Fresh Plot To Sack Taraba Speaker
*Maijankai May Emerge New Speaker, Bape, Deputy
*Aggrieved PDP Lawmakers Secretly Meet Mai Mala Buni, gets ‘Heavy Funding’
Taraba Truth and Facts Exclusive
Baring any last minute changes, fresh political crisis seems to be looming in Taraba State as eight members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State House of Assembly have concluded plans to join the All Progressive Congress (APC) to allegedly take over the leadership of Assembly, Taraba Truth and Fact exclusively gathered.
Eight PDP members of the Assembly including Payos Sabo Wukari one; Josiah John Aji Wukari 2; Takum 2 Mark Hussaini Bako; Timothy Anderifun Ussa ; Gambo Maikudi Bali1; Charles Maijankai Karim Lamido 1; Garba Ajiya Takum and Abel Peter Diah, a former speaker from Mbamga constituency had been at loggerhead with Governor Ishaku following the removal of Abel Peter Diah as Speaker in 2019.
A source who is in the know confided in Taraba Truth and Facts that the plot to remove the Speaker and his Deputy was concluded after a series of meetings that were held in Abuja between Sunday and late Wednesday night with some top APC national chieftains.
Representatives of the aggrieved PDP lawmakers including a member of the Federal House of Representative has earlier meet with APC National Caretaker Committee Chairman and Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni to negotiate their defection to APC, Taraba Truth and Fact was told.
The source said the issue was later discussed with the five APC members in the state’s Assembly during their meeting with APC National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Mai Mala Buni in Abuja at the weekend under strict confidential agreement.
Mai Mala Buni was said to have frowned at the APC members in the State Assembly for supporting Governor Ishaku despite party differences, and assured that the APC, with support from the central government would be taking over majority of the state assembly soon and elect a Speaker.
The Chairman was said to have informed the APC lawmakers that plans have been perfected by some PDP members of the Assembly to join the APC in Taraba state with intention of taking over the Assembly leadership.
“It looking like the former Speaker and his camp are staging a comeback. This time they will join force with the APC members in the house to remove the speaker, Joseph Albasu Kunini and control the Assembly.”
Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper had reported in the past that the Speaker Joseph Albasu Kunini might be removed after the tenure of Victor Bala Kona as PDP Chairman in the state.
“Currently, they are working hard on getting three more members together with their almost 13 members, because three members in their camp seems to have returned to the Governor’s camp and their loyalty is being questioned. Members from Takum 1, Ussa, Wukari 1 are 60% with Governor Ishaku and 40% with their aggrieved colleagues.
“But, if they however decamp and change the leadership of the Assembly, they will form quorum to sit, like what’s happening in Edo State Assembly. Once the quorum is formed with about eight people present at a sitting, it’s two-third can commence impeachment proceeding, even against the Governor” the source said.
Another source confirmed to Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper on Wednesday night plans to ‘realign the state house assembly.’
“Yes, there’s a plot to change the House Leadership upon the next sitting. A new speaker will emerge from the Abel group, while the APC will produce the Deputy Speaker. We are looking at having Charles Maijankai as the Speaker and Hon Bashir Bape as Deputy respectively. The APC has agreed to these arrangement but they are keeping it close to their chest,” the source said.
The source said members are poised to elect a new speaker before the aggrieved members will all decamp to APC and form majority in the state assembly.
“They have been assured of adequate security from Abuja and funding, Mai Mala Buni wants to impress Mr President by enlarging the APC membership base in Taraba, you will notice it’s frequent meetings with APC stakeholders from Taraba State, it’s all because of the lawmakers both from the State and National Assembly that are coming into APC. Their discussion has been largely on how to accommodate them into the APC structures in Taraba State. Mai Mala Buni believe if the APC could take over the Legislative arm in Taraba State it will strengthen it’s chances of winning the state in 2023.
“There are also serious concerns that the new speaker might even commence an impeachment proceedings against Governor Darius Ishaku, as the camp with the help of a Senator from the state are already gathering documents to prepare a notice of gross misconduct to signal the impeachment process.
But its however not clear if after the impeachment will affect the Deputy Governor because the aggrieved PDP members might be seeing him as a better alternative to the governor.
The Deputy Governor has been seemingly loyal to the governor but sources said he has sympathy for the aggrieved members many of whom are his personal friends, “so we won’t be surprise if he’s in the picture of what is happening and the several meetings.”
“A notice of gross misconduct on the part of the governor is currently being compile in Abuja with the help of a senior lawyer, also they are working on breaking the camp of the Governor loyalist in the House to ensure more members signs the purported notice of impeachment against the governor when presented. They need two-third of the members of the State House of Assembly to impeach the governor and they are confident of taking over the leadership of the Assembly in coming days.
“The APC national chairman also made available a huge funding to ensure the project is successful. In fact, two of the members on the Governor’s camp have been offered N50million each to support the plan as at Wednesday night. They are also making frantic efforts to get the buy in of the state Chief Judge who will set up a panel of seven persons who will investigate their allegations against the governor. A retired Judge name has been pencilled down to head the investigative panel to be set up if there plans come to fruition,” the source added.