- Alleges plot to scheme key stakeholders out of the exercise
Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
A faction of the Taraba All Progressive Congress (APC) has called for the postponement of Saturday’s state congress in Taraba due to what it described as gross irregularities in ward and local government congresses.
Spokesperson of the Unity Forum Mr Aaron Artimas also alleges a plot by the Senator Aisha Alhassan led group to scheme out key party stakeholders from the exercise.
Artimas said that the Unity orum of aspirants, comprising ten of the current aspirants in the state, was working hard to ensure that the right thing was done and only the right persons are allowed to occupy positions in the party in the state, and to ensure victory at the 2019 General Elections.
He, however, alleged that “some interests outside the party were colluding with Senator Aisha Alhassan caucus to hijack the forthcoming state congress” and called for its postponement so that the “issues arising from the ward and local government congresses could be addressed first and a level playing ground laid for all stakeholders.”
The recent ward and local government congresses of the APC in Taraba State were marred by gross irregularities.
Investigation by Daily Sun reveal that at least six local government areas may have their congresses cancelled as a result of massive irregularities that were identified.
Further investigation shows that the congresses were not held in Ibbi, Donga, Lau, Takum, and Ussa local government areas, while seven out of the ten wards in Jalingo local government area also stand the risk of cancellation.
Mr Artimas told our correspondent that some of the aspirants came in with desperation and were willing to do whatever it took not only to have their persons on the delegates lists, but to hijack the entire process.
Artimas accused the party leadership of not playing fair and taking sides with Senator Alhassan against other aspirants.
“Some of the aspirants have lost electoral value to a great extent and they felt the only way to succeed was to rig. That is why we had a situation where the duly assigned returning officers would collect materials and these would be snatched from them by hoodlums,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the current party leadership in the state is not playing fair. They have taken sides with the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, who has promised to return them to their offices. And we believe that she is being used by some political interests in the state to destabilize the party ahead of 2019 General Election in the state.”
The state chairman of the party, Alhaji Sani Chul, did not pick his calls and did not return them, while efforts to reach the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, did not yield results either, as she did not pick calls or respond to messages sent to her phone.