*Taraba Guber Rerun Holds April 25
Former Vice President of Nigeria and APC chieftain, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said INEC and security officials implicated in the conduct of last weekend’s governorship election in Taraba State should be removed and replaced with new personnel in the state’s rerun election slated for April 25.
The former Vice President made the suggestion while welcoming INEC’s decision to cancel the gubernatorial election results in some local government areas of Taraba State and declare the outcome of last Saturday’s polls in the state inconclusive.
In a statement released on Wednesday, April 15, the Turaki Adamawa expressed agreement with the widespread reports of irregularities in some local governments of the state.
“These irregularities included using armed personnel to intimidate voters,” Atiku said.
The former Vice President added that armed soldiers were attached to Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, Joel Ikenya, a current minister, as well as Senator Anthony Manzo, Chief of Staff to Senator David Mark.
He said that these soldiers engaged in brazen acts that violated the Electoral Act including ballot-box snatching.
“Elections should not be militarized,” Atiku said. “Nigeria is a democracy, not a dictatorship. Citizens should be able to go out and vote without fear of being threatened with the nuzzle of a gun.”
He said that these election violations were noticeably perpetrated in Southern Taraba, specifically in Wukari, Takum, Kurmi and Donga local councils as well as in the North, particularly in Lau and Yoro where Manzo comes from.
Atiku noted that thousands of troops were deployed in these areas and electoral officers were heavily compromised.
“These people should not be allowed to go back during the rerun election,” Atiku said. “No troops should be allowed nearby.”
Atiku also called on the Inspector General of Police to replace security personnel in Taraba with new teams from neighbouring Gombe, Bauchi and Adamawa, during the period of the rerun elections.