Wukari town of Taraba State was on Sunday thrown into violence following Saturday’s nullification of the election of the state governor, Mr Darius Ishaku, by the Taraba State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja.
The Street Journal recalls that the tribunal had nullified Ishaku’s election on the grounds that the PDP primary which produced him was held after the deadline approved by INEC and was, therefore, illegal and ordered that the APC candidate and Minister-designate, Senator Aisha Alhassan, be sworn in as governor.
Our correspondent gathered that the mayhem started following celebrations and protests for and against the court ruling, by supporters of APC and PDP in the area.
Eyewitnesses told the Street Journal that some hoodlums capitalised on the celebrations and protests that ensued from the tribunal judgment to unleash violence, with gunshots that rent the air earlier in the day before the deployment of security agents to restore order.
Confirming the incident to newsmen in Jalingo, the Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Kwaji, however, said soldiers and a detachment of police officers from the state command and other neighbouring divisions had been promptly deployed to the town, while law and order had been restored in the area.
He, however, did not disclose the extent of destruction or the number of lives lost, while the newspaper could not independently ascertain the casualty figure either, although our reporter confirmed that many residents fled their homes to the bush for dear life.
It would be recalled that Taraba State has, over the years, witnessed high open-ended incidents of ethno-religious violence, with the Wukari axis being a war theatre of sorts.