Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state has expressed confidence in holding on to his position, following the possibility of going to the poll for a third time.
Speaking to state House correspondents after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, Ishaku boasted that if he contests the gubernatorial elections 10 times in the state, he will always win, Leadership reports.
The governor noted that he is not afraid of going to the polls again if his case at the Appeal Court fails.
Ishaku has contested twice at the poll and emerged victorious at both attempts against his opponents and main rival Aisha Jummai Alhassan of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to him, the same scenario will play out again if he eventually contests.
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state
He said: “I have gone to election two times and the second was a bit more than the first, and I am on the third election now. I am so confident, If I contest 10 times, I will win. By the grace of God, the people have given me their mandate, and I know the God I believe in will keep that mandate of the people.
“God who has brought me this far will sustain me. The mandate of the people is given to us by God, and God will sustain it.”
Reacting to the violent protest that rocked the state after the verdict of the Election Tribunal in which more than 10 person lost their lives, Ishaku appealed to the people in the state to remain calm and not to take the law into their hands.
He said he came to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the security situation in the state adding that so far things have return to normal in the state.
He said: “I came to brief the President on the security situation in my state and to abreast him with the happenings, so far we thank God everywhere is calm, there is peace everywhere, and I came to update him to let him know we are doing our best to keep the state in a peaceful atmosphere.
“I have appealed against the election tribunal judgment, and I am also appealing to all the citizens in my state to be calm because I still have a lot of confidence in the judiciary, and the Appeal Court will do what is correct and right.
“The important thing we as leaders are that our first duty is to protect lives and properties. I am quite sensitive to any unrest, and I have told my people to be patient, peaceful law-abiding and allow the judiciary to do its work.”
Taraba state governorship candidate (APC) Senator Aisha Alhassan and newly appointed minister of women affairs
Barely hours after the INEC returning officer for Taraba governorship election, Kyari Mohammed, declared Darius Ishaku of the PDP as the winner of the guber poll, Aisha Alhassan rejected the resultsd.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Darius Ishaku winner of the April 11 Taraba governorship election after polling more votes than Aisha Alhassan.
However, at the end of the INEC’s final collation that day, the election was declared inconclusive because the margin of Ishaku’s victory was lower than the number of registered voters in areas where elections either were not held or were cancelled due to irregularities.
Hence, a supplementary election was held two weeks after in those areas, with Ishaku however getting the most votes to win for the second time at the poll.
At the end of collation of votes for April 25 supplementary election in the state, Al-Hassan of the APC got 13,599 votes to trail Darius Ishaku of the PDP, who garnered 53,120 votes.
When the votes earned by both candidates in both the April 11 and April 25 elections are added, Ishiaku’s cumulative ballots came to 360,318 to the APC’s candidate 275,985.
The INEC then officially declared the PDP candidate Darius Ishaku winner of the Taraba governorship election on Sunday, April 26.
However, the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Taraba on Saturday, November 7 nullified the election of Darius Ishaku.
The Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, declared Aisha Alhassan, as the winner of the April 11 governorship election in the state.
The three-member tribunal held that Ishaku was not validly nominated as candidate of the PDP and therefore did not qualify, from start, to contest the governorship election.
Specifically, the tribunal held that the governorship primaries purportedly conducted by the PDP in the state was done in violation of section 78 (b) (1)(2) of the Electoral Act which guides parties nomination to the position of governorship candidate.
It held that contrary to the provision of the section, PDP conducted the purported primaries at its national secretariat, Wadata Plaza, in Abuja with no clear delegation from the local government areas in the state.
The tribunal sustained the testimonies of the head of election monitoring of INEC that the commission was not aware of any primaries conducted by the party in line with the provision of the electoral act which produced Ishaku as the party’s flagbearer.
The defence by the PDP that the primaries were shifted to Abuja because of security challenges in the state was rejected by the tribunal.
The tribunal therefore voided the votes of the PDP and Mr. Ishaku in the election saying “it is a waste’’ and declared the APC and its candidate, who came second, as the valid winner of the April 11 election.