Muslim Muslim Ticket: Deconstructing Dogara By Yakubu Dati


After failing to ignite a religious war since he lost the bid to be nominated running mate to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara is at at it again trying to stoke the embers of discord by playing the religious card.

Speaking at a summit organised by the Nigerian National Christians Coalition (NNCC) in Abuja on Tuesday, the former Speaker said the adoption of same faith Presidential and Vice Presidential ticket by the APC is antithetical to Nigeria’s quest for nation building and called on Christians "to resist the temptation not to waste their votes in the 2023 general elections.

Trying hard to sound like a statesman, Dogara said the APC ticket has placed state building ahead of nation building; suggesting that that is akin to placing the cart before the horse.

The former Speaker said more but his comments did not go beyond his usual championing of selfish interest under the guise of religious equity and failed to contextualize his understanding of what state and nation building constitute in the current political dispensation.

One would have thought that if the former Speaker understands thoroughly the concept of nation building that he would have appreciated the bid to move the psyche of Nigerians from premodial sentiments to issues of development as there is nowhere in history that staying trapped in the past has served as a sine qua non for development.

For this, lots of people have called attention to the fact that it is only when Dogara lost the bid to be running mate to Tinubu that he suddenly realized there was something wrong with the APC and the significance of religiously balanced ticket.

All the while it seemed okay for Dogara to be paired with Tinubu only because he sees himself as a frontline contender for the position and nothing more.

But Christians in Nigeria are not fooled as they know very well those who have stood for them in the past and that Dogara is not one of them as all his politics bear no such testimonies.

Judging by the former Speaker's antecedents, I dare say that even if Tinubu had picked a Christian other than him as running mate, that Dogara would still have been sour as his records have shown that he is the type that always views things from a selfish perspective.

Dogara can only fool those who don't know him that he is embarking on a crusade for equity but for some of us who are well aware of his past, know that his narcissistic tendencies always becloud his sense of judgment.

Let us start from the former Speaker's Constituency of Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency. Though the Constituency has a good mixture of Muslims and Christians, no one has raised the religious card when he was elected into the House of Representatives for a record four times!

 In a constituency that has three local governments and strongly believes in rotation, one would have expected Dogara to lead by example by upholding equity through a rotational system that would have accommodated the others.

If Dogara believes in equity and fairness why has he not made sacrifice to allow the two other local governments produce the Reps member for the constituency after he had served two terms in the House as has been the practice.

As a good Christian that he claims to be , that would have served to establish that he believes in justice and fairness. But no.

From there, one can see that typically, Dogara only raises his voice when the situation does not favour him but when it does, he closed his eyes to it.

That was how because of personal interest, he surprised many when he bit the hands that fed him by trying to upstage Prof. Bogoro from the TETFUND simply because he felt the latter through his philanthropic gestures was becoming more popular than him in the Constituency.

His faceoff with the former governor of Bauchi State, M.A. Abubakar who enabled him retain his seat to become speaker also points to the fact that Dogara is only loyal to himself.

But perhaps the worst show of indignity and moral perversion was when the former Speaker having decamped to the PDP and won his seat in 2019, tried to circumvent the convention of the House of Representatives by working to return as speaker of the House on a minority ticket until the plot was discovered and nipped in the bud.

To show how much he is lacking in principle, the former Speaker has changed political platforms more than four times at various times depending on his interest.

So it is clear that as far as Dogara is concerned, all that matters in politics is not the development of his people or meaningful representation but Dogara, Dogara and Dogara.

If there's anybody who should have been vexed with Tinubu for not picking him as running mate, it should have been the governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong who has given his all to the APC.

At the time under consideration, Lalong remained the only APC christian governor in Northern Nigeria and is privileged to be chairman of the Northern Governors Forum but when the party went ahead and nominated another for the position of running mate, he did not try to bring down the house but took it on good faith.

This is unlike Dogara who left the party at its trying moment and came back only when the party has consolidated its hold on the polity.

The Plateau State governor even bears one of the most prestigious honours in the  Catholic church but does not use that to beguile his political interest.

Fortunately, the Christian community in northern Nigeria knows better and is not ready to be led by the nose by the likes of Dogara.

My advice to Dogara would be a rephrase of what former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega told former minister, Godsday Orubebe during the collation of results for the 2015 presidential polls when the latter tried to disrupt the process.

'Mr. Dogara, you're a former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, so you should be careful about the things you say and your public conduct.

'You hail from a multi religious background and owe your rise politically to same; you should not be the one planting seeds of religious discord in Nigeria.'


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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