Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo
Taraba House of Assembly has passed a vote of confidence on Governor Darius Ishaku contrary to calls by the opposition for his impeachment following his prolonged absence from the state.
The lawmakers said he has not committed any offence and was providing good governance to the people of Taraba state.
Ishaku’s last official outing in Taraba state was on December 19, 2019 when he presented the 2020 appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly. He reportedly left Jalingo -the state capital on December 22, 2019 and has since not returned.
The opposition, led by the State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ibrahim El-Sudi, said the absence of the governor from the state for over 60 days without transferring power to his deputy is an impeachable offense. He calls on the State Assembly to remove the Governor.
But the legislature, during plenary on Monday, passed a vote of confidence on the governor, following a motion by the Deputy Speaker and member representing Bali II constituency, Abdullahi Hamman Adama.
Taraba Speaker, Joseph Kunini, who read the resolution which was signed by two third of the 24-member House, said the vote of confidence on the governor is based on the track record of Governor Ishaku and his deputy, Haruna Manu, since their re-election last year.
The Speaker said: “Since their inauguration on May 29, 2019, the government of Taraba state under the leadership of Darius Ishaku has, in spite of deliberate distractions, been performing its functions for the betterment of the lives of the teeming masses of Taraba state.
“For instance, within the period in question, Governor Ishaku has carefully constituted and inaugurated an all-inclusive executive council.
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“The governor has reduced to the barest minimum the incessant cases of communal crises, violence, kidnappings and armed banditry that had bedeviled the state.
“He has awarded contract and mobilised the contractors for dualisation of Jauro Yino – Kpanti Napu section of the Wukari-Yola highway, with provision for the first time ever fly-over in the north east sub-region of the country.”
The House noted that the key among Ishaku’s achievements, is the consistent payment of civil servants’ salaries and the recent employment of 300 personnel into the state civil service which has boosted productivity.
“By every standard, the governor and his deputy have performed above average, within the present circumstance. Therefore, this House, as a representative of the entire people of Taraba state, hereby resolve that a vote of confidence be unanimously passed on the governor and his deputy.”
The lawmakers debunked allegations of non-performance by Ishaku due to his absence from the state.
The Speaker said the House will resist to be used by any unpatriotic person or group of persons who, for selfish reasons, are making unwarranted remarks and insinuation about the health status of the governor and his administration.
He described as “deliberate distractions,” calls for the Assembly to impeach the governor.
The continuous absence of the governor has plunged Taraba into political and constitutional crisis. The health status of the governor is also not known.