Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday accepted his constituents request to re-contest for the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State even as he was silent on which party’s platform he would contest the 2019 general elections.
Addressing hundreds of his constituents who thronged his Abuja home, the Speaker said he was already contemplating stepping aside, having represented the constituency for almost 12 years.
Dogara however, said he was overwhelmed by the show of support and solidarity by his people who travelled from Bogoro, Dass and Tafawa Balewa local government areas in Bauchi State to Abuja to impress on him to run again.
He said, “Some people said they will retire us from politics, but we want to inform them that only God and the electorate can retire us.”
The speaker added that “because you came, because of your sacrifice, I want to announce to you that I will run to once again represent our constituency. I will soon come to meet you at home to make this formal.
“I am shocked and surprised because I never thought or imagined that when I woke up today, I would see this mammoth crowd in my house.
“I am seeing faces of people we started this journey with since 2007. I pray God will reward you for this sacrifice. I was almost tired, having been doing the same thing for almost 12 years now.
“But in recent days, I started hearing some rumours and some people were already celebrating that I won’t run again. Nobody can impose leadership on you. Only you, our people, can choose who will represent you.
“I want to assure you that whatever you want us to do, that is what we will do. Those who have said that they will retire us from politics, I want o tell them that we have just begun.
“We will continue to attract development to our area; build roads, hospitals, schools, and create opportunities for our people to thrive.”
Speaking earlier, leaders of the group, Alhaji Murtala Miyetti Allah, Mrs Keziah Dare and Mr Bulus Iliya Bully, said they came on behalf of the people of the constituency to appeal to the speaker to seek re-election.
They said they could not afford not to have him represent them again, given the giant strides he has achieved in the last 12 years.
“I cried bitterly when I heard that you won’t contest again but I am very happy now, having seen you. Please continue to represent us, you have done so much for our people. You empowered women and youths”, said Mrs Keziah Dare.
On his part, Mr Bully said that “the people you are seeing are here because you have done well for us. We never expected the kind of development we are experiencing in our area”.
Alhaji Murtala Miyetti Allah made a passionate appeal to the speaker saying, “Please, help us by returning to the seat so that you will continue with the good works you are doing. We are calling on you with a loud voice. Please listen to us, wipe away our tears. Do not quit yet.”