Amid the ongoing bye-election for the Jalingo/Yorro/Zing federal constituency in Taraba, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has emphatically refuted allegations of pressuring Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Innocent Jabayang, to step down in favor of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Sadik Tafida, who also happens to be the son of the Emir of Muri, Alhaji Abbas Njiddah Tafida.
CAN Chairman Magaji Jirapye addressed these speculations during an interview with journalists in Jalingo on Saturday, underlining that Jabayang’s decision was voluntary. Jirapye clarified that CAN was only informed after the governor consulted with the SDP candidate just hours before the election.
“CAN did not force him to step down; his decision was on personal grounds. We are very much aware that he made wide consultations before announcing his withdrawal from the race.”
Despite persistent efforts by our reporter to reach Jabayang via telephone calls and Short Message Services (SMS), he remained unreachable.
The bye-election, triggered by the unfortunate passing of Ismaila Maihanchi, who won the February 25, 2023, election, witnessed a low voter turnout across various polling units and wards.
Our state correspondent reported normal activities prevailing, with scanty voters observed in the visited polling units.
The major contenders in the election include Sadiq Abbas of the PDP, Aminu Liman of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, and Aminu Malle of the All Progressives Congress.
As of the time of filing this report, the election is yet to conclude, with security personnel and INEC ad-hoc staff present despite the notable voter apathy.