By Philip Shimnom Clement
Claim: A Facebook page published a post saying that the immediate past speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara called the Peoples Democratic Party a disaster following his switch from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Verdict: The claim made by the Facebook page that the erstwhile speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara said the PDP is a disaster is FALSE.
The speaker in his resignation letter did not state anywhere that he decamped from the party because PDP is a disaster.
The Facebook page called ‘APC for Continuity’ with a followership of 74,044 users as at the time of this fact check had on Friday, 24th July 2020 published a post saying that Yakubu Dogara referred to the PDP as a disaster.
“PDP is a disaster, I am glad to be back in Progressive Family,” the post reads.
The page which was created as a political organization had over 100 comments, 118 shares and 349 likes which were generated from the post as at the time of this check.
About Dogara’s switch to APC
News broke on Friday, 24 July that the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara had again defected from the PDP to the APC, barely two years after he rejoined the PDP precisely in September 2018, in the build up to 2019 general elections.
The former speaker had first left the PDP ahead of the 2015 general elections and joined the APC, however, 3 years later in 2018 he dumped the APC and joined the PDP, and has returned to the APC.
Dogara who was said to have made his resignation known to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday last week was led to the presidential villa by APC caretaker/National Planning Committee Chairman and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni who came to inform the president on the recent development.
Subsequently, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Dogara DECLINED to speak with journalists, but the confirmation that he defected to the ruling party in the country came from the APC Caretaker committee chairman.
Checks by Daily Times on the official twitter handle of the former speaker with the twitter name Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara and a verified handle @YakubDogara shows that he did NOT post or share any information regarding his decamping from the PDP.
In fact, his last post as at the time of this fact check was on 19th of July where he sent out condolences to the family, friends, associates and the government of Katsina State over the death of elder statesman Ismaila Isa Funtua.
Subsequently, his media aide, Turaki Hassan with twitter handle @Turakies did not also convey any statement explaining the resignation of his principal from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.
Subsequently, the Facebook page of the former speaker’s aide did not contain any such information about the PDP being a disaster,
The former speaker represents Bogoro, Dass and Tafawa Balewa federal constituency in the House of Representatives
Consequently, a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bogoro ‘C’ ward, of Bogoro LGA of Bauchi state, dated 24th July 2020 clearly showed that the former speaker resigned due to a personal rift with the governor of the state, Bala Mohammed whom he alleged had not delivered democratic dividends to the people of the state.
Dogara also questioned some policies and programmes of the government which he said were not working.
He had also alleged that about N4.6 billion was taken by the state government and paid into personal company accounts, and that traditional title holders in the state were ill treated.
Other reasons by Dogara included contract inflation and violation of procurement acts among others.
He therefore stated that he could not raise such questions effectively without the party accusing him of disloyalty, hence his resignation.
“Mr. Chairman, you will agree with me that I cannot raise these issues and more questions without a charge of disloyalty levelled against me if I were to remain in the PDP.
“I cannot fail to raise these questions now, having raised similar ones during the administration of Governors Isa Yuguda and Mohammed A. Abubakar. If I abdicate this responsibility on the altar of partisan loyalty, I will be the most irresponsible and unprincipled politician in Bauchi State.
“Thus, by this letter, I have resigned my membership of the PDP to enable me keep faith with my principle of fighting for good governance in our Dear State,” the concluding paragraph of Dogara’s resignation letter reads.
Based on the findings by Daily Times, the viral Facebook post which said Nigeria’s former House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara referred to the entire structure of the PDP as a disaster is NOT TRUE.