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Dogara’s move may not but unconnected to the 2023 Presidency particularly regarding the significance of a northern Christian candidate.
The permutations uppermost on the minds of the current leadership of the party, while pushing for Dogara to return to the APC, included the option of the former speaker being used as Christian running mate, in case the party settles for a Muslim Southern Presidential candidate in 2023.
According to Thisday, a source said Dogara is also seen as a candidate that could be sold for the Presidency of Nigeria in the South, being a Christian, in case “the powers that be” decides not to cede power to the South.
“The forces controlling the APC view Dogara as a younger version of the current Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who is also seen as a northern Christian option, in case they need to push a Christian candidate for the Presidency in 2023.
Dogara in his early 50s is much younger than Boss Mustapha who will be close to 70 by then,” said the source close to the current leadership of the APC in Abuja.
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Another source at the PDP national headquarters admitted recent disagreement between Dogara and Governor Bala Mohammed in his native Bauchi State but said such was not the factor that influenced his defection to the APC.
The source, who has partnered with Dogara’s political camp in the last few years said: “Yes, it is positioning and there are two permutations in this.
It is positioning to have a Christian as a presidential running mate from the Northeast in 2023, which is the easiest scenario.
“The second permutation is that should the Northern establishment be unwilling to cede power to the South in 2023, a Northern Christian with support from across geopolitical boundaries will be a masterstroke.”
It was gathered that Dogara was excited by these permutations and subsequently dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday, for the APC, the party he dumped in 2018 ahead of the 2019 general election.
Following the defection, Dogara met with President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in the State House, Abuja.
In a swift reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it remained a united party, “waxing stronger daily” and described Dogara’s defection as a personal one while wishing Dogara the best in his new party.
Dogara was led to a meeting with Buhari by the Chairman of APC Caretaker/National Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, who introduced him to Buhari as a returnee to the ruling party.
Dogara declined to speak with journalists after the meeting, but Buni who confirmed his defection to APC said he and Dogara had paid a courtesy visit to Buhari in continuation of fresh efforts to rebuild APC.
When told that people would be surprised to see him visit the president along with Dogara, Buni said there was nothing to be surprised about, because the former speaker had officially returned to the party.
According to him, factors which led to his exit from APC in 2018 had since been nipped in the bud.
He said the president was happy to see Dogara return to the party as part of APC’s reconciliation efforts, and welcomed him back to the party.
Buni added that the party was currently contacting aggrieved members of the party, including those who had earlier dumped it and now willing to return.
Dogara’s defection marked the second time the ex-speaker would dump the PDP for APC. He had first dumped the PDP in 2014 ahead of the 2015 general election along with nPDP members who defected to the newly formed APC. He defected back to PDP in August 2018.
# Yakubu Dogara Dumped PDP for APC
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