Taraba Mandate Group has commended well-meaning Nigerians for condemning the nullification of the election of Taraba state Governor Darius Ishaku, by the State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal that sat in Abuja.
In a statement on Monday by its Public Relations Officer, Gani Bako, the group insisted that the “premise of the verdict is totally unknown to law”.
The Tribunal had held that Governor Ishaku was not validly nominated by his party, PDP and therefore, nullified his election and also declared the candidate of the APC, Mrs. Aisha Alhassan as the duly elected Governor of Taraba State. Mr. Ishaku has however appealed the judgement.
The group particular singled out Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti and Mike Ozekomhe, SAN for commendations and for being consistent in the condemnation of what it described further as “bizarre judgement”.
Bako stated further, “It is an insult on franchise that votes would be called “wasted” by anyone, no matter what authority such an entity or individual claims to have. Certainly, the majority of Taraba voters particularly felt insulted when the tribunal imperiously declared that they wasted their votes.
“It is however commendable that Nigerians stood up to unanimously condemn the strange verdict. In various mass/social media platforms, Nigerians home and abroad literally took to the streets in protest. This shows that there is hope for democracy in Nigeria.
“As a pro-Darius group therefore, we wish to heartily thank Nigerians for this magnificent demonstration of goodwill and camaraderie. The fact that Nigerians, irrespective of their backgrounds freely aligned with our state in our moment of distress, is a sign of good things to come.
“We however cannot but zero in on the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, whose courage in the face of terror, has continued to inspire all true democrats. We are most grateful for his timely submission at a time when many retreated into their shell. His Excellency, Gov. Fayose has shown by his deft comments that it is indeed all for one and one for all.
“We thus endorse his calls for the investigations and prosecutions of the judges that came up with that ridiculous tribunal judgement. We also support his suggestion that the judiciary in this matter operated double standards considering that in Benue and indeed many All Progressive Congress (APC) states, there were no primaries. In fact, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue even said he did not do a primary. Today, he is still governor because he is in APC.
“We also, finally, wish to thank Nigerian lawyers, especially the senior advocates, who also took up the matter. In particular, we wish to commend Chief Mike Ozeokhome, SAN, who practically fired the first salvo in condemnation of the damned and abnormal verdict. Ozeokhome is indeed a great mind.
“We are still calling on more Nigerians to help us spread the message save taraba mandate around.”