Barely six days before the 2023 governorship elections, Labour Party (LP) candidate in Taraba State, Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya, has debunked reports making the rounds that he is no longer in the race.
The politician said he is still very much interested in governing the state to liberate the people of the state from the hands of political machinery, whose stock in trade is political propaganda.
Hotnewsdrop understands that Ikenya clarified on Monday in a statement personally signed and made available to reporters in Jalingo, the state capital.
He likened the people behind the news of his withdrawal from the race to political desperados.
“Those who derive pleasure in spreading fake information had better occupy themselves with more productive endeavours that are more relevant to both the state and nation building.
“I am still the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the forthcoming election,” Daily Post quoted Ikenya saying.
2023: Opposition Parties Accuse CAN Of Collecting N50 Million To Endorse PDP Gov Candidate In Taraba
Meanwhile, three opposition political parties in Taraba State have accused the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), of allegedly collecting N50 million to endorse the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate Col. Kefas Agbu.
Hotnewsdrop understands that the Taraba Stae governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Emmanuel Bwacha; the Labour Party, Joel Ikenya and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Danladi Baido, on Thursday raised an alarm that the Christian body in the state allegedly collected a sum of N50 million to endorse Agbu ahead of the March 11 governorship poll because he is a Christian candidate.
The three governorship candidates in a joint press briefing at the Correspondents’ chapel Jalingo, expressed disappointment in Taraba CAN, noting that the state leadership of CAN accepted the money to support him at the polls.
They said instead of the association to be for the entire Christians and the development of the state as an umbrella body, they have become a politically selfish government parastatal that does not mind the future of the state.
According to the “We are disappointed at CAN Taraba state for collecting N50 million from an unqualified person and endorsing him as a preferred candidate for Christians in the state. Rather than being for the entire Christians, they have turned themselves into selfish political government parastatal, trying to plunge the state into another mess, we will not allow it to happen again.
“To put the story straight, we were all sent an invitation text message last week from CAN for prayers toward our journey to become governor. We both honoured the invitation and the CAN leadership told us that it was good for us Christian candidates to have an understanding before we go into the poll. We all agreed that it was a good idea since it was for the continued peace of the state.
“To our greatest disappointment, we came home and got another massage from CAN that they have endorsed the PDP candidate Kefas Agbu and we should all support him. It is disappointing that our findings reviewed that they collected N50m from the candidate and want all Christians to support him.
“We are not religious candidates, we are candidates of the people who are out to save Taraba state from the mess found in. We will not allow a stranger to rule Taraba again, we are calling on all Christians to disregard the endorsement and support a candidate that knows Taraba and the people’s problems.
“Look at the three of us, can Kefas be compared to us in terms of who is qualified to save Taraba from the abysmal performance of governor Darius Ishaku? He doesn’t know anything or anywhere in Taraba state even in Wukari where he comes from, he can not even mention five council wards in the local government.
“It would have been acceptable if CAN had chosen among the three of us here because we are all qualified. We are grassroots political servants of the people and we know what the people want. Kefas Agbu is not qualified to be governor of Taraba so, we will not allow that bad endorsement stand to confuse Christians because it is all about the future of Taraba state.”