Worried by lack of political activities ahead of the forthcoming local government election in Plateau State and as well the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) it is now clear it may not be political Uhuru on the promise of conducting free and fair election to usher in elected council chairmen in the state.
Our correspondent gathered that in October 2017 PLASIEC released its time table for the conduct of local government election, this is to fill the vacuum created as a result of the sack of all LGAs and wards representatives by Governor Simon Lalong.
The election is scheduled by PLASIEC to take place February 2018, yet no political activities under the parties especially APC, which reveals absence of internal democracy.
The decision was reached after several cries by the opposition parties and stakeholders for the return of democracy at the grassroots where management committee mismanages public funds thereby impoverishing the local natives of their communities.
According to the gathering, prior to the release of the time table, there were rumours of two separate electoral laws guiding the conduct of elections at the LGA level in the state.
It was against these, that the Plateau State House of Assembly took up the challenge and passed a new electoral act which will guide the conduct of LGA elections. As it is the norm such laws are expected to be wholly made available to the electorates who will study such and apply same during the electioneering period yet remain in his corridor of power.
However, information available to us reveals that more than 3 months after the act was enacted by the State Assembly, with just weeks to the polls the electoral act is still kept in secret leaving the electorates in the dark.
In spite of several appeals by well-meaning plateau men and women aside the appeals from political parties for such laws to be made available to the public, it has been reported by several media platforms that the PLASIEC Chairman Chief Fabian Ntung is turning down invitation to appear on their platforms to clear misconceptions surrounding electoral act and to open up on the content of electoral act.
With this act of avoiding public media appearances by PLASIEC officials many have predicted that the election might turn out to be a futile exercise which will not be free and fair and at such cannot be accepted. Others have described that it will be an exercise that will be a “free for all”, which will be marred by irregularities as all political parties will map out plans and modalities to make sure that their candidates emerge victorious by all means possible,
The consequences of what this will lead to remains an open secret. Giving this background, some have gone as far as threatening that heads will roll if the election is rigged going by the body language of PLASIEC.
With the forgoing one will not be completely wrong to say that the forth coming February 2018 LG elections appears an incipient disaster waiting to happen, with few weeks to go. Irrespective of all these the electoral body (PLASIEC) should rise to the occasion and do the needful to prevent unneeded implications of hoarding such important documents.