30 die in Taraba over guber tribunal ruling

Darius-Dickson-IshakuPDP is paying the price of impunity, says APC

NO fewer than 30 people were yesterday reportedly killed in Wukari Local Council of Taraba State in upheavals that have trailed Saturday’s ruling of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja that sacked Governor Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and declared the All Progressives Congress’ (APC’s) Aisha Alhassan as winner of April 11, 2015 poll.

The upheavals, which were said to have commenced at about 1 a.m. yesterday left scores dead with many more injured.

Meanwhile, APC said Saturday’s judgment was a clear indication that the PDP has started harvesting what it sowed in ‘‘its years of impunity and recklessness,’’ hence it should blame itself for whatever tragedy that has now befallen it.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP has always been a party of anything goes, hence it is a matter of time for the party to come to grief, first by tumbling from the pinnacle of power and now by losing, incrementally, whatever remains of its crumbled empire.

Peace and tranquility in Wukari Council was said to have been disrupted immediately the news of the APC governorship candidate’s victory in the said governorship election filtered into the council.

Though heavily armed security personnel were deployed to the area to halt any form of uprising, aggrieved people defied whatever form of check the soldiers and policemen were expected to represent and went about attacking and killing perceived opponents from either side of the political divide.

Though the police are yet to come out with the actual numbers of casualties, sources from the area told The Guardian that “well over 30 persons have been killed.”

According to the sources, the Wukari General Hospital and some private clinics in the area have admitted no fewer than 50 casualties with varying degrees of injuries.

“Instead of celebrating the victory of their candidate peacefully, we were surprised that APC supporters went about attacking PDP supporters, destroying their property, killing and maiming them. I can tell you it would have been worse if PDP members had retaliated, but they behaved maturely.”

Confirming the report of violence and killings, the police commissioner through the Police Public Relations Officer said more anti-riot policemen, have been deployed to the area.

Some families who spoke to The Guardian on a telephone said they were trapped in their homes and hideouts, afraid to venture out.

Also, The Guardian noticed a large deployment of anti-riot policemen and soldiers to Jalingo, the state capital to forestall violence from Wukari.

Vehicles coming in from outside the state were thoroughly searched by the security operatives at the various checkpoints in the city.

Speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Sylvanus Giwa, Ishaku enjoined the people to remain calm as relevant security measures have been put in place to halt the crisis from escalating.

He also said the government would take all legal and constitutional measures to nullify the Tribunal’s ruling which he said cannot be justified and would remain a figment in the imagination of those behind it.

Saddened by the tribunal’s ruling, Rebo Usman, the Chief of Staff to the state governor, said the situation in the state is a litmus test to President Muhammadu Buhari in his fight against corruption.

He said: “I will like to state here clearly that President Buhari has a challenge before him on the case of Taraba state. For judges to have done that means a lot of water must have passed under the bridge.”

Mohammed’s statement said the PDP was only trifling by attributing the judgement to a supposed manipulation from the Presidency.

‘’President Muhammadu Buhari as well as his party, the APC, are strong believers in the rule of law, as against the rule of impunity, hence will never manipulate the judiciary for whatever reason.

‘’The PDP is clearly aware of this, but has chosen to blame everyone but itself for the fate that has befallen it. The PDP should have known that it will pay for its years of impunity and recklessness. For this party, the chicken has now come home to roost,’’ APC said.

The party said if the PDP is not blaming the judiciary, its favourite whipping boy, it is blaming the APC, the Presidency or even Nigerians for its plight, warning it to stop shifting responsibility.

‘’PDP should leave the judiciary, the Presidency and the APC alone and accept responsibility for its actions. From the judgement of the Tribunal, it is clear that the impunity of the PDP cost it the election. Not only did the party breach Section 78 (b) (1) (2) of the Electoral Act concerning the organisation of party primaries, it was not even deemed to have participated in the April 11, 2015 governorship election in Taraba State in the eyes of the law.

‘’Apart from not complying with the Electoral Act, the election of the PDP candidate, Mr. Darius Ishaku, in the purported primaries in Abuja was done after the stipulated time for party primaries had elapsed, according to the Tribunal. It is thus clear that the election result in Taraba was not annulled for any other reason but the impunity and recklessness that permeated the life and times of the cadaverous PDP,” Mohammed said.

