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2019 poll preparations increase tempo of Taraba politics

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Governor Ishaku


• APC urges unity of members as PDP insists on second term for Ishaku

The leadership of the Taraba State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged members of the party to embrace unity in their quest to win the state in the 2019 elections as it commenced the process of mobilizing eligible voters to participate in the ongoing voters registration exercise. The party said that was the only condition through which the party could defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

One of the governorship aspirants of the party, Professor Muhammed Sani Yahaya during the official opening of his campaign office at Mutum-Biyu in Gassol local council of the state, emphasised the need for the state chapter of the party to embrace unity.

According to him, “Unity among the party faithful will not only lead our party to victory but will also set the tune for the positive transformation of the state.”While he said citizens of the state deserve to be liberated from what he called the poor governance style of the PDP, Yahaya said, “The ruling party has plunged the state into a serious mess since the inception of democratic rule in Nigeria.”

But the state chairman of the party, Alhaji Sani Hassan said, “For the APC to actualise its this dream of ruling Taraba, it has set up a mobilizing committee that have been assigned with the responsibility of going from door-to-door to mobilizing eligible voters who are yet to register to participate in the ongoing registration exercise.”

He said the citizen of Taraba are no longer comfortable with the present PDP government because there have not been any meaningful achievement recorded under the administration Governor Darius D. Ishaku.Hassan therefore appealed to the electorate, particularly APC faithful to embrace the exercise and work in unity, saying, “Please, go out to the nearest registration center and register.”

According to him, “The major weapon we can use to effect change in our state in the next election is our voters card. So on behalf of the entire APC family I am calling and pleading to all the eligible voters, who were yet to register to please do that before it is late.”

Another speaker, Alhaji Tukur Sambo, said the aspiration of Yahaya was based on the ongoing call from the people of his community, the state and some parts of the country, necessitated his quest to contest for the governorship post.

Sambo however said such feat could only be actualized only if eligible voters heeded the call of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register. He also admonished voters to ensure that they collect their voter’s card, protect it till the day of election because that is the only way they can exercise their franchise during election.

Expressing confidence that the party would dust the PDP in the election, Sambo said, “The change, which took place at the federal level in the 2015 presidential election must be replicated in the state in 2019.”Admonishing them to put aside sentiment such as religion and ethnicity, he said the party has all the needed capacity to triumph at the polls, hence the need for the members to eschew vices that would thwart the dreams of the party.

He said although the party has set up a mobilizing committee assigned with the responsibility of mobilizing eligible voters to go out en-mass to register, there was the need for the youths to embrace education.  

While enumerating the achievements that Yahaya has brought to his community, another Dr. Yahaya Garba Sale, said more harms would be done to the state when eligible voters refused to participate in the ongoing voters registration.

On his part, Senator Abubakar Tutare, said unity without voters card would not make the party sail through in the 2019 general elections and urged all eligible voters, who have the interest of the state at heart, to make the necessary sacrifice of going out to register.

Though they have not publicly made their intentions known, The Guardian learnt that politicians jostling for the governorship ticket on the platform of APC include the serving Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Alhassan Aisha Jumai, former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya, former Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate, Chief David Sabo Kente and others.However political analysts are of the view that if only APC could puts its house in order it has a brighter chance of clinching power in 2019.

MEANWHILE, the leadership of the ruling party has declared that incumbent governor Ishaku should be allowed to secure a second term ticket on the platform of the party. The PDP admonished aspirants seeking to contest the governorship position to discard such ambitions, as the incumbent governor is eligible for reelection.

The State Chairman, Victor Bala Kona, who made this known on Saturday while playing host to the leadership of the PDP National Youth Vanguard, at the party secretariat in Jalingo said “The people of the North and Central Taraba will never support any fresh candidate coming from Taraba South.”

Stressing the need for politicians from both zones to continue to throw their weights behind the southern part of the state to actualize their dream of producing the governor for two consecutive tenure, he said, “It will as well amount to gross injustice if the southern part of the state is denied such opportunity.”He also beckoned at politicians from the governor’s zone not to support any aspirant from the zone saying, “It will not be politically wise to allow any fresh candidate from Taraba State other than this our present governor.”

Referring to former governors Jolly T. Nyame who hailed from the Northern zone of the state and the late former governor, Danbaba D. Suntai, from the Central zone, he said both completed their two tenure and that the party will work tirelessly to ensure that the South complete its second tenure.Kona, who observed, “In Taraba, there is no APC because they are divided among themselves” said the PDP will win the 2019 election with Ishaku as the candidate.

The PDP National Youth Vanguard led by the Deputy National Chairman, Victoria Alhassan, threw their weights behind Kona, saying, “There is no need to have a change because every section of the zone will have a feel of the government.”

The PDP also got more strengthened with the defection of top politicians from the opposition APC who have continued to dumped their party in droves. Some of the APC defectors who were received by Kona last Saturday include former Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly Simeon Inusa Dogari, as well as Iremiya Hammanjode, Gambo Maikomo, Ibrahim Ishaya Etsu, Hajiya Aluminium Mohammed to mention just a few.

They claimed internal crisis in the APC and “massive developmental projects the incumbent governor had brought to the state” as reasons for their defections. A visibly elated Kona, while receiving them, said the PDP will continue to operate an open door policy, urging members of the opposition parties who have the desire to cross over to PDP should commence the process as the party (PDP) “is ever willing to receive new members.”


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APCDarius Dickson Ishaku

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