By: Valentine Adese and Reuben Egbah,
Despite the high level of reporting of the on-going protests in some Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Plateau state, over the just announced local government election results by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) today, REALITY has gathered that the Plateau State Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, is making plans to swear in the alleged winners of the polls conducted yesterday in the 13 LGAs of the state any moment from now at the state Government House Rayfield.
You would recall that the Governor, while voting yesterday 10th October, 2018 had described the exercise conducted by PLASIEC, as very peaceful.
The Governor, while fielding answers to questions from Journalist after Voting in Ajikamai Ward II polling unit, told journalists that he observed a peaceful electioneering exercise, as he was driving from Jos, the capital of the state to his polling unit.
He said, ““I came all the way from Jos to Shendam and I saw a peaceful exercise going on and in my village, I have just voted, also I am seeing that the atmosphere is very peaceful with no rancor and at the end of the day, we are only waiting for the conclusion. Although, I will say that, as the Governor, the beginning is very smooth.”
He went ahead to say that the good works of his administration cannot be over emphasized at this time, and it is not the right time to mention such, as the elections are still on-going.
He said, “I don’t want to start jumping into conclusions now because people will say I am campaigning on election day.
“But I think what we have done in Plateau state is showing, not only this exercise; it’s showing in my adoption, as the sole candidate for the Guber ticket for APC in the state.
Also, the result of this exercise will be a score mark for me and the cooperation we have received from the people of Plateau State.
You would recall that REALITY had reported that there is palpable tension in Plateau State, as the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) is alleged to have announced the results of the Local Government Councils election, it conducted yesterday, this morning and allegedly in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, without announcing and declaring the result at the polling and Local Government levels.
At the time of report, aggrieved voters in several local government areas, notably, Bassa and Mangu, have blocked roads in protest against the announcement.
As at the time of reporting also, gunshots were been heard in Bassa Local Government Area of the state, as the people in the area continued to protest against the allegedly announced results, especially, as it relates to the local government polls.
You would also recall that REALITY reported that, the protesters became more angered by the facts made available to REALITY, through telephone calls made by Hajiya Ladi Nimlang, and Rt. Hon. George Daika (a former Guber Aspirant) from Mikang LGA, into the press briefing of the PDP at the PDP state secretariat that, the electorate are still in the polling units and Local Government collation centers, waiting for the Electoral Officers assigned to their various polling unit and wards across the state, to come and perform their statutory duties, of announcing and declaring the winners in those units, and Local Government, when PLASIEC was announcing the winners at its Headquarters in Jos, the state capital.
Reacting to this development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Plateau state Chapter, through its state Chairman, Hon. Damishi Sango, and the its Vice Chairman Northern zone, Hon. Chris Hassan, had described the announcement as “Another Political Magic”.
The Chairman, who briefed the Press in the morning, in part stated that, “The Peoples Democratic Party is receiving and monitoring results across the thirteen Local government areas where elections were conducted yesterday. Reports monitored across the state indicate that elections were peacefully conducted at the polling units where results were transmitted to the wards for collation, but up till this moment the Commission is yet to announce the result. While anxious voters are waiting at the collation centers to get PLASIEC’s verdicts on their free franchise, the electoral officers and returning officers have disappeared into the thin air, leaving room for avoidable anxiety.
“Meantime, we have it on good authority that PLASIEC has just announced the names of the so-called winners of the election and that Governor Lalong is planning to swear in the said winners later in the day, while results have not been announced.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that governor lalong and the ruling APC in the state, out of their desperation to hold on to power, even when it is clear that they have lost same, are well bent on plunging the state into yet another needless political crisis.
“I spoke to the Commissioner of Police, Plateau state Command and the state Director of Security Services a short while ago, intimating them on the present sad development, and made it clear to them that Governor Lalong should be held responsible for any breach of peace in the state, should he and his cohorts continue on the dangerous path they have chosen to tread.”