The Secretary to Taraba State Government, Barrister Gibon Timothy Kataps has revealed that the electoral violence, burning and looting done in his home town, Gembu the headquarters of Sadauna local government area by Political tugs was a sacrifice to democracy.
Speaking to Vanguard, at Jalingo, Taraba state capital, the SSG recounts how the post election violence in Gembu had a significant detriment to him.
According to him, the smoldering of his residence and that of former Nigerian Ambassador to Cameroon, Emmanuel Njuwa including the house member representing Mbamga constituency at the state house of assembly was targeted to rubbish the governorship election result from the local government area.
Katap said: “Before we left Jalingo to Gembu on the eve of the governorship election, we got security information that our opponents had an original result sheet of the governorship election which they wanted to feel and present to INEC as the out come of the governorship election from Sadauna”
“We went to Sadauna and we were very vigilant because while we were in Gembu we also gathered that they planned to use violent to substitute authentic result with fake one”
“While we were trying our best to call our boys to other to prevent the violent, we also discovered that a large number of youths who were taken refuge in Gembu as a result of insurgent from Bauchi, Gombe and Yola were recruited by those desperate politicians to break up the crisis”
“After election then results started coming into Gembu for collation and that was when the tension spark off, because I refused to give an inch and I was calling the youths to order at all points when I suspect there may be crisis they decided to say my house should be looted”
“The idea was to distract me from the pooling unit.
“They went and invaded my house, breaking the fence as the gate was strong for them , they looted the properties inside the house before setting it on fire”
“The plan was that if I leave INEC Collation Center with the security to go and control the crisis inside the town the other group should come and attack the returning office and force him to announce a result ”
“My joy today is that God gave me straight to withstand the pressure because if I had allowed the substitution of the authentic result, APC would have been announced the winner of Taraba state governorship election because of what transpired here in Jalingo”
“What happened in Taraba state election was terrible, The result of the state house of assembly at Ngoroje was announced and a winner was declared, the gap between the APC candidate and the PDP candidate was just 3 votes, the cancelation was over 50,000 but the APC candidate was declare the winner”
“At the governorship the state returning officer refused to declare PDP who was ahead of APC for over 50,000 votes the winner of the election after canceling Donga local government area without any justification”
“After we succeeded in protecting the results while coming home I saw many of the youths 80 per cent of them I can call them by their names, I saw them carrying my plates, spurns, garment, TVs, rugs and so many other things, it was funny”
“My joy is I was able to protect democracy, if three of these houses were to be destroyed and I should protect the result of the electorate so be it”.
If we recall, there was a serious crisis following the outcome of the last week governorship elections at Gembu in Sadauna local government area which led to the burning down of houses and distraction of properties, the crisis also led to imposition of 24 hours curfew in the area by the state government.