Taraba Rep Bye – Election : I am Still in the race, Contrary to CAN Claim… SDP Candidate

Taraba Rep bye-election: I am still in the race, not as said by CAN that I have step down – SDP candidate.

Emmanuel Awari-Jalingo

The candidate of the Social Democratic party (SDP), for Jalingo Yorro and Zing, house of Representative bye-election, Hon. Innocent Jabayang has said that he is still in the race as against the speculation by Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, Taraba state chapter, that he has stepped down.

He express his didapoimet on the CAN executive for her last minute decision against him in the election.

Our correspondent reports that the Christian umpire body in Taraba had on Saturday, 3rd. Feb. 2024, a day slated for the Jalingo Yorro and Zing house of Representative bye-election, issued a press release informing all Christian in the constituency to vote for the people’s democratic party (PDP), candidate, Hon. Sadiq Abas Tafida.

CAN, claimed in the statement that the SDP candidate had withdraw from the contest following his meeting with governore Agbu Kefas, and has adequately informed them of his decision.

Our correspondent further reports that, the state CAN chairman, Rev. Magaji Jirapye had also said during a press briefing in Jalingo that CAN did not force the SDP candidate to withdraw from the contest.

However, when contacted, Hon. Jabayang described CAN position as disappointing, injurious and a last minute tactics to ensure the governmet candidate emerge at the pool.

“I am disappointed at the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN Taraba state. I am a member of CAN but I must say, I am disappointed over the leadership’s last minute decision against me in the last Saturday bye-election.

“I would have won the election before 1:Pm, if not because of the CAN false publication against me that I have stepdown. My supporters became weak untill most of them were convinced that I am still in the race, and didn’t sell out there mandate.

“I have not withdraw from the election, I am still in the contest. I want all my supporters to remain confident for our victory. I want to inform all my supporters and other Nigerians that, I didn’t collect money from governore Kefas or anyone from other political party to withdraw from the election. I did not as well, reached any agreement with anybody to withdraw from the election.

“I want to inform Tarabans especially my supporters that, CAN statement was just a mere tactics to gain support for the government candidate. CAN saw the prospect of my victory and were desperate to distract it.
“Both CAN and PDP approached me to stepdown for Hon.Tafida but I told them to go back to my constituents, especially the Mumuye cultural association who asked me to contest, and has been doing everything for the movement. They refused to approach my people, they said the condition was too difficult to approach.

“I did not ask them for money, I only asked them to contact the people who saw credibility in me and have decided to sponsor me for the election.

“How can I withdraw from an election that even the devil knows that I am a winner? My supporters and the Mumuye cultural association would kill me if i sell out there mandate for any reason – he said.

“I want all my supporters and the Mumuye cultural association not be distracted. I want them to remain focus and come in Mass for the rerun election to vote, defend their votes for my victory. I want them not to be distracted by CAN but to be focus to vote for me – he added.

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