Mixed Reactions Trail Taraba Council Elections

By Ikenga Chronicles February 26, 2017

Mixed Reactions Trail Taraba Council Elections

— Callistus Agwaza, Jalingo

Mixed reactions trail Taraba council elections held on Saturday, 25th/2/2017 which has been described as a “galaxy of absurdities and atrocities” by a school of thought, and a “credit to democratic maturity” by another.

The Deputy Chairman House Committee on Customs and member representing Bali/Ardo Kola federal constituency at the House of Representatives Hon Garba Garbachde said the level of atrocities and violence that characterized the elections is a source of serious worry for  all.

Garbachede said that the process was characterized by widespread violence that led to the death of one and destruction of property worth millions while several persons were seriously wounded and are undergoing treatment across the state.

He noted that besides the violence, there were instances of “deliberate shortage and or absence of electoral materials” noticeable in most polling units across the state.

He warned that any attempt to announce winners at places where elections obviously didn’t hold by the electoral body would cause an “unprecedented chaotic situation” in the state.

On the other hand, the state deputy governor Engr Haruna Manu hailed the elections as a credit for democracy and a great improvement from previous polls.

In an interview with pressmen, Manu said that Taraba was a “PDP state” and so he would be surprised if the APC or any other party wins a seat in the elections since the “people are overwhelmingly impressed with governor Ishaku on his giant development strides vis a vis the hardship brought upon the people by APC led federal government.

Meanwhile, the state chairman of the People’s Democratic Party PDP Mr Victor Bala said that the initiative of the state’s electoral body to adopt simultaneous accreditation and voting was the best as it enhanced the quality of the process.

Bala, who said the elections showed remarkable improvement as there was large turn out of electorates insisted that political office seekers must learn to accept defeat and to condition their minds that they are not above defeat if the process is ever to be violence free, and commended the Executive chairman of SIEC Dr Philip Duwe and the body for the progress so far.

However, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC Alhaji Sani Hassan Shul said the elections has shown how little the PDP led government in the state cared about the lives of the people.

Shul said that the rigging of the elections with so much impunity and abandon recklessness by the government in collaboration with the electoral body was a deliberate attempt to cause crisis in the state and vowed that the party would do everything to ensure that the rights of voters are not trampled underfoot.

Earlier, APC chieftain and supporters in the state took to the streets to protest the conduct of the elections alleging “widespread irregularities and government’s conspiracy with the electoral body to deny the people their franchise.

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