Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has been declared the winner of the governorship election conducted in the state last Saturday.
This is coming as the governor has extended the dusk to dawn curfew he imposed on Jalingo to 24 hours as celebration to mark his re-election turned bloody.
The INEC returning officer of the state, Prof. Shehu Iya of the Federal University of Technology, Yola made the announcement at the state Collation Centre in Jalingo.
The returning officer said Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored the highest votes of 520,433.
He added that Ishaku defeated his close rival Alhaji Sani Abubakar of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who polled 362,735, while Senator Aisha Alhassan of the United Democratic Party (UDP) polled 16,289 to come third.
Iya said the PDP won in 12 local government councils of the state while APC won in four local government areas.
All the political parties’ agents that participated in the election accepted and signed the result, excluding that of APC.
In his victory remark, Ishaku thanked the people of the state for the overwhelming support which gave him a resounding victory.
He pledged to sustain his development strides in order to put the state on the path of sustainable growth.
He called on traditional rulers, community and religious leaders to continue to champion the crusade for peaceful co-existence among residents.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the declaration, Police Commissioner in the state, Mr. Alkasim Sanusi, described the exercise as one of the best conducted in the history of this nation.
Sanusi, however, warned against post election violence, adding that anybody caught perpetrating such act would face the wrath of the law.
Also, Alhaji Bello Yero, the Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said the victory for the governor was a continuation of the rescue agenda.
“The governor has done so much for the people of the state and deserved a second term.
“Ishaku is a man of peace, a man of integrity, a man of wisdom and a caring leader who is committed to development of the state,” he said.
Meanwhile, the governor has extended the dusk to dawn curfew he imposed on Jalingo to 24 hours as celebration to mark his re-election turned bloody.
Ishaku had imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on Jalingo on Monday to avert a breakdown of law and order in the town as there were credible intelligence reports that there were plans in certain quarters to sponsor violence.
However, the peace in the town was shattered yesterday morning as youths and women groups who trooped out in their thousands to celebrate Ishaku’s victory at the poll were attacked by some armed youths who inflicted injuries on them.
The incident led to serious pandemonium across the town as people ran helter skelter to avoid being caught in a cross fire, thereby necessitating the extension of the curfew.
In a statement issued yesterday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan Abu, the governor said the curfew would remain in force till further notice.
The statement directed all security agencies in the state to ensure strict compliance and enforcement of the curfew.
In a related development, a community leader in the town, Alhaji Bello Yero has urged youths in the town to eschew violence and refrain from being used to breach the security of the state.
Speaking to Journalists against the backdrop of violence that led to the imposition of the curfew, Yero also warned opposition politicians in the state to join hands with Ishaku to bring peace and development to the state.