The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has declared that a politician does not have to be in one party forever, stressing that “politics in Nigeria is not a straitjacket approach”.
The Nation reports the lawmaker as disclosing this to newsmen in Lagos at the weekend, where he stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is not targeting members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
According to the former member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, “In Nigeria, politics is not a straitjacket approach; it is not that if I am in APC, I am going to remain in APC forever or if I am in PDP, I am going to be in PDP forever just like it is in other jurisdictions.
“There are frequent cases of cross-carpeting, which will still happen, but if the case were that if you are a member of APC you will not face prosecution, I believe that more members would have cross-carpeted to APC right now. So, it is a question of perception.”
Speaking on the present state of the economy, the lawmaker advised the Buhari administration should put in place a strong team.
Dogara, who noted that though there was no oil boom under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, his administration was able to use the resources at its disposal to tackle challenges, suggested a similar approach to the present government.
His words, “When Obama came into government in the U.S., there was virtual collapse of the economy at that time.
He had to look for serious-minded people who sat and charted a way out of that crisis.
“I sincerely believe that in Nigeria as well, we are rich in diverse ways. If we can put together a solid team to manage this economy, it doesn’t matter, I don’t think under Obasanjo we had the oil boom, we were earning far less than what we did subsequently, but we were able to manage the meagre resources we had.
“So, I sincerely believe it is just a matter of management and if we are able to get the right people in place, we will be able to swim through these dangerous waters. But as it, as they say, we are in the waters, and everything seems to be heading south. Things seem to be defying the traditional way of resolving these kinds of problems.
“So, we need new methods. We need a strong team to really be in charge of the economy. We need a strong team to be in charge of the economy.”