Emmanuel Awari, Jalingo
Taraba State Governor-elect, Col. Kefas Agbu Rtd, his deputy, Aminu Alkali and 23 out of 24 Taraba House of Assembly members-elect, on Wednesday, received their Certificates of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The presentation of the certificates to the winners of the March 18 Governorship and House of Assembly election in the state, took place at an event held at the INEC State headquarters, Jalingo.
The Governor elect who spoke shortly after receiving the Certificate of Return, declared that he will put on efforts towards taking the people of the state from poverty to prosperity.
He maintained that electioneering campaigns were over and it was time for the government to face the task of governance and building a state that will be the envy of all other states in Nigeria.
He appreciated the Resident Electoral Commissioner and his team, saying that the election in the state is a good reference point for elections across the country.
He applauded the efforts of INEC during the polls stating that the commission has performed excellently.
Agbu also reiterated his commitment to making Taraba State Nigeria’s best through reviving commerce, industry, education, health and agricultural sectors.
“I want to commend the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC in ensuring credible elections and good connduct throughout the exercise.
INEC has done very well and we couldn’t be more impressed.
“As elected governor, I pledge to revive the educational, agriculture sector, as well as health sector as promised during our campaign rallies. We will also do all we can to prioritize the safety of Tarabans” He said.
“Today is not a day for long speeches but a day to thank the Almighty God on behalf of all the elected officials in Taraba State.
“I want to use this opportunity to say that elections, electioneering campaigns are over now. No more abuses and all that, and it is time for us to face the task of governance and building a state that will be an envy for all the states in Nigeria.
“This is the time for us to redouble our efforts towards taking our people from poverty to prosperity. This is a day to reflect on the decision of the people of Taraba State. It is a day to acknowledge all the people who have contributed one way or another to making today a success.
“I want to especially appreciate the Resident Electoral Commissioner and his team, because the Taraba State election is a reference point for elections right across the country.
“My co-contestants have congratulated me, and I received a call personally from my friends and well wishers from in and outside the state . That is the spirit in Taraba State.
“Let me finally say thank you to my leaders and elders.”
Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Taraba State, Umar Mukhtar Gajiram, said that the commission is mandated by law to issue certificates of return within 14 days, to every candidate who has been returned elected.
He congratulate the elected candidates for their victory at the polls conducted on 18th March 2023.
“We will be presenting certificates of return to the Governor- elect, Deputy Governor-elect and 23 House of Assembly members-elect. It would have been 24 but for one Constituency (Karim Lamido II) where elections were cancelled in some Polling Units and the margin of lead indicated that a supplementary election had to take place for a winner to emerge. Therefore, Constituents and all involved in Karim II should exercise patience till all the processes for the election to take place as stipulated by the Commission are completed – he said.
He enjoin all political parties involved in the election to close ranks to ensure peaceful and hitch free supplementary elections on 15th April 2023.
He thanked the Political Parties and other critical stakeholders for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner in the just concluded elections.
“Let me also reiterate the position of the Commission which is to ensure free, fair, credible and acceptable elections. We in Taraba State are totally committed to achieving this goal as reflected in the conduct and outcome of the just concluded elections.
“At this point in the electoral process, the Commission is required by law to issue elected Candidates with certificates of return. The presentation of certificates of return signifies that the elected candidates have the authority to carry out their duties in the offices they are elected into.
“It is our hope that they will continue to abide by the tenets of democracy so that democracy in the Country will continue to grow and thrive.
“Let me once again appreciate all stakeholders in the State, notably, the academia, Political Parties, Security Agencies, members of the Pen profession, CSOS, electorates and the general public for your various contributions to the success of the 2023 General Elections in the State – he added.
Recall that Agbu Kefas of the People’s Democratic party, PDP, won the 2023 gubernatorial election held on 18 March with 257,926 votes to defeat his challenger, the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, candidate Prof. Sani Yahaya who polled 202,277 votes.