Taraba Rerun Elections: PDP, APC In Battle of Wits

All is now set for supplementary elections into Kurmi/Gashaka/Sardauna federal constituency as well as Mbamga and Ardo Kola state constituencies in Taraba state tomorrow, Saturday February 20. Independent National Election Commission, INEC had a fortnight ago announced February 20 as date for supplementary elections in one federal constituency and two state constituencies in the state. INEC Administrative Secretary in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Umar at a stakeholders meeting in Jalingo said the commission was ready for the election and have distributed non-sensitive materials while sensitive materials would be distributed today, Friday ahead of Saturday’s elections. He informed that only registered voters who have already obtained their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs would vote in the election, explaining that only those that voted during the last election would vote come Saturday. On its part, APC chairman in the state, Alhaji Ardo Jika expressed confidence that their candidate Emmanuel Bongo who is now leading by 32 votes against the incumbent, Mr. Peter Abel Diah of PDP in Mbamga state constituency after the court ordered rerun will win the election.
The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the Saturday’s supplementary election into Kurmi/Gashaka/Sardauna House of Representatives seat, Dan-Asabe Hosea in a reaction expressed confidence that he will win the polls. “God gave me the mandate through the people, the people are still there and they have assured me they will come out en masse to tell the world that they voted me,” he said. He appealed to the people of his constituency to be law abiding and not to react to any form of provocation from any quarter during the election. Hosea noted that within the five months that he stayed in the National Assembly, he sponsored four motions that had direct bearing on the lives of the people of his constituency. According to him, he had moved a motion for the development of the Mambilla Hydro Power project which according to him would provide jobs, contribute power to the national grid which will help boost industrial growth. “I have also move a motion for the upgrade of Gashaka Gumti National Park which is the best in Africa and the motion has been approved and referred to the House Committee on tourism for further action.
“I have also moved a motion for the construction of Mararaban Baissa-Abong- Ngoroje road, which will open up the area and bring investors to harness our God giving natural resources like Cocoa, oil palm, rubber and tea among others. So the people will vote me back,” he said. Taraba state Police Commissioner Mr. Shaba Alkali while briefing stakeholders on their level of preparations for the election warned all stakeholders connected to the Saturday’s rerun election in the state to guard against violence. Shaba said his men were ready to deal decisively with any criminal act during the rerun elections, assuring that they will execute their duties without fear or favour. He maintained that snatching of ballot boxes, attacking electorates at the election venues and other electoral misbehaviours must be eliminated.
“I want to warn trouble makers to steer clear of voting points as only those who have business at polling units would be allow access,” he warned. Political pundits have tipped PDP to win the elections as most of the areas supplementary elections are to hold on Saturday are PDP strongholds. But the APC Chairman, Alhaji Ardo Jika disputed the predictions that PDP will win, querying that, “if the areas in questions are PDP strongholds why did they rigged elections in those areas in the first place? PDP have lost value in Taraba and can’t win any genuine contest”, he said. A PDP chieftain, Mallam Babangida Umar told National Mirror that PDP will win clearly on Saturday especially that the Supreme Court ruling went in favour of the governor and most areas elections are to hold are under the control of the PDP. It could be recalled that the Appeal Court sitting in Yola Adamawa state had at various dates in December last year, annulled the election of the member representing Kurmi/Gashaka and Sardauna Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Dan-Asabe Hosea of the PDP and ordered supplementary election in 19 polling units.
The Appellate court also annulled the election of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Abel Peter Diah of the PDP and ordered rerun election in eight polling units, even as it ordered same in Ardo Kola state constituency, where Mr. Emmanuel Dame also of the PDP was asked to vacate his seat pending the outcome of the supplementary election in 11 polling units in the constituency.

-National Mirror