From Ayodele Samuel Lagos
Eight of the 10 governorship aspirants in the Taraba State All Progressives Congress (APC), gubernatorial primaries are calling for the cancellation of the party primaries, saying the election was characterized with violence, hijacking of results and other electoral materials by party Secretariat staff working for two aspirants, Senator Joel Ikenya and Sen. Sani Danladi.
The eight governorship aspirants include Garba Umar, Boiboi Kaigama, Aliu Umar, Sani Yahaya, Kabiru Dodo, Ezekiel Afukunyo, Ibrahim Tumba and David Sabo Kente.
The aspirants accused Sen. Ikenya and Sani Danladi of sponsoring violence in many voting wards in Jalingo, Wukari and many other part of the state.
Speaking on behalf of the aspirants, at a press conference in Jalingo, Kente said said that the exercise was marred by massive irregularities, violence, while election did not even hold at all in some places where results were declared.
“Gentlemen of the Press, before you is the forum of aspirants of the APC and you can see that we are eight out of the 10 of us that went into the sham they are calling party primaries.
“We are here to distance ourselves from it because it was marred by gross irregularities and snatching of election results by thugs sent by two of the aspirants Joel Ikenya and Sani Danladi.
Kente alleged that Ikenya and Danladi had traded on the fortunes of the state for too long and wanted to hijack power at all cost.
Kente called on the national Secretariat of APC to disregard any governorship primary election result from Taraba state, stating that the election process was highjacked and doctored by the two persons.
The eight aspirants also called on the national leadership of the party to disqualify Danlami Ikenya and Sani Danladi for defaulting the earlier agreed terms by the ten governorship aspirants of APC in the state.
The governorship aspirants had on Saturday passed a resolution that whoever among them who engages in thuggery, snatching of ballots and high jacking of election materials should be disqualified from the race.
The aspirants said a fresh governorship primary election that would be free and fair for the people of the state to choose who will fly the flag of the party come 2019 general election should be conducted by another team.
Ikenya described the allegations as ‘baseless’, saying that those complaining are not on ground to woo votes and are only complaining because they have lost.
Ikenya said that rather than holding press conferences, the aspirants should wait for the election appeal committee where they would lay their complaints.