GROUP of Plateau elders
under the auspices of Plateau
Political Elders’ Forum, PPEF,
said the postponement of the
scheduled February 19 local
government election is to
save lives, following security
reports.
The group said it will be
politically unwise to conduct
an election that could throw
the state into the dark days
taking into cognisance the
peace that the state has been
enjoying.
In a statement in Jos signed
by the President, Elder Ayuba Shown, and Secretary, Rev.
Bitrus Naiwaazi, the group said
as elders, they would not sit
by and watch the state burn as
a result of circumstances that
could be avoided.
The group recalled that
the inability of the Jang
administration to heed
security reports in 2008 and
conducted local government
elections led to loss of lives
and property, adding that wise
counsel prevailed on the same
administration to postpone
local government election a
record of four times.
The statement said, “We
believe that this administration
will not be afraid of taking the
hard decision of postponing the
election if only it would help in
saving lives and the property of
millions of Plateau citizens.
“You will recall that previous
attempts to conduct local
government election in Plateau
State had led to bloodshed and
destruction of of property.
“Previous crises had caught
innocent members of the public
unawares and rendered them
victims.
“As much as political
traducers would like to play
politics with this decision, this
government has demonstrated
that it will not play politics with
the lives and property of its
citizens.
“We therefore encourage the
government to continue with
the legacy that has become
the envy of political naysayers
whose only stock in trade is
to seek unnecessary cheap
political points even at the
expense of people’s lives and
property’’.
Meanwhile, the Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, has
rejected the postponement of
the local government election by
the Plateau State Independent
Electoral Commission,
PLASIEC.
State Chairman of the party, Damishi Sango, made this
known while addressing
journalists at the party office
in Jos, yesterday.
He said as a political party,
we find PLASIEC’s excuse of
postponement of the elections
as not only laughable, but
most unfortunate, here is
a state that has returned
to peace, following the
appointment of a Hausa-
Fulani as a Commissioner
in the Simon Lalong-led
administration .
We find it not only
surprising, but embarrassing
that PLASIEC is advancing
security concern as the reason
for the said postponement of
the election.
It would be recalled
that during the Jang
administration when
we had serious security
challenges in the state, local
government elections were
conducted in all the local
government areas with the
exception of Jos North and
Wase. Furthermore, the 2015
election was held in all the
local government areas in
the state we now ask what
security challenges can be
more intimidating than the
Borno State experience where
election materials were taken
to IDP camps in 2015 and
elections successfully held?
It is abundantly clear that
the state government has
either been feeding Nigerians
in general and the people of
Plateau State in particular
with falsehood regarding
the security situation or
one excuse has just been
manufactured to perpetuate
the illegal stay of nonelected
officials at the local
government level.
“We reject in totality the
reason advanced for the
postponement of the election
as it is a calculated attempt
to save their faces from the
embarrassment that would
follow their defeat at the
polls.
“We denounce in very strong
terms the perpetuation of
undemocratic administration
and leadership at the local
government level and call
on the people of Plateau to
reject the postponement in its
entirety as this has murdered
democracy at this tier.
“We challenge Lalong to
tell the public when it will
be more conducive for the
elections to hold’’.
The PDP in Plateau is also
worried that almost six
months after the passage of
the local government bill and
transmission of same, the
governor is yet to give his
assent, a gross violation of
Section 58 of the Constitution
of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria (1999) as amended
We therefore call on the
House of Assembly to
withdraw the said bill.

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