Taraba judgement: Violence erupts in Wukari


Barely 24 hours after the Taraba State Elections Petition Tribunal nullified the election of the state governor, Darius Ishaku, violence has erupted in Wukari area of the state.

Taraba is one of the northern states that has witnessed high amount of ethno-religious crisis in the last few years, with Wukari being a major spot for violence.

Reports say Sunday’s crisis started following celebrations and protests for and against the court ruling, delivered in favour of the All Progressives Congress candidate, Aisha Alhassan.

A resident of the town who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on phone, Kawu Musa, said the crisis broke out after some touts took advantage of the anti-ruling protests to unleash mayhem.

He said some residents fled their homes to the bush for safety, adding that gunshots rent the air earlier in the day before the deployment of security agents to restore order.

“They just started firing sporadically, chanting war songs, we have to flee,” Mr. Musa said.

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It was, however not clear the extent of destruction or if there were casualties as at the time of this report.

The Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, Joseph Kwaji, confirmed the incident, saying soldiers and a detachment of police officers from the state command and other neighbouring divisions were promptly deployed to the town.

He said law and order had been restored in the affected areas.

The Taraba election tribunal on Saturday nullified the election of Mr. Ishaku mainly on the grounds that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primary that produced him was held after the deadline approved by the electoral commission, INEC; and was thus illegal. The tribunal ordered that Mrs. Alhassan be sworn in as governor.

The PDP and the Mr. Ishaku have, however, indicated their intention to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal which by Nigerian law means the current governor will still continue in office.

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