  • Blonde Johnny Bass

    What they could not win by election they are using the backdoor, Buhari is showing the world that he is really change, a change for the worst.

    • Man_Enough

      I’d rather say that it was pdp that wanted to win through the back door by presenting a candidate who was not qualified in the first place. ishaku was illegally presented for election. that is the bone of contention.

  • PG

    In as mush as I am not for any political party….but, does Lai Mohammed think he can always fool people? Please tell this man that he should please keep his mouth shut for once, pleaseeeee. These judgments are getting one too many party biased than coincidence.

    • gogolagos

      really if tribunal want to declare that Nigeria have one party they can easily do it without using short way. what should the tribunal tell Nigerians that voted some months ago? that their votes were meaningless?

      • PG

        I really wonder what they are trying to say ooo, that really nobody voted for PDP? Even in the presidential election, the margin was less than 2million.

      • Man_Enough

        their votes are not meaningless but they were deceived into voting for a candidate who is not qualified to contest.

        • gogolagos

          if someone is not qualified to contest why is that INEC allow he or she to contest??

          • frankbuttrue

            Especially when that INEC was manned by Saint Jega.

      • 4taisolarin

        Not supricing at all…APC has been well known for wining elections through corrupting the Judiciary…that is how they killed Justice Salami’s career… many LGAs are there in can an educated Judge award a state to a candidate that did not score up to two thirds of LGAs in a state?

  • AmaraMr ikwuegbu

    APC provocation is getting out of hands ,nigerians be wise

  • miji

    It’s a shame that this Lai of a man would refer to loss of souls as price of politics. APC and PMB should settle down and do its work. GEJ was a gentleman who would not allow blood letting for political gains

    • Man_Enough

      lai was referring to the loss of election in the tribunal, not the loss of lives.

    • charlieakpeumoh

      You’re damn right my brother or sister! I agree 100% with you! You see, there are very wide differences in operational political principles (OPP) between GEJ and PMB: the former is a peaceful politician and like you rightly said, “would not allow blood-letting for political gains.” As for the later, well, your guess is as good as mine!! Pls. refer to the following statements from PMB, after 2 different elections: The 1st. statement made many years ago, somewhere in the North, after a failed election bid: “we will make this country ungovernable, …” and the 2nd, made recently, after winning and at his maiden inauguration: “I will be the President for all (Nigerians): I will not be anyone’s president” or was it: “I belong to all (Nigerians); not to some”? [Pls. note that, I am just paraphrasing his actual statements here; you could check-out the actual words he’d used on those respective occassions; all in all, it amounts to the same clear contradictions in political principles / OPP]. See what I mean?

  • frankbuttrue

    It is sad that a court without thinking of the implication of its action granted to APC a relief not sought by the Party. That is strange. It is also strange that victory was automatically awarded to APC candidate by these highly compromised Judges. One would have expected that since more than 2 political parties contested the elections, the Judges would at best disqualified the PDP candidate and make the parties go through a fresh election. This will afford those who voted for PDP because it was on the ballot the opportunity to vote for their next choice which may not necessarily be APC. We need to learn from history. The stage is again being set by APC greed as it was by NPN in 1983 for the destruction of our democracy. Unfortunately those who should speak out are silent because the arrangement suit their parochial interest.

    • Man_Enough

      when it was discovered that Ben Johnson won the 100 meters Olympic race in 1988 with aid of enhancement drugs, the race was not repeated. the gold medal was withdrawn from him and handed over to Carl Lewis who came second in that same race which was contested by about 10 athletes.

      • frankbuttrue

        Your comparison is baseless. The number of people in this particular race is the entire voting population of Taraba State and you can not transfer their votes to APC without their consent. It is about the life of the Taraba people and not just about PDP, APC, APGA, Labour or whatever party.

      • charlieakpeumoh

        Nigerian elections and events thereafter are supposed to be guarded by; and should be, by all means – seen to be guarded by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not by the rules of the International Olympic commitee. Can you please readjust your reasoning faculty to the reality of a clear difference, that exist between the political constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the rules & regulations of the International Olympic commitee? Unless you want to simply trivialize already grave and tragic matters – as they are already playing-out on the ground locally in that giant West African country!