Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Taraba State Government has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain neutral and provide all players with a level playing field in the interest of peace and justice.
The state’s deputy governor, Haruna Manu, gave the charge at the INEC headquarters, in Jalingo, during the presentation of certificate of return to the winner of the State Assembly Bye-election for Takum 1 state constituency.
Manu said that the election in Takum was a litmus test for 2019 and the peaceful outcome of the election shows that if all the parties play the game by the rules with INEC remaining neutral, 2019 would come and go without unnecessary violence that has become a part of general elections across the country.
He thanked the people of the Takum 1 state constituency for living above everything that divides them and uniting to give the rest of the state a taste of maturity at election and an example to follow in 2019.
READ ALSO: Niger rice farmers chair joins guber race
“I must commend the INEC for conducting a generally acclaimed credible Takum 1 state constituency election. Your neutrality and provision of a level playing field helped to ensure that the choice of the people was respected and that is why we could have this hitch-free election.
“It is therefore very important that you remain neutral in the coming 2019 general election as Takum is a litmus test for 2019 in Taraba State.
“Let me also commend the security agencies for there role in ensuring that laws and order was maintained throughout the election, and the people of Takum 1 constituency for giving the rest of the state an example to follow in 2019, by living above division and uniting to ensure peaceful selection of their representative. This is a lesson that we can conduct our affairs without necessarily resorting to violence.
“To the winner, I congratulate on your victory. However you must understand that the election is over and it is now time for true representation for your people irrespective of any perceived differences”, Manu said.
Earlier, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Abba Baba Yusuf, commended all the parties that participated in the election for providing and enabling environment for the commission to conduct the Bye-election successfully. He commended the spirit of sportsmanship that they exhibited before, during and after the election.
“Today is the climax of all the activities leading to the conduct of this election on the 18th of August. We want to thank all the political parties that participated during the election for giving us an enabling environment to conduct the election successfully.
“We all know that in every contest, there must be a winner. We therefore call on the member elect to touch the lives of your constituents positively in arras of good legislation so that they can feel the impact the mandate they have given to you”, the umpire said.
Addressing the people after collection of his certificate of return, the winner of the election Mr. Garba Ajiya of the PDP said that his mandate was a call to serve and promised to work hard to resolve the security challenges confronting the people of his constituency.
READ ALSO: Osun 2018: UNDP wants violence-free poll
Ajiya commended the the INEC, Press and security agencies for their roles in the success of the election and pledged his commitment to the good of the state.
The Daily Sun recall that the INEC conducted Bye-election into the Takum 1 state constituency on August 18 to fill the vacancy created by the death of the former member who was abducted and later murdered early this year.