BY IRA A. TUKURA
In the build up to the election, some individuals are called upon by their constituents to throw their weight to contest whilst others are driven by self conviction to render meritorious services to the electorate.
The governor in a release has asked all his appointees seeking political offices to honourably resign their position to pursue their aspirations as he has not endorsed any one as his preferred candidate for the fourth coming elections, but have asked all aspirants to test their might with the delegates who have the power on whom flag the PDP tickets.
In a bid to this, we shall be examining these calls.
In the Southern Zone where Governor Darius held from, has Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha the incumbent senator who double as the senate Minority leader and whose posters and bill boards have littered all the five LGA’s and Yangtu SDA for re-election into the Senate. If he peradventure wins the party ticket and eventually get elected, he will be returning back to the Senate for the third time making history. Emma will have Hon. Dr. Jesse Adi Ashumate, the perceived anointed candidate of the governor to contend with while Engineer Mathias Luka Agbu whose campaign is gaining momentum by the day is working the nook and cranny of his constituency in what he termed as familiarization tour. Who gets the PDP ticket is what can not be predicted as Emmanuel Bwacha aka Iron bender that brought down the Iroko tree is a master planner when it comes to the Southern politics, a source said.
Hon. Rimamnde Bitrus Nuhu who has a long legal battle with Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha over the PDP party ticket has also thrown his weight to contest but this time around in a different party, along side Hon. Rufun Ibrahim Jauro who will be testing his popularity on the platform of the Young Democratic Party (YDP)
The electorates awaits the outcome of the parties primaries to make decision on who represent them in the senate come 2019.
The seat of Takum, Ussa, Donga and Yangtu SDA will be keenly contested as the incumbent Hon. Rimam Shawulu will have Hon. Mark Bako and others to contend with for the PDP ticket should they all decide for the party ticket at the primary thus Hon. Rimam has not made any declaration to either seek re-election or not, but the body language of the Honourable and his supporters speaks volume on his interest to re-contest.
Hon. Rimam Shawulu though a first timer in the house of representatives, is also the chairman House committee for Army. A position he has used to touch the lives of his constituency. He is said to have executed numerous projects among others and just recently his medical team conducted a free medical care to the people of his constituency in Takum LGA. This gesture is said to have endear him to the electorates from his constituency who are ready to re-elect him should he seek re-election.
Hon. Mark Bako, is a former speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, who has declared his interest for the seat of the house of representatives at an event held in Bete his native town, a source said. Mark is said to have served the people of Takum II three times in TSHA hence the need to consent to gentleman agreement.
Mr. Apura Yangtu, a former coordinator of Yangtu SDA has also indicated interest to occupy the seat of Takum, Ussa, Donga and Yangtu SDA at the house of representatives under the banner of APC. He will have Mr. Bako Benjamin, the president of Jukun Development Association (JDA) to slot it out for the party ticket.
Bako according to unconfirmed source, is working hard to secure the support of the APC leader Ahmed Tinubu to clinch the party ticket as the flag bearer.
Whoever secures his party’s ticket will have the other to contend with for the seat of Takum, Ussa, Donga and Yangtu SDA as the electorates who are more wise await with their PVCs to make the right choice.
In the event where Mark finally make up his mind to contest for the seat of the representatives, Hon. Emmanuel Bello a former Commissioner of Information and now the SA to the governor on public affairs has indicated interest to run for the seat of Takum II in the TSHA. Bello will have Joseph Manga who is rumoured to have grassroot supports and five others to battle for the PDP ticket. Whoever wins will have other candidates from the other political parties to test their might at the poll.
While in Takum I, a rerun election is expected after the demise of Hon. Hosea Ibi who was murdered by his abductors.
Hon. Daniel Likam from the APC who contested with Hon. Ibi in 2015 has again indicated interest to run as well as others contestants from the PDP, Hosea’s party. The race who has witnessed the coming of Dr. Jankada Tangu Audu from the SDP to throw his weight to contest alongside others.
In Usssa Hon. Habila Timothy is the present member representing the constituency and will want to retain his seat but Ussa’s politics is unpredictable to whether they will still want him as several others have indicated interest to contest the seat sighting incompetence as an excuse to send Habila parking come 2019.
In Ibi, where Hon. Zanau Hassan Maikasuwa indicated interest to contest under the platform of the SDP, according to him, he is passion driven and need the best representative for his Ibi constituency. He will have the incumbent and several others to contend with for the soul of Ibi constituency come 2019.
