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Personalities, Events that will shape Taraba in 2021



As the new year begins, Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper examines issues, personalities and events that will shape the political, economic and social sectors in Taraba State. 



The year 2020 was no doubt a challenging year for Nigerians in many fronts. The outbreak of COVID-19, #EndSARS  protest and its aftermath  took a toll on all sectors of the economy, leading to total lockdown of the country and other countries of the world.


Also insecurity, economic challenge and high inflation coupled with COVID-19 affected almost every household in Nigeria and Taraba State was not an exception. Currently revenue coming to the state and local governments from the federal government has greatly decline making governance more challenging for states across the country.  


These situations led to several adjustments in the economy, political and the social sector into what is now call the new normal.


 But with coming of Vaccine for COVID-19 and other prevention measures already in place, Tarabans and indeed Nigerians have entered the new year with a renewed hope for better days ahead.



Already the events of the past weeks from the action of the political actors scheming for relevance ahead of 2023 in Taraba are pointing to a direction that the year 2021 will be an interesting year to watch for political watchers.


Another issue expected to dominate the political scene this new year is power sharing and rotation among local governments making up federal Constituencies, with political trading and negotiation kick starting this year, it's going to be interesting seeing how Gashaka Local Government will battle to take the slot of Kurmi, Sarundana Gashaka Federal Constituency according to its gentleman rotation; Gassol LG is also eyeing the Bali/Gassol Federal Constituency; Ibbi will also struggle for the Wukari-Ibi seat, Jalingo political warlords are scheming to return to the Jalingo Yorro Zing among others. Also many young people are warming up to  challenging those considered as permanent members in the State Assembly.  These agitations and political drama will definitely dominate our political discuss in the New Year.


In this series,  Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper will be focusing on some personalities, institutions and issues that will shape the political and social economic activities in Taraba because of their influence include:



Governor Darius Ishaku 



Governor Darius Ishaku's handling of the State in 2021 in terms of provisions of the needed dividends of democracy to the people will be something to watch out for. While many believed the governor has not performed to expectations his supporters are always quick to show the numerous ongoing infrastructural projects in the state as worthy of celebration for the Rescue Mission, the Governor will have to do more to prove distractors wrong in the new year.


While many of the projects initiated by his administration especially road projects have not been completed, the pace of work during the year will go a long way in keeping his detractors at bay.


The dualization of the Jauro Yinu kpantinapo road with a flyover bridge is one project that will redeem his image if completed in 2021. The governor will be under watch on the Jalingo City Water project, the three lots Mararaba –Baissa – Abong road, Jalingo-Pantisawa roads among others.

 Also his handling of many state issues will be on the radar this new year, the Governor will be taking many key decisions like appointments, handling of the unending Doctors strike in the state which many residents are eagerly waiting for. 

The governor might also consider reshuffling his cabinet this year to weed out some dead woods and disloyal elements in his government.

In the political scene as a Governor, Ishaku has a great influence in uniting aggrieved members of his party, the PDP. The grievances in the party if not properly addressed in 2021 will affect the chances of the party in it's 2023 outing.

As leader of the party in the state, Governor Ishaku will have his hands more full of political decisions and maneuverings that will make or Mar the party this year.

The Governor is seen largely by many as one who many will want to ride on his wings to clinch the Senate ticket of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election because of his influence. 

Again, the Governor's handling of the insecurity in the State especially in the southern zone will make or mar his rumoured chances of going to the Senate as some bigwigs in the zone as are using the crisis and insecurity in the area against him. 2021 really provides the governor a good time to engrave his name on the slate of history in Taraba State. 



Col. Agbu Kefas (Rtd), PDP Chairman, Taraba State 



The PDP Chairman who is seen by many in the party as Governor Ishaku's man will have to work hard to proof his critics that he is for all members of the party and not the Governor's man this new year.


Although he inherited a divided house and how he manage the party in 2021 and provide leadership direction for the party ahead of 2023 elections will be key to the success of the party going forward.


Some party members have commended the Chairman's move to reconcile members of the party through the assessment committee he inaugurated in recently. But how, he is able to address issues arising from committee reports will determine whether aggrieved members will stay in the party or jump ship. The PDP Chair is already on the radar on how he handles perceived political enemies of Governor Ishaku, many believed he should be able to broker peace between the Governor and Senator Emmanuel Bwacha in the new year.


Already all the zones of the state are agitating for a chance to produce the next Governor, now that the zoning circle is complete.  The northern zone had between 1999 to 2007 produced the Governor when Rev. Jolly Nyame held swear. Danbaba Danfulani Suntai from the central zone took over in 2007 until 2012 when he had the unfortunate air mishap. Governor Darius Ishaku from the southern zone is serving his last term of eight years.


Agbu is now faced with a difficult task of providing leadership as to where his party will zone the Governorship ticket to.



Senator Emmanuel Bwacha



Sen. Bwacha a three time senator is rumoured to be warming up to contest the Governorship seat of the State in 2023. 



Bwacha who boast of the support of the people of his constituency (Taraba south) and beyond would be counting on his popularity and good will in his new political endeavor. 



The Senator who recently shunned the PDP stakeholders meeting in Wukari and rumoured to planning to defect to another political party if his party fails to give him the necessary support to clinch the gubernatorial ticket in 2023. Bwacha will be an interesting personality to follow keenly in the new year. His political moves this year will be a pointer to where destiny will place him by 2023.


Barr. Tukur El-Sudi, APC Chairman



The Acting Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the State, Barr. Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi is another personality to watch out this year. His party again lost to the PDP in 2019 Governorship election. Since then he has been strategizing amid challenges to reposition the party ahead of 2023. Political watchers are saying, if he organizes his party well, the chances of his party wrestling power from the PDP is high giving the crisis rocking the State Chapter of the PDP. If the crisis persists, many PDP bigwigs will prefer to pitch tent with the APC. How will  El-Sudi led APC in Taraba is able to manage the party and woo aggrieved PDP members to his fold will determine the chances of the party in future elections.

However the APC is not without its own predicament, the party needs to revive its moribund structures at the grassroot level will be a major challenge in the new year.

El-Sudi will also be faced with the challenge of where its governorship candidate will be coming from, the party will need to more to uniting the Party stakeholders who are already outsmarting themselves in the 2023 political drama.

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