The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Taraba state, on Saturday said that they did not pressurise the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Innocent Jabayang to step down for the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sadik Tafida in the ongoing by-election for Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency.
The CAN chairman, Magaji Jirapye, who disclose this in an interview with journalists said that Jabayang willingly stepped down after the State Governor Dr Agbu Kefas consulted him a few hours before the election, and CAN was only informed after his decision.
“CAN was informed about the decision because of our earlier resolve to support the aspiration of the SDP candidate. When he willingly decided to withdraw to support the PDP candidate, the governor reached out to us because of our earlier resolve and we held a meeting with the SDP candidate and he confirmed his decision to us. CAN did not force him to step down” Jipreye said.
Efforts to reach Jabayang through phone calls and text messages are so far unsuccessful.
The ongoing bye-election follows the death of Ismaila Maihanchi who won the February 25 2023 election.
BusinessDay observe that the rerun election is marred by low turnout of voters in the various polling units and wards.
Though security personnel and INEC ad-hoc staff were on ground at the various polling units and wards visited, there was largely voter apathy.
The major contenders in the election are Dr. Aminu Malle of the All Progressives Congress, Sadiq Abbas of the Peoples Democratic Party, and Aminu Liman of the New Nigerian Peoples Party.