Indications have emerged that the deputy speaker of the Taraba State
House of Assembly, Alhaji Tanko Maikerifi, and the deputy majority
leader of the assembly, Hon. Josiah Sabon Kente, are in a two-way
battle to succeed the Taraba speaker, Hon Haruna Tsokwa who died
yesterday following a brief illness.
yesterday the late speaker had slumped in his residential house along
Mile 6 Road in Jalingo, the state capital, and was rushed to the Chief
Medical Centre where he was later confirmed dead.
The speaker, who was at the fore-front of the state’s lawmakers who
opposed the resumption of work by ailing Governor Danbaba Suntai,
despite his plea to return to work, was expected to lead the Taraba
State contingent of this year’s Christian pilgrimage in Israel. The
speaker’s remains were later taken to the state specialist hospital
where it was deposited in the mortuary.
disclosed that with the demise of the speaker, the political permutation
may have changed as a new Speaker will emerge almost immediately.
According to the sources, all fingers are pointed at the direction of
the majority leader, Hon. Josiah Sabon Kente, representing Wukari 2
constituency and the present deputy majority’s leader.
permutation, according to the source, is that since the acting governor
of the state is a Muslim, and the current deputy speaker also a Muslim,
the natural person to succeed the late speaker would be the deputy
majority leader who is a Christian and hails from the same southern
Taraba as the late speaker.
At the time of going to press, the
assembly was silent on who succeeds the late speaker. Alhough, there was
an emergency meeting of the lawmakers at 4pm yesterday, at the
assembly complex, a member who pleaded anonymity said the focus for now
was on arrangements for the speaker’s burial.
Meanwhile, Nigerians from all walks of life have been sending their condolences to the family of the late speaker.
The speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,
described Tsokwa’s death as a painful loss, saying the news came to him
as a rude shock.
In a statement issued in Abuja by his Special
Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said the
deceased lived an exemplary life of dedication and commitment to duty.
On his part, the Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon Momojimoh Lawal, described Tsokwa’s passing on as a rude shock.