By Ibrahim Gaddafi Tanko
The verdict of the federal high Court sitting in Jalingo Tiesday nullifying the primaries that produced Senatorial Emmanuel Bwacha as the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of February’s general election has no doubt thrown the Taraba State chapter of the All Progressives Congress and it supporters in a pandemonium of sorts.
The development which has equally thrown spanners in the wheel of Senator Bwacha’s bid to occupy the Taraba state Government house Jalingo is sequel to a pre-election suit filed by a gubernatorial aspirant in the party’s botched primaries Chief David Sabo Kente challenging the outcome of the exercise and questioning the credibility of the results announced by the Lawrence Onuchukwu led primary elections Committee.
The court which upheld Kente’s arguments wondered how possible it was for the primary elections results to have the same handwriting in a direct primary elections, he consequently ordered the Party to conduct a fresh primary in the next 14 days in accordance with the provisions of the electoral act 2022, and also directing Senator Bwacha to desist henceforth from parading himself as the party’s guber Candidate.
The decision of the court of first instance in Jalingo is the first in a series of other similar actions that other aggrieved contestants have instituted in other jurisdictions all challenging the legitimacy of the purported process that produced Bwacha as Candidate.
It is instructive to note that since Bwacha’s Controversial exit from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) owing to irreconcilable differences between himself and Governor Darius Ishaku, he has been embroiled in a bitter struggle for supremacy between himself and Chief David Sabo kente, who incidentally hail from the same Taraba South Senatorial District.
His defection had also ultimately pitted him against individuals who are largely regarded as the landlords of the party in the state who were there for the party during its good and bad times, accusing Bwacha of Political Opportunism by trying to reap from where he never sowed.
They are quick to remember party members of the period when he described the party as a Boko Haram infested organization while he was still a member of the PDP, many are also yet to forgive him over his role during the infamous cabal era, where Bwacha was the Arrowhead, that was instrumental in ousting former acting Governor Garba Umar from office, arguing that he needs to pass through a process of atonement so as to wash away his previous sins.
On the other hand certain key stakeholders within the APC believe only Bwacha has the deep pocket, the political experience, contact and capacity to bring to an end PDP’s reign in Taraba Government house.
This school of thought also believes that having been in the PDP throughout his Political Career he knows the strong and weak points of the party that will give the APC an edge in it bid to oust the PDP from power. Considering the fact that he also hails from the same Taraba South Senatorial District as PDP’s Candidate Colonel Dantala Kefas.
Again, political pundits are of the view that considering how watertight the case against Bwacha is, going on appeal that might likely end up at the supreme court may deny the APC from participating totally in the elections.
This view is strengthened by impression that there is a sense of unity existing among other Governorship aspirants in the party who are of the view that Senator Bwacha should be the last person to fly the flag of the party next year.
They submit that based on his recent interview on a national television in Abuja where he boasted of his capacity to win the primaries 10 times if it were to be done that way, why not subject himself to a fresh exercise rather than going on appeal.
The big question however remains, can Senator Emmanuel Bwacha Taraba’s longest serving federal lawmaker who has equally been in the corridors of power “back to back” since 1999 survive the judicial landmines and Political fireworks carefully orchestrated to mar his lifetime ambition of governing the nature’s gift to the nation ?
The days ahead promise to be interesting as the current political developments might just be a tip of the iceberg.
Gaddafi writes from Abuja, he can be reached at [email protected]