The Taraba State All Progressive Congress (APC) has been accused of embarking on a deliberately sustained media campaign aimed at misleading the Court of Appeal as well as Nigerians in the hope of influencing the court’s decision.
The State’s Governorship Election is currently a subject of appeal at the Court of Appeal Yola Division, where the candidate of the PDP.
Gov. Darius Ishaku is challenging the verdict of the Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal, which sacked him as governor.
The Tribunal had earlier declared Senator Aisha Al-Hassan of the APC as governor on the grounds that an INEC witness had said that PDP did not conduct a primary election that produced Ishaku as its candidate.
Although, Al-Hassan did not even score the 2/3 of the votes cast in the 16 Local Government Areas of the state, as required by law, but won in only 5 LGA’s.
A group, the Coalition of Taraba State PDP Delegates (CTPD), led by MallamUsmanAliyu in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, said the rival APC was engaged in a deliberate drive to dis-inform Nigerians on the true position of events leading to the primaries and even after.
The delegates said there was a primary election for the party’s governorship candidate where about five aspirants, including Ishaku participated in Abuja, at the instance of our national secretariat which we as state delegates participated and elected Governor Ishaku as PDP flag bearer in the general elections that is now a subject of litigation.
According to him, contrary to insinuations being peddled by the APC in the media, at no time did the party or any of its organs in Taraba initiated any talks with either AlhajiGarba Umar (UTC), a former illegal Acting – Governor or Chief David Sabo Kente of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for any form of cooperation over the Appeal.
Giving an insight on the claim, Mallam Usman said there was no way the understanding of the duo could have been solicited for at this material time, since there was need for any more witnesses at the Appeal Court or any fresh testimony, adding that the said personalities were no longer members of the PDP and as such were of no relevance in the matter.
“Let the whole world know that Garba UTC and his supporters in Taraba State worked for Aisha and APC, while David Sabo Kentewas also a candidate in the same election under SDP. They left the PDP to pursue their interests and ambitions on other platforms, so how are they now relevant in this case”, he added.
“The reports in some section of the media that there was confusion in our party as aspirants insist no primary elections was held” was just the figment of the sponsors of those write – ups imagination, he said.
The group’s spokesman further explained that Garba UTC, having been removed by the court as Acting – Governor, saw his ambition of becoming governor under the new dispensation fell flat on his face, and instead opted for the senate, but later withdrew for Senator Abubakar Sani Danladi under some private arrangements.
Garba UTC reportedly withdrew from the Senatorial race for Danladi when the former indicated interest and Garba being his maternal uncle, decided to step aside for his nephew so as to avoid any embarrassment to their family in what may turn out to be an unpleasant political rivalry.
The actions of the state APC, he maintained smacked of mischief and calculated design to divert attention from the main issues before the court, adding that the party should rather concentrate how to prove its case of connivance with the Election Tribunal before a superior court, instead of attempting to paint a non-existent scenario.
He therefore called on well-meaning Tarabans and supporters of the PDP in the state to remain calm and law abiding, while awaiting the out-come of the appeal.
-Paschal Emeka, Abuja