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PLASIEC Staff Harass Journalists Over LG Election Process


The Oasis Reporters

October 10, 2018

Gov. Simon Bako Lalong.
By Moses Gbande

Elections, under normal circumstances do come with perceptions and misgivings, pointing to the fact that sometimes, it comes with the fears of manipulation, from politicians inducing the electoral umpire to play their bids.

This might come to play also in Plateau state, as the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC on Tuesday created a scenario full of doubts in the minds of citizens over its ability to deliver a free, fair and credible local government election in the state.

Since the coming of the All Progressive Congress, APC to power, Plateau State citizens had in the last three years, yearned for local government elections to be conducted, all to no avail, due to security excuses, but when the electoral umpire eventually said the coast is now clear, security gave the go ahead.

Unfortunately, as the preparation for the exercise hots up for the local government election scheduled to hold today 10th October 2018, suspicious moves have taken center stage, as orchestrated by schemers.

Our correspondent who was at the PLASIEC office Tuesday evening to seek for accreditation to enable him monitor the election was harassed and forced out of the premises along side some of his colleagues.

He told us that, ” on arrival, I approached some of my colleagues that have been there hours before I came, and they told me that one of the commissioners said he was only using the list brought to them from the NUJ.

“I then tried to reach out to the officer, I approached him. Showed him my ID card and said ‘please sir, can you spare me a few seconds of your time’?
He refused, went off but suddenly came back and started shouting, “take him out of here”. He pushed me more than five times, I obeyed and turned to leave but he persisted in the harassment.

‘ what saved me was that, the security officers there did not pay his outbursts any heed and my colleagues were ready to give it back to him just as other PLASIEC staff stood for me, while a senior staff of the organization, Mr. James came to tell me he appreciated my gentility”.

As if that would end the story, but the twist is that all Journalists were sent outside the PLASIEC premises, shortly after, one Thaddeus Yilmen, crept in and out, and when approached , he said he was only given 15 accreditation cards.

The questions on the lips of Journalists are that in the city where over sixty Correspondents are present along side fifteen indigenous publishers cum visiting Journalists from Abuja, Bauchi, Nasarawa and other nearby places, how justifiable is PLASIEC to produce only less than fifty tags for Journalists, if the intention is not to hide the outcome of the election?

Another version to it is that the motive behind this action is to grant ticket to only those who could cover Governor Lalong while voting at his unit in the southern zone.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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