Taraba state controversial cleric, Dr Ibrahim Jalo, has called on Muslims in the state to dump the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the emerging NNPP. Jalo, in a videoed speech urged Muslims to fight back the “injustice” and “imposition” meted on the APC at the primaries. He said the APC was largely the platform for Muslims but suffered a set back when a Christian candidate was forced on it.
It would be recalled that Senator Emmanuel Bwacha was declared winner of the APC primaries by the INEC returning officer Lawrence Onochukwu at the Danbaba Suntai airport, Jalingo. He had earlier appeared in a video saying there were no elections. He was later to refute the earlier video and say he spoke under duress in the first video where he said there was no primaries in the state.
Since then the party had gone through a whirl wind of crisis resulting in multiple court cases and outright decamping by party heavy weights in the state.
Six co contestants of Senator Bwacha have continued to maintain that there were no elections during the primaries. They wondered how the returning officer could first claim there were no elections and then turning around to say there was one. The aggrieved contestants also queried the manner of the announcement done at the airport instead of a collation center.
At the moment, two major aspirants have gone to court to challenge Senator Bwacha’s emergence citing the Electoral Act which stipulates how primaries should be conducted. They said the state was not one of the three states where direct primaries were to be used for the exercise.
A court granting an ex parte motion has also stopped the APC from sending any names to the INEC.
Jalo’s latest sermon may deepen the rift in the party with many APC party faithful wondering which party to follow. The ruling PDP in the state is seen as largely positioned to gain massively from the ensuing confusion.