PLATEAU LG ELECTIONS: PDP, APC FIREWORKS CONTINUES

By Valentine Adese (JP) and Paul Naomi,

Political tantrums and fireworks have continued to trail Local Government (LG) elections in Plateau State, even when the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates have been declared winners by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) in the Chairmanship and Councillorship elections in the 17 Local Government Councils and the 325 Wards in the state.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), being the leading opposition party in the state has thrown the first salvo, describing the LG elections conducted by PLASIEC as horrible.

The party in a press conference statement yesterday, read by, Hon. John Akans, the State Publicity Secretary of the Plateau State chapter of the PDP, further added that the elections were most unfortunate, the process more authoritarian, disgraceful, a show of shame and against the wishes and aspirations of Plateau State people.

According to him, it is the interest of the people that made the PDP approached the Courts.

He said, “Today, I am addressing you on the most unfortunate and disgraceful conduct of the 9th October, 2021, polls, in the name of an election. This indeed is the most horrible act of fascism.

“As a party we are mindful of the fact that the people of Plateau are looking up to the PDP to salvage them from this political despotic and oppressive leadership. It is therefore our duty to ensure that, the local government election was conducted fairly in the interest of the people who deserve a voice in governance without exclusion.

“It was on the basis of this that the party went to court to seek justice when Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission unlawfully excluded the party from participating in the election.

“Gentlemen of the Press, in the face of this authoritarianism, the party stood firmly against this cruelty, compromise and electoral malpractices, which we know was going to be the order of the day across the state as APC and the government have lost their legitimacy based on their failure.

“It may interest you all to know that, it was the resolute stance of the Peoples Democratic Party not to compromise the interest of our people and the integrity of our democratic values by allowing Governor Lalong through his self appointed cronies at PLASIEC to play over the peoples intelligence, that has led to  this imperious, and disgraceful show of shame, of the so called  elections of Saturday, the 9th of October, 2021, which was massively rejected by the people of the state”.

Dissatisfied with the comments made by the PDP and the allegations raised therein in the press conference statement, against the APC and Governor Simon Bako Lalong, that Dr. Makut Simon Macham, the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, took to his pen and paper to explain the issues to the people of Plateau State.

According to his explanation, dated 11th October, 2021, Governor Lalong has called on the PDP to stop blaming him (Lalong) for their misfortune, as their actions and blame game, “is most disappointing”.

Dr. Makut stated that, Governor Lalong has expressed delight that, all political parties and candidates had equal opportunity to participate in the process from the beginning, while those, who had issues within their parties exploited all legal options to ventilate their grievances rather than resorting to taking laws into their hands.

In the explanation, Dr. Makut, stated that, the Governor has described as, “frivolous and unfortunate the rumours and disinformation being propagated by the opposition that he sidelined the PDP from participating in the elections, when PLASIEC, which is an independent body organized the elections according to the Constitution and its guidelines, and his party the APC had to also comply”.

“To therefore blame him for their misfortune according to him “is most disappointing”. He added.

You would recall that, while swearing in the new elected Chairmen yesterday, Governor Lalong said, the elections were conducted peacefully without any incident throughout the State.

He said, “I use this opportunity to commend the people of Plateau State for their exemplary conduct, resilience and patriotism throughout the exercise. I also congratulate the Plateau Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) for conducting one of the best elections in the history of the State adjudged to be free, fair and credible. Despite the legal fireworks that persisted up to few hours before the polls, they were able to carry out their constitutional mandate according to law”.

Lalong said without doubt that, “this is a very significant achievement in the democratic journey and the efforts to build a Plateau that is inclusive, egalitarian and progressive”.

READ THE FIREWORKS STATEMENTS BELOW:

TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING BY THE STATE CHAPTER OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) AT THE STATE SECRETARIAT ON MONDAY 11TH DAY OF OCTOBER 2021

Gentlemen of the press, our Stakeholders, Ladies and Gentlemen

I bring you warm greetings from the rank and file of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under the leadership of, Hon Christopher Adukuchili Hassan.

Today, I am addressing you on the most unfortunate and disgraceful conduct of the 9th October, 2021, polls, in the name of an election. This indeed is the most horrible act of fascism.

As a party we are mindful of the fact that the people of Plateau are looking up to the PDP to salvage them from this political despotic and oppressive leadership. It is therefore our duty to ensure that, the local government election was conducted fairly in the interest of the people who deserve a voice in governance without exclusion.

It was on the basis of this that the party went to court to seek justice when Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission unlawfully excluded the party from participating in the election.

Gentlemen of the Press, in the face of this authoritarianism, the party stood firmly against this cruelty, compromise and electoral malpractices, which we know was going to be the order of the day across the state as APC and the government have lost their legitimacy based on their failure.

It may interest you all to know that it was the resolute stance of the Peoples Democratic Party not to compromise the interest of our people and the integrity of our democratic values by allowing Governor Lalong through his self appointed cronies at PLASIEC to play over the peoples intelligence, that has led to  this imperious, and disgraceful show of shame, of the so called  elections of Saturday, the 9th of October, 2021, which was massively rejected by the people of the state.

Indeed the people have spoken and have demonstrated that APC is not a political party, but an association of family and friends. The power of the people was clearly displayed in action across the 325 electoral wards of Plateau where majority of the electorates boycotted the exercise over the unlawful exclusion of the PDP from participating in the election by PLASIEC.

We therefore appreciate the people of the state for their protest of the unlawful exclusion of the PDP.

We assure Plateau people that these antics of desperate politicians, who are already intimidated and threatened by the rising popularity of the PDP would be vehemently resisted.

