The race of who succeeds Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State is one that will draw the interest of political observers at Saturday’s governorship poll.
Though there are five major contenders― Senator Emmanuel Bwacha of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Kefas Agbu of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya of the Labour Party, LP, Professor Sani Yahaya of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, and Danladi Baido of the Social Democratic Party SDP, the contest is between two titans: APC and PDP.
Unlike previous governorship elections where the PDP used to sail to victory and take the key to Government House on a platter of gold, there is no assurance that the March 18 election will go the party’s way.
Indeed, Taraba is traditionally a PDP state since the advent of democracy in 1999, but at the time of filing this report, the threat of APC taking the state on Saturday looms.
More than ever before, the ruling PDP is facing an unprecedented threat from the opposition party, not because of having a weak candidate in Kefas Agbu, but because of the poor politics played by the outgoing governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, whose electioneering campaign promises throughout his two terms in office were not fulfilled.
Ishaku’s alleged “sins,” many believed, would rob the party’s candidate of victory at the poll this Saturday.
Aware of this ugly threat, the PDP leadership has been working assiduously to ensure that the failure of the incumbent governor does not cost the party victory at the poll.
Some of the party stakeholders, who barred their minds to DAILY POST, said they have been working on the obvious weakness.
“We have resolved to go back to the drawing board in order to ensure that what happened in the presidential and National Assembly elections doesn’t repeat itself this weekend,” a PDP member told DAILY POST.
The stakeholder who went ahead to cite the poor performance of the governor in his senatorial district election, said: “The same feat might likely replay itself on Saturday because we are very much aware that the people are aggrieved and against him.”
The stakeholder, who craved anonymity, also expressed sadness at the alleged refusal of the governor to assist the governorship candidate and the party in campaigning.
He said: “Could you believe that our governor has not been going out with our candidate for campaign? The situation became worse since he lost his senatorial election.”
While the leadership of the party, through the spokesperson, Andeta’rang Irammae, expressed optimism that the PDP will emerge victorious, some chieftains of the party believed all hands must be on deck to achieve victory.
The governor, DAILY POST recalls, could not deliver himself in the senatorial election, let alone deliver for his party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku.
Candidates of other parties including NNPP, LP and SDP, are also optimistic about victory at the poll.
Though none of these three political parties is a threat to PDP and APC, if religion is allowed to take the centre stage of the exercise where eligible voters vote along religious lines, the candidate of the NNPP who is the only Muslim candidate among the five contenders, may end up causing an upset and the dreams of APC and PDP will end up as a mirage.
Without any doubt, the contest is going to be an interesting one.
But one thing is certain: The poor performance of the outgoing governor, who from all indications seems to have run out of ideas on how to move the state forward from where he met it, will no doubt, negatively affect the fortunes of Taraba PDP at the poll.