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar in a battle for supremacy which is still ongoing.And the best means to do such clandestine job was through the so-called the constituency project commissioning ceremony organized by Dogara. It was a thinly veiled gathering of politicians and personalities opposed to the Bauchi State Governor as well as the programs and policies of the APC-led Federal Government.
Now see the folly Dogara’s media aide Turaki Hassan’s alluding to his master’sreturning from exile. Without fear of contradiction, there was no time Dogara and his followers were prevented from entering the state. And to talk of the bounties brought by his ‘exiled boss, what bounties could that be, the people would want to know the correct sources of that bounties.
Again, let us see this: why would a Hon. Member in Dogara’s entourage would beseen brandishing weapons in the middle of the dreaded and outlawed ‘Sara-Suka’ political thugs.That could be the bounty – the bounty of high place political thuggery so out if fashioned that Turaki Hassan is alluding to. Curiously, it is never been heard in this country that a federal lawmaker could be seen brandishing weapons amidst dreaded local militias such as the Sara-Suka group. Could be that federal lawmaker is member of the outlaw group.
Also, another bounty could be the strange face of the former governor of Bauchi StateIsa Yuguda who is known to be a staunch opponent of President Muhammadu Buhari and who also had during his tenure mortgaged the future of the state with huge debt profile, backlog of salaries and embezzlements of the state’s funds with no visible projects executed. Isa Yuguda’s presence was curious given the fact that he was an arch-enemy of Dogara during his tenure as a governor and had vowed that the latter would not get a third term ticket on the platform of the PDP to contest the 2015 House of Representatives election. It was Yuguda’s stiff opposition that led to the defection of Dogara to the APC in order to actualize his third term ambition.
Now, the only way for Dogara to repay his party the APC for his continued political relevance is to dine and wine with sworn opponents of the party while at the same time claiming to have executed constituency projects that were actually the Federal Government’s projects. Sadly, Dogara has decided to bite the fingers that fed him but the people and posterity shall repay him in kind very soon.
– Abubakar is the Special Assistant on Communications to the Bauchi State Governor