By Umar Muhammad
It is something incredible to see that the All Progressives Congress that was causing shivers to Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba PDP has become less than a shadow of its former self, following the crisis that rocked the APC after its controversial primaries.
In the beginning, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan was the fulcrum of the APC in Taraba, but other gubernatorial aspirants saw that the former Minister of Women Affairs had all the officials of the Party working for her to clinch the gubernatorial ticket, they ganged up and got the Party to re-organize the party hierarchy, to give everyone a level playing ground, but the ground was levelled up for Sani Abubakar Danladi
Aisha was later disqualified by APC during the screening of aspirants – but Danladi who was thought to have so much baggage was allowed through.
Aisha later resigned from the party, and got the governorship ticket from UDP. At first she went with just a handful of her supporters, but her party swelled with other APC members who grew disenchanted with the foot-dragging of the party to remove Sani Danladi.
The unfortunate thing is that none of the Party officials deemed it necessary to even talk her into staying back in the party! Yes, Buhari is a brand and he can afford to stay out of party affairs and still win elections, but he should please step up when the people who love him to death have people they hate being shoved down their throats to rule them!
In 2007, President Obasanjo was able to single-handedly announce the removal of Danladi Baidu for carrying ‘odorous baggage ’, even after he had won the primaries as the PDP gubernatorial candidate.
The APC gubernatorial primaries were about to commence in Jalingo on October 1st when thugs carrying various weapons went into all the polling units and drove away voters, those who resisted were maimed and left to bleed. Voting documents were carted away. This was pretty much what happened in all the other Local Government Areas. At the end of it all, Returning Officers were bought over, and votes allocated to aspirants in a private house, with aspirants who were the greatest threats allocated the least number of votes.
In the evening, the already-compromised Election Committee announced Sani Abubakar Danladi as the winner.
The elections for the seats of House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate were not even held anywhere, and results were announced in Yola.
Sani Danladi himself had been expecting his being asked to step down for a more acceptable candidate, that is why he is still paying courtesy calls to Ministers, the President, the Vice President, and anyone he thinks has a say in the party to let him remain as the ticket holder.
Right now he is confused and has not had the confidence to start his campaign in earnest. As it is now, nobody has to look at any crystal ball to know that APC is not going to make it to Jalingo Government House in 2019. Even PDP that had paid a lot to gather materials to take Danladi to court and get him disqualified at the last-minute so that APC will have no gubernatorial candidate, is now reconsidering to let him run because they know he cannot win.
Sani’s support by the Bala Lau faction of the Izala Group led by Dr. Jalo in Taraba who never misses any opportunity to criticize Christians and CAN, does not endear him to the Christians in the State. The only people presently with him now are a few professional politicians who cannot survive on anything but politics. It is however worrisome that the APC has turned a blind eye to all these, pretending that everything will work out fine at the end, or that they think Sani will have a grand plan to get himself into Government House. The writing is brightly on the wall that APC is fractionalized and cannot as it is, win any election. Some of their members have already gone to PDP, a large chunk have gone to Mama Taraba, the rest are being kept from leaving the party by the eight aspirants, who still have hope that the party will do something. How can the APC now with this, hope to win against PDP, who hold all the money and power? The people of are yearning for change, but it looks like they have been abandoned by the party they were looking up to, for rescue. There is still time to correct this, as the people of the State are ready to support an alternative candidate, as anybody else will be better than Danladi, and an alternative candidate will be able to galvanize and win the election for APC even as at now.
Also Mama Taraba should be encouraged to return to the Party as an elder of the Party because she has sworn never to support Danladi, Danladi himself should be prevailed upon to give another aspirant the ticket, then be compensated by another elective position. The fate of the suffering masses of Taraba State lies on the APC
The people of Taraba love Buhari, and felt that he could have done something in 2015 to help APC, and still looking up to him and hope that he will do something for Taraba, this time. President Buhari and tha APC Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, should come to the aid of Tarabians The Peace Accord they just signed is all about stopping violence, ballot snatching, vote-buying, etc. What is ironic is that the ten APC gubernatorial aspirants also signed an MOU to conduct the primaries without any violence, and agreed that anyone who violated it should be disqualified. Danladi did. APC should show by example that it abhors violence and does not tolerate it.
Umar Muhammad is the Coordinator of Taraba Progressive Movement writes in from Jalingo.