The Oasis Reporters
February 6, 2018
By Moses Gbande
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has expressed disappointment with the Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong over his mundane approaches to governance.
The Plateau State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party and one time minister of youths and sports Hon. Damishi Sango registered the party’s displeasure in Jos on Monday while reacting to the sudden and indefinite indefinite postponement of the local government election in the state, earlier scheduled to hold on the 17th February 2018.
The authority says the security of the state at the moment could not guarantee a peaceful conduct of election in the state, the state independent electoral commission claims.
With this, Sango says the development has vindicated his earlier worries over the weekend that they are smelling a rat, for fears of palpable lapses during the electoral process leading to the conduct of the Local Government elections designed to give the APC undue advantage over the other political parties.
He had highlighted that, “based on the time-table released by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), Local Government Elections in the State was scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 17, 2018, sixteen (16) days away from last Friday.
And that, while the law empowering PLASIEC to organize and conduct local government elections is in place, there is no law to govern the administration and functions of the soon to be elected local government officials. We are aware the Plateau State House of Assembly passed the Local Government Law, which takes care of tenure and general administration some five months ago. However, we are aware the Governor of the State is yet to assent to the law.
“Under the PLASIEC Law (2017), the Voters’ Register (as collected from INEC) is supposed to be on display at least one (1) month before the conduct of the Council polls, but with just two weeks to go this has not yet been done. Therefore, we are not sure of those qualified to cast votes on February 17, 2018.
“Under normal circumstances, recruitment of ad-hoc staff for the conduct of the polls is supposed to be properly advertised and done in a transparent manner, but we are witnessing a secret recruitment exercise, being executed by the APC Chairman in the State.
“It is evident from these observations that:
‘The absence of the Local Government Law is a deliberate attempt on the part of the Lalong administration to build a house without a foundation, thereby creating a loophole for the collapse of the Local Government system and perpetuating the ad-hoc arrangement of Management Committees with the sole aim of having stooges at this level of governance. “There is no gain saying the fact that this has robbed the grass roots of the needed development intended under constitutional democracy.
Sango however said, with the postponement of the local government election, it is evident that the Governor has highly compromised the tenets of democracy, which is anchored on good governance.
“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 state to reject the postponement in its entirety as this has further murdered democracy at this tier”.
He said the excuse advanced by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC for the postponement of the election is not a genuine one.
“Here is a state that has returned to peace following the appointment of a Hausa-Fulani as a commissioner in the Lalong administration.
“We would recall that Governor Lalong went on air to tell the whole world that following the appointment of a Hausa-Fulani as information commissioner, peace has returned to the state.
“On January 12th, 2018 while condemning his Benue colleague at the presidential villa for the troubles in the state, Governor Lalong boasted before the president that the state is enjoying peace now, we then ask, what has suddenly happened?
“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 is abundantly clear that the APC administration in the state has either been fooling Nigerians, in general and the people of Plateau state in particular with falsehoods regarding the security situation in the state, or one excuse has been manufactured to perpetuate the illegal stay of non elective officials at the local government level.
“It is very clear that, Lalong doesn’t want democracy, he is enjoying it, but he doesn’t want to nurture it”.