To you all our teaming supporters and members of our great party, we urge you all to remain steadfast and committed in the face of this puerilsm.

The announcement of winners  by PLASIEC yesterday and the action of governor Lalong  can only be described as executive rascality. This is the worst local government election in the history of Nigeria.

In warfare a battle is either won or lost. As a party that respects the rule of law, we are pursuing our course to participate in the local govt elections at the court of appeal. We expect that PLASIEC   would have waited for the decision of the court of appeal on this matter. Its surprising to see that PLASIEC that is a party to this suit and was well represented in court, announced its shameful appointees as winners when the matter was   adjourned for 22nd of November 2021.

The question that comes to mind is, with this kind of attitude by these people is that, which kind of vacuous, wasteful minds with total disregard for decency and rule of law are presiding over the affairs of our dear state*?   This desperate act will not salvage the already sinking APC in Plateau State as it has been rejected by all and waiting to be buried in 2023.

Gentlemen, the above scenario paints the picture of lawless mindset of political gangsters who have no respect for democracy, democratic ethics and peaceful process, but only addicted to power without conscience and responsibility.

Governor Lalong and his election merchant team may just be grandstanding in a wild flight of fantasy just for psychological relief in order to give a false hope of judicial victory instead of uncertainty of where the pendulum of justice swings.

So we advice those declared by PLASIEC as winners not to celebrate because they were not elected by the people but rather appointed by despotic leadership and this scam will lead to  nowhere, as plateau people cannot be scammed again.

We call on the Independent National Electoral commission, INEC to, in line with the provision of the constitution and electoral act fix a date for the by-election of Jos north / Bassa Federal Constituency.  INEC should come out and tell Plateau why its  yet to fix a date for the conduct of this election having lost the member representing that constituency over six months ago.

The Peoples Democratic Party will not hesitate to take legal action against INEC if it fails to fix a date for the election because Jos north/Bassa people are left without a representative for the past six months. INEC has gone beyond the required time to conduct the election as done in other federal constituencies.

In conclusion we wish to assure and encouraged our teaming supporters and the entire people of plateau state that PDP is doing everything possible within the ambits of the law and its competent best to salvage democracy and Plateau from the hands and shackles of  political marauders.

PDP is the only party that protect, defend and portrays the values of our founding fathers, we enjoin our people to collectively come and battle along with the PDP and throw out the Lalong and the APC government come 2023.

The purported swearing in ceremony is temporal and will be short lived, this is laughable and only a child’s play.

Thank you and God bless you  all.

Signed…

John T Akans ksm,FICA JP.

State Publicity Secretary, PDP,

Plateau State.

 

JUBILATION AS GOVERNOR LALONG SWEARS IN 17 ELECTED CHAIRMEN

There was huge jubilation and ecstatic celebrations as Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong swore in 17 Local Government Chairmen elected in the elections conducted peacefully on Saturday, 9th October 2021.

The New Government House, Little Rayfield was agog as a mammoth crowd of citizens, politicians, traditional and religious leaders, as well as supporters of the elected Chairmen converged to witness the event.

The Victoria Gowon Hall where the event took place was packed to capacity with thousands of others unable to get access due to capacity.

While swearing in the Chairmen, Governor Lalong said the elections were conducted peacefully without any incident throughout the State. He said, “I use this opportunity to commend the people of Plateau State for their exemplary conduct, resilience and patriotism throughout the exercise. I also congratulate the Plateau Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) for conducting one of the best elections in the history of the State adjudged to be free, fair and credible. Despite the legal fireworks that persisted up to few hours before the polls, they were able to carry out their constitutional mandate according to law”.

Lalong said without doubt that, “this is a very significant achievement in the democratic journey and the efforts to build a Plateau that is inclusive, egalitarian and progressive”.

He expressed delight that, all political parties and candidates had equal opportunity to participate in the process from the beginning, while those who had issues within their parties exploited all legal options to ventilate their grievances rather than resorting to taking laws into their hands.

The Governor described as frivolous and unfortunate the rumours and disinformation being propagated by the opposition that he sidelined the PDP from participating in the elections.

He said, PLASIEC, which is an independent body organized the elections according to the Constitution and its guidelines, and his party the APC had to also comply. To therefore blame him for their misfortune according to him “is most disappointing”.

Lalong charged the elected Local Government Chairmen to see their victory as a call to service and an opportunity to serve the people.

“From today, you have ceased to be leaders of your parties, religious or ethnic groups only. You are to work for all citizens including those who did not vote for you. Furthermore, your victory is for the people and not an opportunity to settle scores with anybody or enrich yourselves” he said.

On revenue generation and project implementation,  Lalong said “In developing your blueprints, you must think outside the box and explore other sources of revenue generation that will enable you carry out people-oriented projects. You must key into the new joint revenue drive between the State and Local Governments which commenced last year in order to ensure that we tap from revenue sources that have been neglected over the years”.

He also asked them to take advantage of the full Autonomy currently being enjoyed by the Local Government System in Plateau State to do more for their people by embracing prudence, accountability and according priority to the programmes and projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.

Responding, on behalf of his colleagues, Chairman Kanam Local Government Alh Dayyabu Garga promised that they will do their best to carry out the Rescue agenda by consulting widely and carry along all stakeholders in running the affairs of the Local Government.

He said they will do justice, administer fair treatment and avoid selective treatment in the distribution of projects and services within their domain.

Dr. Makut Simon Macham

Director of Press & Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State.

11th October 2021.

 

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