From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara has responded to his suspension as Jakadan by the Bauchi Emirate Council saying the Emirate was under undue pressure from powerful politicians.
‘Firstly, on close examination, I noticed that the letter of suspension as seen on social media is not contained in the real letterhead of Bauchi Emirate Council. That speaks volumes,’ he stated.
‘More so, the reason for the suspension, if true, was that my “name was mentioned”, which clearly is hearsay.’
The Speaker of the 8th Assembly believes that the Bauchi Emirate, one of the oldest in the country, would not make a decision based on hearsay.
Dogara wondered why a decision to suspend him by the Emirate council would be taken without giving him a fair hearing by inviting him to appear before it to face any allegations of wrongdoing against him.
‘I was never informed that there was an allegation of wrongdoing against me pending before the Emirate Council,’ Dogara stated.
‘This, if true, is no doubt a violation of my constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair hearing. It is additionally alleged in the letter under reference that I didn’t sympathise with the two Emirs over the unfortunate incident involving them, which is totally untrue.’
Dogara said he sent messages to the two revered Emirs of Bauchi and Dass when they were attacked recently as a fall out of the recently cancelled Memorial to honour Baba Gonto, the freedom fighter from Bogoro.
He said he condemned the attacks and sympathized with the two traditional rulers over the unfortunate incidents.
‘It is worth noting that I would have loved to personally visit to extend my apologies on behalf of my constituents but I know that such a visit would be misconstrued as was the case in the past when the gates of some palaces were shut anytime I visited as Speaker.
‘It is pointless to emphasise that the incident was totally avoidable as I had already requested the security agencies to obtain security guarantees from the organisers of the event failing which they should advise them to postpone the event in the interest of peace,’ he stated
On the allegation that he did not show any remorse, he stated: ‘As we all know, remorse comes as a consequence of guilt. The Emirate council cannot convict me over hearsay, without investigation and without inviting me to face any allegations against me. I maintain a clear conscience before God that I have nothing to do with any mayhem in Zaar land, not least the incident involving the two Emirs as I had no inkling whatsoever that they would be attending an event that was already marred by crisis before it began.
‘Even if it turns out to be true that the Emirate council did what they must do, it would be no surprise to keen watchers of events in Bauchi State. I am aware that both His Royal Highness and members of the Council have been under tremendous pressure from the Bauchi State Government to withdraw the traditional title conferred on me for quite some time now. It is all part of a smear campaign to portray me as insensitive and convict me in the court of public opinion for the political gains of some desperate characters.’