As the legal fireworks continue amongst political gladiators jostling for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Taraba State, two of the aspirants have accused the party leadership led by Abdullahi Adamu of imposing Emmanuel Bwacha as the party’s governorship candidate in the state.
The two aspirants – Yusuf Yusuf and David Sabokente – spoke on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.
According to them, no primary was held in the state and the APC leadership in Abuja rode roughshod over them to foist Bwacha, a new member of the party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the APC governorship candidate in the state.
Yusuf blamed Bwacha’s emergence as APC governorship candidate on the “conspiracy of the leadership of the party”.
“Abdullahi Adamu has made up his mind that it has to be Emmanuel Bwacha or nobody for APC in Taraba and we said nom we are on the ground,” he said, adding that the APC national chairman stopped taking his calls after many unreplied letters on the matter.
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Similarly, Sabokente said, “It is very unfortunate. APC has a very bright chance to take Taraba but with what the leadership of our party is doing, I don’t think they are ready to win Taraba.”
He debunked claims by Bwacha that he is working for Governor Darius Ishaku of the PDP, saying he will head to the Supreme Court to get justice done.
Sabokente said Bwacha “hijacked” the governorship ticket and got his allies to the Senatorial seats and House of Representatives seats, leaving him and other governorship aspirants and their supporters with no seats.
“The party has not invited us which means they have made up their mind and we will not allow this injustice,” he added.
Both Yusuf and Sabokente insisted that a fresh primary must be conducted in consonance with the verdict of the court. They also alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Taraba didn’t do what was right in the matter.
Bwacha, a serving Senator representing Taraba South Senatorial District, claimed to have won the APC governorship primary in Taraba on May 26, 2022, months after he dumped the PDP for the APC in February.
His candidacy has since been challenged by some members of the APC in the state including Yusuf and Sabokente.
In September, Justice Simon Amobeda of a Federal High Court in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, sacked Bwacha after a petition by Sabokente.
By mid-November, Justice Donatus Egwuatu of a Federal High Court in Abuja also sacked Bwacha as the APC governorship candidate for Taraba after a suit filed by Yusuf, the current Senator representing Taraba Central District.
However, Bwacha appealed both judgements.
On Thursday, Justice Tani Hassan of the Court of Appeal sitting in Yola set aside Justice Amobeda’s ruling and ordered that his name should be resubmitted to INEC.
Bwacha, on the Channels Television’s programme on Monday, accused “enemies from within” of being behind his legal ordeals and said he is not perturbed by the Abuja court ruling, expressing optimism that he will emerge victorious just as he was over the Jalingo court ruling.