Peaceful LG election marks consolidation of peace in Plateau -Governor Lalong, describes PDP as confused
Governor Lalong speaks to the media at Shendam after casting his vote
By Samuel Torlumun, Shendam
The Executive Governor of Plateau State, and Chairman Northern Governors Forum, His Excellency, Bako Lalong has said a peaceful local government election in the state is the consolidation of peace in the state.
The governor stated this while addressing journalists after exercising his franchise in his village in Shendam Local Government Area of the state, Saturday.
He said, for those saying that Plateau is crises-ridden so local councils election should not be conducted will now see that Plateau State is peaceful.
He said he has moved round some local government areas within the state and have seen the people happily participating in the grassroots’ democratic process.
The governor explained that, local government election is the most critical and when it is gotten right all other elections follow suit.
Plateau State is transiting democratically to another elected governments at the grassroots. The governor explained that the challenges inherent in the process is the pressure to put an LG caretaker committee,each time the tenure of the council expires. To resist the pressure and bows to the legality in the polity, Governor Lalong said he promised to jettison the caretaker thing at the local councils.
“In view of the Supreme Court decision that the caretakership is null and void. [And of course two days ago, there was a case in Kwara, that nullified caretaker committee]. That was what motivated me to say whatever happens, we must transit from a democratic regime at the local councils to another democratic one.
“So you can see all the efforts we have put together to reach this stage today so that people will have the opportunity to voted and be voted for,” he stated.
On the issue of non participation of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the LG polls in the state, the governor said, PDP simply dribbled themselves out of of the game. He added that there was no bases for all the foul cries because this has happened severally to the APC. He cited, Rivers, Zamfara and Bayelsa states where APC were victims of court judgements but remained calm.
According to Lalong, it is rather contradictory, the PDP who took him, PLASIEC to court on the bases of non conduction of LG polls has come out to scuttle the same process.
“Here on the Plateau, we got the opportunity. The same PDP took me and PLASIEC to court. The suit is still before the court. They said I am just crying foul, I was not willing to conduct election. That I was afraid to conduct election, Plateau State is safe and that if I don’t conduct election this year, there will be crisis.
“Now we put in the process for the LG election, and along the line (you know they are always in confusion, even at the national level), and out of their confusion, they dribbled and dribble themselves out. Does it means that Plateau State is only PDP? We have many other parties in the state. So if they are out other parties are ready to participate in the election,” he pointed out.
The governor said if the PDP would had their way to scuttle the process that started five months ago, that would have caused bitterness in the minds of Plateau people.
He maintained that, but if the judgment had gone the other way round, the APC would have still obeyed.
“When they took the matter to court, what were they expecting? Were they not expecting a judgement? The judgment would have been left or right. Now, the judgment comes; I think to them left, and to us right. So if it came like that, you’ve already submitted yourselves.
“If you know you will not be able to stand with that kind of judgment, then you shouldn’t have taken yourselves to court. But you took the case to court and the court gave a judgment, that is why we are happy today. And the people are happy participating in the grassroots election” he narrated.