Women group seeks INEC’s impartiality in Taraba
AGAINST the backdrop of the declaration of Taraba State gubernatorial elections inconclusive, a women group, Women Political Engagement Platform (WPEP) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be impartial in the conclusion of the poll.
WPEP urged the electoral umpire to try hard and maintain the hard earned integrity it showcased during the presidential election and other elections that followed.
In a media briefing held in Kano, the National Coordinator of the group, Mrs. Theresa Paul, called on other women groups in the country to wake up from slumber and support an exceptional struggle in the political history of the nation where a woman was on the way of becoming the first woman governor in the country.
“This is the apex of our political struggle and development during the present democratic dispensation. As women we do not have any other option than to support our fellow comrade, Hajiya Aisha, who is fondly called ‘Mama Taraba’.
We are also calling on our men compatriots to join us in the struggle,” she called. INEC, according to the WPEP National Coordinator, should strive harder and send a strong signal across the globe that the umpire was not in any way scuttling a genuine mandate of the women folk.”
“This group is not calling on Professor Attahiru Jega to favour the amazon, Hajiya Aisha and announce result just like that. No! We are only urging him to ensure a credible election process in the state during the gubernatorial election.
In areas where Mama Taraba had popular support, election was not allowed to take place peacefully and smoothly,” she alleged. She cited examples like Bantaje ward, where she alleged that only 11 ballot boxes were produced, alleging further that 56 polling units were produced all in favour of the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Darius Dickson.
Paul pleaded with INEC to crosscheck what was produced from areas like Jibu, Chinku, Kenfe, Akona, Avi, Puje, Hospital, Rafin Kuda, Tsokundi, Akwana, and other places where according to her there were various cases of alleged snatching of ballot papers, destruction of card readers and dispersing of voters.
The WPEP Coordinator noted with dismay how the number of women parliamentarians was reduced significantly, which according to her means the philosophy of affirmative action was being systematically sabotaged. Because of the reduction in the number of parliamentarians in the current dispensation “…the breakthrough of Mama Taraba would have been a welcome development to any person who is desirous of women empowerment, “ she said.