By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
No fewer than 6000 members of the People’s Democratic Party from Bogoro local government area of Bauchi dumped their party for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in solidarity to a former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara.
In a rally attended by thousands of Dogara’s followers in Bogoro LGA on Saturday, Bogoro APC Chairman, Mr. Haruna Rikaya while receiving the defectors at the party’s Secretariat said, “the APC in Bogoro and in Bauchi State is pleased to receive over 6000 people into our fold”.
The defectors according to Mr. Haruna came in “in three groups, each group is led by a heavyweight politician from the local government.”
“The first group was lead by Mr. Iliya Bulus, an aspirant for chairmanship of the local government while he was in PDP; the Second group was lead by Mr. Kecho Alhamdu, a onetime house of assembly aspirant while the third group was lead by Mr. Murtala Juma”, Mr. Haruna argued.
Mr. Rikaya assured the new members that they will be giving fair treatment like old members. “The unity of our party is of utmost importance to us and greater than the sum of our personal ambitions.”
Mr. Rikaya said “all members of the party will be given an enabling playing field, without preference to a particular person, locality or interest within the local government.”
Commenting on the development, Mr. Bulus Iliya expressed his delight at joining the party where his political godfather, Honourable Yakubu Dogara belongs.
“I joined APC today because I want to exhibit my undiminished loyalty to Rt. Honourable Yakubu Dogara and represent the interest of my people.
“When we were in the PDP, we were not giving full house members treatment. They (Bauchi PDP leaders) left us behind in the wonderland,” Mr. Bulus explained.
Mr. Bulus reiterated his plan to contest for the position of the Bogoro Local Government Chairman under the auspices of the APC.
He called on Governor Bala Abdulkadir to give all parties an enabling playing field in the upcoming local government elections in the state which is slated for October.
“It was the same fairness we worked for that brought PDP to power in Bauchi State despite being an opposition party during the last governorship election in the state. “He (Governor Bala Abdulkadir) benefited most”, Iliya argued.
Mr. Bulus urged both old and new members of the APC in Bogoro to desist from all forms of temptations and pressure capable of creating fracas within the party.
Markus Sammako, one of the returnees who spoke with LEADERSHIP said he joined the APC to offer selfless contributions towards cementing unity in the party for the overall growth and development of Bogoro people.
LEADERSHIP recalled that Yakubu Dogara had defected to the APC, citing corruption, maltreatment of traditional leaders and delay in the conduct of LGs elections as some of his reasons.