Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state has raised the alarm over alleged plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the 2019 elections so as to oust him and six other governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Punch reports that Ishaku raised the alarm on Thursday, July 19, at the exco chamber of the state Government House in Jalingo when he received the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was in the state in continuation of his consultations to seek the PDP’s ticketto run for the presidency in the 2019 elections.
He said: “I have it on good authority that seven of us have been listed to be ousted through rigging in 2019. Information available to me indicated that those behind the plot have vowed to take power away from seven of us (PDP governors) by all means available to them.
Report had it that Ishaku said he had information that those behind the plot have vowed to take power away from seven of PDP governors by all means.
“Nigerians are looking up to us, the PDP, to present a credible presidential candidate and we cannot afford to let them down because we remain the most nationalistic party in Nigeria till date.
“We need a turnaround from a wailing nation, where killings have become a daily occurrence, to return the country on the path of progress.
” He called on Nigerians to vote for a government that would stop the killings come 2019.
He also threw his weight behind calls for restructuring, while thanking members of the National Assembly for their efforts towards the establishment of state police to curb insecurity in the country.
Ishaku, who noted that many of them were overwhelmed with joy when Atiku returned to the PDP, said the people of Taraba state would do everything possible to support the aspiration of the former vice president.
Atiku, in his remarks, commended the governor for ensuring the return of peace in the state despite his constraint over the control of security and for embarking on projects that were of great importance to the people of the state.
He said he was in the state to formally seek the support of the people of the state for him to emerge as the presidential candidate of the PDP and to be elected as president in 2019.
He said if he won in 2019, the people of Taraba won, while commending the people of the state for staying with the PDP since 1999.
He also called on others who had left the party to return. The director general of Atiku Abubakar campaign organisation and former Governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, said past presidents from northern Nigeria were from the northwest and that Nigerians should support the emergence of a president from the northeast in the next election. In its reaction to the governor’s claims, the All Progressives Congress (APC) urged the opposition to stop overheating the polity with allegations that lack basis in facts.
The national publicity secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, told the Punch over the telephone that such allegations were capable of overheating the polity. Abdullahi said: “It is unfortunate that with just a few months to an election, we are having all kinds of unsubstantiated allegations.
“It is not enough for very senior people to make such serious allegations without backing them with facts. We will advise the opposition to stop heating up the polity with such allegations which lack a basis in verifiable facts.”