ANALYSIS: Can Mama Taraba make it? By Jaafar Jaafar

Aisha Al-Hasan
Aisha Al-Hasan

At it stands, the Taraba runoff election scheduled for Saturday, April 25, may hardly change the current reality.

Already signed, sealed and delivered in the INEC book is PDP’s Darius Ishaku polling 317,198 votes against Aisha Alhassan’s 262,386. A difference of 54,812 votes. But the canceled votes totaled 127,125.

The major reason the election was declared inconclusive was the cancellation of the whole Donga Local Government votes. Donga has a total 95,657 registered voters.

What caused the cancellation of Donga votes was some cases of election malpractices recorded in five units in the local government. Donga is unarguably a PDP stronghold. Should APC’s hopes remain alive because of Donga? No. It’s like PDP raising hope to win where they are less popular. For instance, had there any cause for runoff ballotage in the last presidential election, say because of the cancellation of Kano votes, it’ll be quite unlikely for PDP to win the runoff. Kano is APC stronghold, while Donga, nay Taraba is PDP stronghold.

Apart from 95,657 Donga votes, there are still pockets of polling units cancelled in places where Aisha Alhassan is not the favourite, findings show. The votes totaled 31,468. If you sum up the numbers, you will arrive at 127,125 registered voters.

It’s unlikely that voter turnout will be above 50 percent after accreditation. At 50 percent voter turnout, the disputed votes will shrink to about 65,000. Remember, Mama is going to the poll with a burden of 54,812 to first level the tally and then increase the tally against her rival at a battleground where her rival stands in pole position.

But some political analysts would argue that APC bigwigs in Donga, like the former deputy governor, Uba Maigari, may give APC a ray of hope. But Maigari, who recently defected from PDP to APC, lost his polling unit to PDP in the April 11 polls.

I lost hope for Mama in the election when I hear APC calling for the cancellation of the whole Taraba election, seeking fresh election as precondition for participation in the run-off.

To me, INEC only forced Mama to be the proverbial donkey resting with the burden of load on its back.

Mama has given a good fight, and her outing was really radiant, but the odds are clearly against her.

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