As Nigeria approaches the polls in 2019, the political space in Taraba is charging up with the display of posters of aspirants. Besides, the myriad of security challenges in the State could affect the vote itself and will certainly be a big issue on the campaign trail.
Hon. Abubakar Bawa, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, in this interview with our Reporter, bore his mind on these issues and more.
As Special Adviser on Political Matters, what are the chances of Gov. Darius Ishaku in the 2019 General Elections?
Bawa: Taraba State has recorded a lot of achievements during Gov. Ishaku’s administration and what people expect of any government is development which so far the Governor has achieved in Taraba state.
Tarabans are ready to vote for him again and there is no two ways about that. The aspect I want to mention is that PDP as a party is working very fast to make sure that the name of our party remains indelible. In Taraba state, we just have PDP and others. So there is no doubt about winning elections and for PDP, up till now we don’t have any other candidate apart from Gov. Darius.He remains our sole candidate.
Looking around Jalingo city, you will see posters of mostly opposition aspirants, with only Gov. Ishaku from the PDP. Does that suggest that the governor has been endorsed by the party as its sole candidate for 2019?
Bawa: Well, posters do not mean contest! There are so many 419 people who would just put their posters all over the city while in real sense, have no money to even buy forms to contest. All I know is, PDP has its own formula and their formula is that the seat of the governor now is reserved for southern Taraba. So nobody is going to contest from Central or Northern zone. He has to come from the Southern zone and so far we have only Gov. Darius and it is not mandatory he is the only person. But if somebody is willing to contest, we cannot say no, because this is politics.
We are approaching 2019 and the security situation in the state is quite uncertain, how do you think the situation can affect the elections in 2019?
Bawa: Well, honestly speaking, the Governor has preached to people that “give me peace and I will give you development”, but you see there are so many people that are not interested in seeing that peace reigns in Taraba state. There are so many devils and when they are doing their devilish work, you can’t say no to them. But we that love peace, will try to preach to the people to live in harmony. But it is very unfortunate that some people are trying to throw this States into a state of chaos and trying to disturb the work of this Government. But I want to assure you that they will not succeed.
The Continuous Voter Registration is on, what is your appeal to the public?
Bawa: That is their right! You see we are always telling people to get their voters card because that would make sure that you have the mandate to choose whoever you want. But if you don’t have a voters card, that means you can’t vote. In fact,it was very encouraging when I was opportuned to see some people registering at Gashaka, Bali and Sardauna.