By Samuel Luka, Bauchi
Hours after the news of the defection of Bauchi state assembly speaker, Rt. Honourable Abubakar Sulaiman from the All Progressive Congress (APC) to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hits the airwaves, revelations has emerged that he took the decision because he was being persecuted by his party.
A press release signed by his spokeperson, Comrade Abdul Ahmad Burra and made available to newsmen on Monday, said his principal has
formally tendered his resignation letter to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The press release further explained that the resignation of assembly speaker was contained in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Guda Ward of Ningi Local Government area of Bauchi state.
The release said that the speaker made it known in the letter that factionalization of the Party at all levels in the State with every factions claiming the leadership of the party formed part of his reasons for quitting the APC, which made it difficult for him to determine which factional leadership is legitimate.
Other reasons the Speaker offered include, litigations which led to court orders restraining any faction from claiming the leadership of the party.
According to him, series of persecution have been meted on him and his supporters since he emerged the Speaker of the assembly in June 2019 as against the wish of some vested interests in the Party.
“It’s a well known fact that getting Speakership position has been one of the lifetime dreams of my Emirate, Ningi. People of my Constituency gave me their mandate to represent them and subsequently asked me to pursue their dream of producing Speaker from Ningi”, the speaker said in the press release.
“I can’t be bigger than my Constituency and no interest should be superior than that of my constituents. Thus, I pursued the dream of my constituents and as Almighty Allah willed it, we got it against all odds”, he explained.
The Speaker alleged that since his election as Speaker, his party, the APC sidelined him from its activities and meted various forms of persecution on him and my supporters.
“Despite these, I remained loyal and committed to the Party and continued contributing financially to the Party and attending its functions and meetings even if they didn’t invite me. Sometimes I would only get notice of Party meetings from my Colleagues, but I would still attend”, Rt. Hon Sulaiman narrated.
He said that, it reached to a level where he was removed as Chairman of the stakeholders of the Party in Ningi Local Government and replaced with someone who barely knows the local government and the Party.
“Through that, they made sure any Party member loyal to me is edged out from the leadership or mainstream activities of the Party”, he said.
The Speaker further revealed that he was called unprintable names by the Party Leaders and Stakeholders for their perception of the harmonious working relationship between the Assembly and the Executive Arm in the state.
According to him, the cordial working relationship between the assembly and the state government was perceived as a threat to them, their political ambition and the Party.
“I always tell them, Bauchi State is bigger than any personal interest, unhealthy relationship between the two critical arms of Government would not only halt the development of the State but will affect the well-being of the people and bring instability in the State which will not augur well for all of us. But they ignored this patriotic disposition”, the speaker said.
He pointed out that, “just recently, these vested interests in the Party worked against my inclusion as Member of the National Convention Planning Committee in which they made sure my name was removed”.
The speaker said, all efforts made to draw the attention of the Party leadership and its critical stakeholders to the injustice being done him and his supporters was rebuffed as one of the major stakeholders talked to his face that the Party won’t recognize any grievance from him.
He said, he informed him that they have resolved not to recognize anything that emanate from him even if it is a document that contains my signature due to his relationship with Governor Bala Mohammad of the state.
“It further became clearer to me that I am no longer needed in APC”, he said.
According to the Speaker, there has been intense calls on him from supporters, groups, party stalwarts and constituents to dump the Party due to the realities on grounds”, he said.
Best on the calls, the speaker said, he set up a Committee drawn from all parts of Ningi Central Constituency under the chairmanship of Alhaji Bala Gideru to make further consultations and recommendations.
He said, “the Committee after series of consultations and review of the situation, recommended that “we should quit the Party and join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to consolidate on the unprecedented development being executed in Ningi Local Government and all parts of the State by the Executive Governor of Bauchi State His Excellency Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammad”.
“Based on the recommendations of the Committee and due to the prevailing situation and the uncertainties and fractionalizations in the Party, I have formally resigned from the All Progressive Congress alongside my thousands of supporters”, he added.
According to the press release, the Speaker has obtained a membership card of his new Party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Guda Ward of Ningi Local Government.
The release said that the speaker has also pledged to work for the success of the Party at all levels and consolidate on the successes of the adminstration of Bala Mohammad in the State.