Dogara publicly tackles Buhari

Yakubu Dogara
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has attacked President Muhammadu Buhari, in what is believed to be his first public condemnation of the president since leaving the ruling party last year.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party’s National Executive Commitee on Tuesday, Mr Dogara said the president has done nothing for almajiris in his almost four years in office — despite claiming to be for the masses.

He said Mr Buhari lacks a constituency as he has abandoned the masses and the almajiris which he said the president claimed to fight for.

“The almajiris have seen through this fraud, this charade. The president has lost his constituency,” he said.

The almajiris are children in northern Nigeria, numbering in the millions, who are abandoned in the streets as beggars.

Mr Dogara said the president is not committed to the education sector which has direct impact on the masses, but rather is after the petroleum ministry which will impact himself.

“We thought Buhari would choose to become the minister of education not petroleum,” he said.

On the president’s threat of death against ballot box snatchers, Mr Dogara said security operatives in the country should only act on lawful orders but not unlawful orders.

He said calling for the killing of ballot box snatchers is an unlawful order which no professional security operative will adhere to.

Mr Dogara is a former member of the ruling All Progressives Congress. He left the party for the main opposition, PDP, in September 2018. This appears to be the first time the speaker would publicly attack the president since dumping the APC.

Mr Dogara’s exit was celebrated by supporters of Governor Mohammed Abubakar in Bauchi State, with whom the speaker has been having political confrontation for about two years.

Although Bauchi heavily leans towards the APC, the top lawmaker is expected to retain his seat, spurred by the unique demography of his Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency, which has a high population of Christians in the Muslim-majority state.

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