By Andrew Huboshi, Jos
The forum of the chairmanship and councilorship candidiates under the platform of our great party- the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has called on Governor Simon Lalong to mandate the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to conduct elections in Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Jos South and Jos North LGAs which were hitherto excluded from the earlier polls.
The Forum also called on lawmakers in the State especially members of the State House of Assembly, to join them in what it call, “a noble quest in ensuring that the tenets of democracy are wholesomely upheld”.
The group urged the legislators to shun overtures at renewing or extending the tenures of the interim management committee chairmen.
This was disclosed by Hon. Aminu Zang candidate for Jos North LGA, flanked by Hon. Emmauel Solomon Dung, Jos South, Comrade Joshua Chong Barkin Ladi and Hon. Kim Titus Danga Riyom, while addressing journalists in Jos the State Capital.
“The forum of the chairmanship and councilorship candidiates under the platform of our great party- the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) representing the good people of Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi And Riyom Local Government Areas are for the umpteenth time expresing our dismay and dissapointment over the failure by the plateau state government and PLASIEC to conduct elections in the four local government areas.
“You may recall that the state government through its PLASIEC set in motion the process for the conduct of elections to the various offices hitherto vacant.
“PLASIEC now screened the candidates and were made to pay various mandatory administrative fees as conditions for eligibility.
“Particular note of the requirement for the withdrawal of service of persons working from their places of work and vacations must be stated here.
“This singular condition enstranged such persons from their means of livelihood”, he explained.
It would be recalled that on the 10th October, 2018, the state electoral umpire conducted council elections in 13 LGC, excluding the mentioned above.
The electoral umpire cited insecurity as a reason for not conducting polls in the councils, saying it was acting base on a State Security Council advice.
“The reason adduced appear curious as at the time of the election, relative peace had returned to this areas as against some other more volatile areas.
“We are thus tempted to think there are other reasons informing the position as against what was being bandied.
He maintained that, “We are living witnesses to the demilitarisation of our towns and cities by the dismantling of checkpoints and roadblocks without any negative consequences.
“Further, Government’s statements and claims to the return of peace as would have been evidenced by the hosting of carnivals and the like require no further proof.
“Suffice to also mention elections into various offices of the Presidency/National Assembly and Governorship/State Assemblies, which have come and gone successfully.
“The inalienable rights and desires of the peace loving citizens of our respective areas to their choices as enshrined in the 1999 constitution (as amended) of the republic of Nigeria is being flagrantly violated.
“The setting up of interim management committees to manage our local Governments is an aberration and should have no place in our democratic journey.
“Our people are disenfranchised and deprived of the equitable distribution of the dividends of democracy. The managers of the interim contraptions did not promise anything to anybody hence the seeming non charlance and want of obligation to deliver.
“It is on account of the forgoing that we are calling on his Excellency the Governor and Government through its agency PLASIEC to as a matter of urgency consider conducting transparently free and fair elections into the remaining four Local Government Areas.
According to him, “Infact in other climes, steps would have been taken to ameliorate the pain, anguish and plight of the candidates who have suffered untold hardship after abandoning their various means of livelihood in a bid to render service.
“We are also calling on our legislators especially at the State level to join us in this noble quest in ensuring that the tenets of democracy are wholesomely upheld.
“We make bold to make this request knowing the pedigree of our legislators themselves being beneficiaries of the process”, he stressed.
“We implore them to shun overtures at renewing, extending or elongating the tenures of the interim contraptions lest they are perceived as either reneging or abdicating in their functions in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities.
The Forum however called on all party men and women to remain peaceful and law abiding as they remain steadfast in prayers for elections to be held sooner than later.
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