Former Deputy Senate Minority leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha has emerged winner of All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Taraba State.
The Chairman of the APC Governorship Primary Election in the state, Lawrence Onuchukwu, declared Bwacha winner at a press briefing in Jalingo, saying he defeated all the other eight aspirants to emerge as the party’s candidate for the 2023 general elections.
Shortly after the declaration on Friday, the Committee Chairman alongside other members boarded a private jet and exited the north-eastern state.
Onuchukwu alleged that his life was under threat, adding that members of the committee were held hostage.
According to him, he was forced at gun point to declare that he has not authorised the governorship primary to commence across the state due to unresolved issues.
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“What happened yesterday was quite unfortunate. However, election was conducted, few aspirants were happy with the conduct of the election,” he said.
“My members and I were held hostage at a particular location where we could not raise our legs up and we were at gunpoint, under duress to address the press that there was nothing like election which was actually held and after that they allowed us to leave which was the only condition for us to be alive.
“For me it is only a tree that can be cut down and its still there, but we as humans we have to run for out dear lives by doing what they want us to do, but that was not the real position of the truth.
“The result of the exercise was won by one Senator Emmanuel Bwacha and we have declared him the winner of the election.”
On his part, Senator Bwacha reiterated that his victory is valid and called on other contestants to close ranks and sheath their swords.
“I accept this offer from my party and pledge to work in harmony with those who contested with me and I am calling on them to close ranks and define a new road map for the APC which has for long been in the opposition,” he stated.
“At a designated time, I will reach out to those who lost out individually and collectively, because one person must emerge among many contestants and it is not a do or die matter, but one done to restore the lost glory of our state.
“If I say Taraba State is not sitting down on the precipice, I will be economical with the truth, but what we will do if victorious, we will redefine governance and dignity of civil service.”
This however did not go down well with six other aspirants of the party as they alleged that no APC governorship primary was conducted. They also asked the party’s national headquarters to intervene.
Speaking on behalf of the six other aspirants in the state, the Senator representing Taraba Central, Yusuf Yusuf asked the party to conduct a governorship primary in Taraba or risk losing them to another party.
“We are surprise to know what has happened after the chairman of the committee said he has not authorized any election, only for us to be told he announced a result at the airport and jetted out,” he stated.
“We affirm that there was no election, no approval given, no duress whatsoever because we were there when he announced at the police headquarters that he has not authorized any election to hold in Taraba State.
“Due process of the law will be followed to ensure that internal dispute mechanism is judiciously used, and it will be followed by litigation in accordance to the electoral act of 2022.
“We will hold APC National accountable for whatever that happens to its followers in Taraba state and If the leadership of the party at the national headquarters are not prepared to accommodate our interest we will exit and think of other means of solving our issues.”