Group, elders reject tribunal’s ruling on Taraba
A group under the aegis of Taraba Mandate Group (TMG) has condemned the election petition tribunal judgment, which overturned the election of Governor Darius Ishaku, saying the judiciary can be accused of double standards.
Also, Abuja based political elders of Taraba State extraction have rejected the judgment of the state governorship election petition tribunal.
Rising from a meeting in Abuja, the elders said “the judgment of the tribunal is capable of throwing the already volatile state into an unwarranted chaos,” because of the political awareness of the people of the state who hardly give away their mandate anytime it was freely decided at the polls.
TMG took side with Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose’s comments that the judiciary is guilty of double standards considering that in Benue and indeed many of the All Progressives Congress (APC) states, there were no primaries.
In a resolution sent to The Guardian by its spokesman, Gani Bako, after their meeting in Abuja, TMG noted that the tribunal’s verdict was akin to wishing the peoples’ mandate freely given to Ishaku away.
TMG added, “In fact, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue even said he did not do a primary. Today, he is still governor because he is in APC. Thank you Fayose for standing on the popular side of truth.
“The Taraba people therefore urged the Appeal Court to set aside the judgment and uphold the election of Ishaku in the interest of the people, fairness and justice.
“We humbly appeal to all Nigerians of goodwill to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari and all stakeholders to do the needful to respect the wishes of Taraba people.
“The tribunal’s judgment was uncalled for. It is almost like the annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election won by late business mogul, Chief M. K. O. Abiola.
“Senator Aisha Alhassan of the APC is our daughter and sister. But in the case of the 2015 governorship election, Tarabans voted for Ishaku. No court or tribunal should invalidate the will and wishes of our people.
“This is a clarion call to save Taraba. We need peace and development. We can avoid the crisis and confusion by restoring the mandate of Ishaku.’’
Former Nigeria’s envoy to Trinidad and Tobago, Ambassador Musa John, faulted the tribunal’s ruling, saying that as a former PDP governorship aspirant, he was aware that the party primary held in Abuja where he actively participated when the security situation in Jalingo, the state capital could not be guaranteed for such an event.
Further, he said the tribunal erred in law by awarding Aisha the seat when as a matter of fact, she never suffered any injury arising from the PDP primaries, adding that after all, the APC won in only five out of the 16 local government areas of the state and could not have been declared winner when she did not satisfy the two-third of the majority votes cast in the election as enshrined in the 1999 amended Constitution.
Also, the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate during the election, Alhaji Kabiru Dodo, said the judgment does not augur well for the peaceful atmosphere existing in the state, noting that power belongs to God and whomever He chooses to give it to should be supported instead of the current bickering in the state.
Former Nigerian Ambassdor to Cameroun, Mr. Emmanuel Njuwa, wondered what the judgment was set to achieve in view of the fact that Gov. Ishaku got the overwhelming votes of the people even when INEC called for a re-run in some local councils and wards after the main election was decided in his favour.