Governorship poll: How Lalong rode to victory over PDP — Nigerian Pilot News
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Governorship poll: How Lalong rode to victory over PDP

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Tinubu is architect, icon of contemporary Nigerian politics —Lalong

There was wild jubilation on Sunday in most part of Jos South, Jos North and Shendam, the country home of Governor Simon Lalong Kanam; Mangu, Qnanpan, Jos East ,Kanke and other parts of the state, when, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC declared the All Progressive Congress APC as the winner of the Governorship election in the state.

Lalong polled 595, 582 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sen. Jeremiah Useni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 546, 813 votes according to the result released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The declaration came after supplementary elections were conducted in 40 polling units of nine local government areas of the state.

Results from the supplementary election showed the incumbent governor polled 12, 327 votes from the nine local government areas against Useni’s 8, 487 votes. The returning Officer and the Vice Chancellor of University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof. Richard Anande Kimber made the announcements in Jos at the INEC headquarters.

He said “Lalong polled a total of 595, 582 votes to defeat the PDP candidate Useni who scored 546, 813 votes”. Our correspondent reports that at both the governorship elections held on March 9th 2019 and the supplementary election held on March 24, 2019, Lalong, defeated his major rival, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, General Jeremiah Useni (Rtd).

Meanwhile, there was jubilation at the headquarters of the campaign office of Governor Lalong at early hours of Sunday morning while the news started filtering out that their governor whom they hold in high esteem because of his leadership qualities have been reelected. A supporter of Lalong and stalwart of the APC in Plateau Alhaji Nagelu Garba who spoke to our correspondent about the victory of Lalong thanked the people of the state for the support shown to Gov Lalong.

He said “I was confident that the APC would coast to victory at the supplementary elections because of the good works Gov Simon Lalong has done in Plateau.” The people of Plateau people are behind Lalong, Nagelu added. He also said Lalong would continue to provide more dividends of democracy to people of the state.

It could be recalled that before the supplementary elections, several groups had endorsed the candidacy of Gov Lalong. Also 52 political parties which earlier endorsed the candidature of the All Progressive Congress APC, Simon Lalong reiterated their support to the incumbent governor.

The party chieftains through their leader, chairman of the African Peoples Alliance (APA) Maula Ahmed Maigari in a press statement made available to newsmen in Jos had drummed their support for Gov Lalong , they said that they were optimistic that governor Lalong will be returned into his office as governor.

According to the group, governor Lalong is awaiting swearing in for the second term as governor “with God on outside and our support, victory is assured, we hereby say congratulations in advance Mr. Governor.” It stressed.

The statement had then called on Plateau electorates to vote for the incumbent governor: “We chairmen of the 52 political parties who earlier endorsed Governor Simon Lalong’s candidature are again calling on Plateau citizens, particularly electorates in all the local government areas where supplementary elections shall be conducted this Saturday 23rd March 2019 to turnout emass and massively vote for Simon Lalong, the APC candidate to become governor.”

The press text stressed further that “we therefore want to use this opportunity and call on our teaming supporters across the 17 local government areas to vote for the APC candidate, Rt. Hon Dr. Simon Lalong.” The group also advocated for a peaceful and fair supplementary elections in the state “we equally urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and it staff to conduct a fee, fair and credible election.”

Speaking after been declared winner in a press conference in Jos, Gov Lalong said on the 11th April, 2015 during the gubernatorial election, “you came out enthusiastically and voted me as Executive Governor of Plateau State under the Platform of our great Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Taking on this mantle of leadership marked a significant milestone in our political and democratic journey as a people.

“It was also with a clarion call on us to deliver dividends of democracy along the 5-point Policy Thrusts that we had presented. Four years down the lane, without prejudice to the just concluded re-run elections of 23rd March 2019, and the results declared by INEC, you once again came out en-masse and voted us to serve a second and final term as Executive Governor of the State, together with my Deputy, Professor Sonni G. Tyoden.

“With gratitude to God Almighty, on behalf of myself and the Deputy Governor, I sincerely thank you all. We whole-heartedly accept this mandate to serve for a second and final term with all the humility it deserves. Above all, we accept this mandate by equally soliciting your usual cooperation and partnership as we strive to sustain the execution of our mandate.

“The outcome of the exercise in the State was clearly an amazing show of confidence and trust. It was also referendum on our most cherished principles of Unity and Peace as well as affirmation of the desire to move to the Next Level. Let me use this opportunity to urge my fellow citizens to regard this victory at the polls as victory for the whole of Plateau, with no victor, no vanquished”, he said.

The governor further stated that, “We had a dream, which we collectively and tirelessly worked towards achieving it and succeeded. To me, this victory is a mark of honour and clarion call for consolidation of our gains and the sustainable peaceful coexistence for the good of the State. Together, we will do more. I urge all citizens to celebrate in harmony with even the opposition without harassment, intimidation and provocative statements against any person or group.

“To my fellow Contestants, who not only participated in the historic Gubernatorial Debate, prior to the elections and also contested with me, I wish to congratulate you for your matured conduct during and after our electioneering campaigns. I also extend my hands of friendship and urge you to share in the patriotic zeal of building a virile Plateau so that we can bequeath a positive and lasting legacy for the younger generations”, he said.

He therefore extended his congratulations and “hands of friendship to the newly elected and returned members of the Plateau State House of Assembly and indeed the National Assembly. I look forward to a mutually beneficial and more robust working relationship with all of you. I pledge that government will continue to cooperate with the Honourable Members-Elect at all times”.

Meanwhile, a youth activist in Plateau, Comrade Pius Hoomen has congratulated the Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong for his victory at the polls. Hoomen further thanked the people of the state for voting Governor Lalong saying that he was confident that Lalong would continue to provide more dividends of democracy to people of the state. Hoomen in a statement signed by him and made available to newsmen stated that the good people of Plateau State had spoken their minds by coming out in large numbers to return Governor Lalong back to complete the good work he has started for the state.

According to him, “the government of Lalong will not take for granted the confidence the people have reposed in him, as a workaholic person, he will definitely take the state to the next level. “Lalong’s victory will ensure peace, harmony, tolerance, togetherness. His victory will ensure taking action, getting results and working for the people of Plateau State. Also ensuring people oriented projects and programmes that will impact on the lives of the people”.

He added that, Lalong’s victory would build a robust economy that will attract investors and moving the state to an enviable height of next level glory.

QUOTE

Lalong polled 595, 582 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sen. Jeremiah Useni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 546, 813 votes according to the result released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The declaration came after supplementary elections were conducted in 40 polling units of nine local government areas of the state

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