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TARABA: Military Take Over Streets, Send Jitters To Troublemakers

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THE presence of heavily armed military personnel in the convoy of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, seems to be giving the opposition sleepless night.

Though, party activities have been intensified, as candidates vying for various elective positions have resorted to House-to-House campaigns, soliciting votes from electorates, the presence of military in the state, especially, in the convoy of PDP, is said to have brought panic in the people’s mind.

Some politicians, who spoke to The Guardian, registered their disappointment, noting that in spite of the pronouncement of the court on the need to restrict military from the exercise, politicians are still using them.

Commenting on this, a politician said the presence of military in the convoy of “PDP governorship candidate as well as in the state at large is intimidating and would definitely affect the election.”

Believing that the sole reason of “PDP inviting the military was to save it from being humiliated in the election,” he noted that the development would no doubt “force some electorates to stay away from the polling units.”

Security operatives are as well living no stone unturned as combined teams of both military and anti-riot policemen have continued to demonstrate their readiness to halt any form of uprising that would want to resurrect its ugly face during and after the elections.

This, as observed by The Guardian, is through their constant patrol in the entire nooks and crannies of the state, an action, which has gone a long way to stall any action geared at fomenting trouble.

More to that, major roads leading to and outside Jalingo, the state capital, were manned by heavily armed security personnel, who often, go as far as taking several minutes to screen vehicles coming and going out of the metropolis.

More to the activities going on in the state, candidates seeking for various elective positions on the platform of all the four registered political parties in Taraba State, The Guardian observed, have intensified their campaign trains. Food items and other gifts are currently being dumped on the doorsteps of eligible voters.

Displaying several bundles of wrappers and three bags of rice, among other items, which he has received from one of the governorship candidates, an eligible voter told our reporter, “this is the only opportunity I have to eat from them because after the elections, we are not going to see them again.”

Believing that the funds and item being dole out by them are the funds meant for the development of the state which they “stole” and they “are now using them for campaign” the voter who gave his name as Aliyu, said “ I will not hesitate to collect any gift they give me. But on that day, I will go and vote any person that my heart chooses.

“At the same time, I may even decide to remain indoor with my family that day and not vote for any of them. They don’t actually have our interests at heart. If not, why is it now that the election is by the corner that they are remembering us?”

Also noticed is the way and manner some of the desperate candidates are going about using religious bodies and other organisations to endorse themselves.

The office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which used to be a shadow of itself, as noticed by The Guardian, has now become the center of attraction following the beehives of activities going on there day and night.

A staff of the commission, who spoke to our reporter on the condition of anonymity is optimistic that the card readers deplored to the state would “ not fail.”

He revealed that some top politicians in the state have being frowning at INEC decision to make use of card reader, “ but that” according to him “ would not discourage us from using it.”

“Now that they know that they will not be able to rig the elections, they are worried and they have being lobbying INEC to see that the card readers are not used. But I am assuring you that they will not succeed.”

As at the time of filing in this report sensitive materials meant for the various local government councils in the state have begun to distribute materials to their various destinations.



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