Rumour has it that the former speaker of TSHA Hon. Josiah Kente is battle ready to contest the seat of Wukari and Ibi federal constituency come 2019 under the banner of the APC. The incumbent who is also not leaving any stone unturned in his quest to retain his seat.
In Donga, the incumbent, Hon. Captain Ndatse will have Hon. Disebe and others to slot it out for the seat of Donga in TSHA as it’s rumoured that Disebe is gaining grassroot support in his quest for not too young to run.
In the Central, Sen. Abubakar Yusuf, a senator representing Bali, Gassol, Gashaka, Kurmi and Sardauna constituency is perceived to have broken the hedge of relationship existing between him and Mama Taraba. A source who does not want his name on print said Sen. Abubakar is from Adamawa a native of Mubi hence his Lukewarm attitude in issues of legislation as it pertained the constituency.
He said” the senator has never done any thing to us since we struggled to sent him to the red chamber, he rather sleeps all day long when his colleagues are making meaningful deliberations” from the forgoing, it’s crystal clear that Sen. Abubakar has lost contact with his constituency which may warrant their wrath come 2019.
Hon. Kataff the former SSG is also leaving no stone unturned as he jostles for the ticket of the PDP, should he wins the party primary, he may spring a big time surprise at the poll.
Just recently, Hon. Ibrahim Stephen Ayga received calls from notable individuals and groups alike calling on him to contest the seat of Gashaka, Kurmi and Sardauna constituency come 2019.
The Honourable who has maintained a stand to consult with his principal the rescue governor and other political associates before he will make known his intention to contest or not as clamoured by his well wishers. He hasn’t made his position known yet.
But, should he decide to run, he will have the incumbent Hon. DC Hosea to battle with in the primary of the PDP and other contenders from other political parties to slot it out.
Hon. Agya is said to have the blessings of the elders and the youths of his constituency for his developmental strides as a chairman while Hon. DC Hosea is rumoured to have a distance relationship with his constituency.
The member presenting Bali and Gassol federal constituency, Hon. Garba Chede is said to have loss the support of his constituency. This is evidence in his last function at his constituency where he was stoned and accused of abandoning his constituency. Bali and Gassol is APC stronghold, and the PDP may likely use Hon. Chede weakness to clinch to power.
Back in the northern Senatorial Zone, the present senator, Sen. Shaibu Lau who secured his victory at the court to become the senator is said to have enjoyed the support of the governor and the party chairman Hon. Victor Bala Kona but retaining the seat is what one cannot tell at the moment because rumour has it that Hon. Bala Kona is eyeing the seat while Rev. Jolly Nyame is doing every thing politically possible to win the PDP ticket.
Rev. Jolly Nyame is a former governor of Taraba state who handed power to late Pharm. Danbaba Suntai of blessed memory. Nyame has supported the candidature of Sen. Aisha against his Kinsman Sen. Anthony Mazon in 2011 election as a result he lost out of favour with his Kinsmen, a source said they have reconciled their differences.
Hon. Yusuf Gamaliya a former Commissioner of Finance and Works under the administration of Rev. Nyame, a gubernatorial candidate in 2011 and the campaign coordinator of UTC gubernatorial campaign is said to be contesting the Northern senate seat alongside others in the APC. A party he defected to before 2015 general election, Yusuf controls to a large extend the Jalingo votes.
While in Jalingo II House of Assembly one Hon. Samaila Hamman alongside others in PDP and APC will be giving the incumbent a hot chase for his money and same goes to Zing and other Local Governments in Northern zone.
Hon. Baido maybe seeking re-election as a source in his constituency okay his projects but a source who said with the return of His Excellency Sani Abubakar to the APC, he might play a spoiler in the re-election bid of Baido.
Hon. Charima David who has also queued to represent Lau constituency is said to have the support of the youths of his constituency in his bid to represent them.
Hon. Balutu Danladi Balutu is also rumoured to have an ambition of representing his constituency in Taraba State House of Assembly but is said to be studying the political scene before making formal his intention. Hon. Balutu was one time NUTASS president and now an aide to the speaker Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
As the journey to 2019 is fast approaching others contestants are keeping their ambitions and aspirations to their chest while consulting stakeholders for strategy that will give them victory at the poll