How Governor Lalong’s First Council Election In Three Years Sparked Protest

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Yakubu Wuyep

 

The Plateau state Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC under the leadership of a retired Permanent Secretary, Hon Fabian Ntung Ari has been blamed by the opposition Parties including the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of conniving with the government of Governor Simon Lalong to make a mockery of democracy and promoting inter-communal conflicts.

 

The tears and sorrow of Plateau voters sparked violent protest as a result of the impunity imposition across some Local Government Areas as PLASIEC went ahead announcing fake results when the collection of results was still ongoing on Thursday.

 

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The election in Langtang North was marred with ballot papers snatching in Kilar ward and the election which was full of apathy reflected defeat on the APC and then shortly some results declared inconclusive.

 

Since the return of democracy in 1999, the Politics in Plateau state had been polarized and characterize by religious, tribal and ethnic agenda causing division among the players whose stock in trade is to kill, maim and destruction of lives and properties of their fellow human beings.

 

The election was witness by the poor arrival of voting materials, abandonment of sensitive materials and disappearance EOs and their resurfacing in PLASIEC headquarters with manipulated figures to be announced.

 

All the opposition was advice to rush to approach election tribunal to register the grievances that will allow them to seek redress in court.

 

However, youths have taken to some Local government secretariats chanting solidarity songs and asking that their mandate cannot be stolen from them.

 

It would be recalled that Fabian Ntung, PLASIEC Chairman had declared that the APC won in 11 of the 13 local government areas where elections were conducted leaving the results of Mangu and Langtang North as inconclusive.

 

Shortly after the results were announced, In Bassa, there were reported cases of houses and offices being torched while sporadic shooting was heard as residents in the area protested.

 

Elsewhere in Mangu, the Youths barricaded the road while they laying siege on the local government secretariat insisting that their votes must be counted and their wishes be respected in the results collated.

 

Sources in Mangu have told this medium that the Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden who was in his ward for the election, had to be delayed from proceeding to Jos as a result of the protest following the barricade mounted by the youth.

 

This is the released PLASIEC results that greeted some council with unwarranted violence:

 

 

  1. BASSA

APC 38,334

PDP 13,965

 

  1. BOKKOS

ADP 1,839

APC 25,890

PDP 13,186

 

  1. JOS EAST

APC 16,403

PDP 7,807

 

  1. KANAM

APC 31,574

PDP 11,936

 

  1. KANKE

ADP 5,373

APC 15,719

PDP 7,111

 

  1. LANGTANG SOUTH

ADP 59

APC 12,502

PDP 3,797

 

  1. MIKANG

APC 11,669

PDP 4,580

 

  1. PANKSHIN

APC 26,502

PDP 12,631

 

  1. QUA’AN PAN

APC 25,223

PDP 9,781

 

  1. SHENDAM

APC 28,401

PDP 21,772

 

  1. WASE

APC 29,742

PDP 6,462

 

 

It took the intervention of the operation Safe haven to placate the youth to re-open the roads.

 

However, in Bokkos, it was a bit of drama as some party agents and officials claim that as at 11 am Thursday morning, they were still waiting to turn in their results sheets. ( this medium cannot independently verify that claim.)

 

PDP Rejects Result

 

The Peoples Democratic Party has in the meantime rejected the result as announced by PLASIEC.

 

The State chairman of the PDP, Hon. Damishi Sango while addressing Journalists at the party secretariat on Thursday morning said 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.

 

Hon. Sango in his text claimed that he “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”.

 

The party is still waiting to take its next line of action.

 

Impressive Voter Turnout

 

The turnout of voters was quite impressive across the local government areas. There were also no reported cases of violence as people turned out in their numbers to exercise their franchise.

 

It is the first local government elections to be conducted by the APC led government in Plateau state after several postponements by the state electoral body that cited security reasons.

 

With the state barely coming out of fresh violent Skirmishes, authorities must work hard to ensure they maintain law and order for the good of the land.

 

Sources from the state government have told this blog that the swearing in of the newly elected chairmen and councilors is being muted for Thursday of Friday this week.

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