By Femi Bolaji, Jalingo
The 2019 Senatorial and House of representative elections in Taraba state were smooth sailing for incumbent members of the National Assembly.
While many thought there would be upset in some quarters, each party maintained its dominance in their respective strongholds.
However, there will be a new entrant of the state delegation into NASS, after member representing Sardauna/Gashaka/Kurmi federal constituency,PDP, Danasabe Hosea failed to secure his party’s ticket at the primary election, whose seat has now been won by his party’s candidate.
At the end of the polls, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, won the Southern and Northern Senatorial seats while the All Progressive Congress, APC, retained the Central Senatorial seat.
Of the six Federal constituencies in the state, PDP candidates secured the three it won in 2015, while the APC retained the two it currently occupies while the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA has one.
Deputy Senate minority leader and incumbent senator, Emmanuel Bwacha successfully secured his third term ticket to the red chambers after defeating other contenders from the zone. What paved way for him aside quality representation since 2011 was the goodwill he enjoys across the zone.
While many thought that this feat might become herculean for him, he effortlessly floored other contenders and christened his victory ‘the will of God and wish of the people’.
This will be the first time since 1999 that a senator from the state would occupy any seat three times.
Meanwhile, incumbent representatives of the two federal constituencies in Taraba south held their ground to return to the Green Chambers.
Rimamde Shawulu who represents Ussa/Takum/Donga federal constituency, PDP, and Danjuma Shiddi representing Ibbi/Wukari, APGA, retained their seats.
While many thought the popularity of the PDP would pave way for its candidate for Ibbi/Wukari seat, voters however voted for the candidate they loved, regardless of the party.
This zone was a battle ground for both the PDP and APC. The incumbent senator, Shuaibu Lau won with a slim margin to get his return ticket.
It will be recalled that Lau through the supreme court verdict in 2017 became the senator for Taraba North, after the apex court asked former acting governor of the state and now governorship candidate of the APC, Sani Danladi to vacate the seat having being declared winner by INEC in 2015.
With his defection to the APC, Danladi almost used his popularity in the zone to win senator Lau’s seat for candidate of APC, Ahmed Yusuf. Yusuf eventually lost with over 2000 votes, having polled 111,412 votes as against the 113, 580 votes polled by Lau.
While Jalingo and Karim Lamido local government areas delivered more votes for the APC, PDP on the other hand held on to Lau and Zing LGAs, while both parties shared the spoil in Yorro and Ardokola.
Aminu Malle representing Jalingo/Yorro/Zing federal constituency, APC, and Danladi Baidu representing ArdoKola/Lau/KarimLamido, PDP, both rode on the permutations of their senatorial candidates to secure reelection.
This zone was also a battle ground for the two leading parties in the state. PDP was hoping to win the senate seat of Taraba central but APC which has more supporters in three of the five local government areas in the zone, which include Bali, Gassol and Gashaka coasted to victory. The incumbent senator, Yusuf Yusuf, APC retained his seat for the next four years.
Also, Gambo Mubarak representing Gassol/Bali federal constituency, APC, was elected while David Fuoh Abel presumed to be the godson of the speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Peter Abel Diah, will replace Danasabe Hosea, who had been representing Sardauna/Gashaka/Kurmi federal constituency since 2015. Both Gambo Mubarak and David Fuoh Abel are new faces in Taraba political landscape.