The Oasis Reporters
May 6, 2018
By Moses Gbande
As the All Progressive Congress, APC commence Congresses, a democratic process that will usher in a new set of leaders, stakeholders adjudged the Plateau Ward Congresses as most peaceful and successful.
This is in contrast to what was obtainable in some parts of the country including Rivers Delta and Ekiti states that was bloody or filled with confusion and Oyo state which witnessed arson and other forms of unfortunate frictions.
There were also palpable fears that any attempt to conduct any political exercise in Plateau state, particularly in Jos North Local Government, the capital city of the state, could throw it into renewed hostilities in view of its vulnerability.
Contrary to this, the people have disproved doubting Thomases by showing that they are APC to the core and have realised their past mistakes and are ready to forge ahead as one people for the interest of the state and country at large.
Our correspondent who monitored the exercise reports that in the areas visited there was virtually a gentlemen agreements where Excos that brought the party on board in 2015 were allowed to retain their positions except where one or two of the officials were found liable of mistrust.
Responding to the general assessment of the congress in Jos North, Member Representing Jos North / Bassa Federal Constituency, Hon Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande has said the affirmation of candidates is the best practice.
He said APC shall come out stronger and reliable as a party to reckon with, pointing out that those who are threatening to defect to any political party are free to do so, “we all understood that there are people nursing flimsy excuses, we are saying democracy should not tie many people to one party system”.
Adding that, “the wards congresses affirmation is all over Nigeria, this is not a decision taken in Plateau or North Central, but it is a decision taken for the overall interest of the party in conducting all elections in Nigeria.
“We have informed all the supporters of APC through sensitization and enlightenment with stakeholders across the wards how the voting pattern should go”.
He rated the election as free , fair and credible devoid of any rancour by congratulating the orderliness of the party loyalist with overwhelming support to key into the ideology of the APC program.
“We organize peaceful election as family members to ensure that the party grows from strength to strength as we hold sensitization meetings so that the people will fully participate actively in the election process.
“The election was conducted in each of the councils, ward headquarters to ensure the full maintenance of law and order in promoting democracy in the country”.
Hon Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande maintained that the APC will still win the forthcoming 2019 election as the party has done very well especially in the area constituency projects and in giving good representation.
On His part the Plateau State Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt Hon Peter Ajang Azi has assured of the All Progressive Congress, APC, readiness in winning the governorship and Presidential elections”.
According to him, party stakeholders came together to brainstorm on how to conduct hitch free exercise without any rancour which was adhered strictly during the other endorsement .
Rt Hon Azi maintained that with the peaceful conduct of party faithfuls today,the sky is the limit because we are being guided against any breach of the law.
He congratulated all the ward delegates for the show of understanding and maturity during the affirmation exercise,we ask each of the 20 wards to clarify their mind on whether those who are chosen to represent them have the requisite qualifications and pedigree to hold the said office.
According to him, the selection and the endorsement was dully followed from the national secretariat down the state and to the ward level.
He said the reason for endorsement of all the candidates was in fulfilment of party rules so as not to allow miscreants to take undue advantage and cause mayhem at the venue.
On his part, committee chairman, Jos North LGA, Phillip lzam said going by the fragile nature of the local government, the committee cannot afford to risk going through the process for the sake of safety.
He said although a committee was set-up to deliberate on the modalities for the conduct of ward congresses, Rt.Hon Simon Lalong being the chairman, notwithstanding.
“Any time you make an arrangement in any given time you discover you have special needs, I don’t think it is out of place to bring plans to accommodate the special needs as we just did.”
Philip maintained that the Congress is on going as the council is not in a position to embark on a venture which is too bogus financially, security wise and other issues which is the reason we are taking it Ward by Ward for transparency. The difference is just polling units.
On the insinuation that political appointees in the council, particularly in Jos North are just hiding under “security reasons” to circumvent elections, the chairman said the committee has no power over elections which is solely the responsibility of the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC.
So there are no stakeholders in the state who may wish to circumvent any election in Jos North.
The Chairman of the ward congresses in Jos North and State Commissioner for Transport, Mallam Nazif Mohammed commended youths and delegates for exhibiting all sense of maturity and patriotism leading to the peaceful conduct of the congress.
He urged them to maintain the same spirit in subsequent exercises.