From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has sworn-in 17 Local Government Chairmen who were declared winner of the Saturday October 9 Local Government Elections by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) in the state.
Performing the ceremony at new Government House Jos, Lalong urged the chairmen to work for all citizens, irrespective of political, ethnic and religious affiliation.
” I challenge you not to see your victory as one of glamour, but as a call to service and an opportunity to serve the people. From today, you have ceased to be leaders of your parties, religious or ethnic groups only.
“You are to work for all citizens including those who did not vote for you. Furthermore, your victory is for the people and not an opportunity to settle scores with anybody or enrich yourselves.”
He expressed gratitude for the successful transition from one Local Government tenure to another in the state which he described as the first of its kind.
Lalong salute Plateau people for their exemplary conduct, resilience and patriotism throughout the polls which ended devoid of violence.
“As the tier of Government closest to the people, the expectations are very high for delivery of basic services that will improve the living standards of the people. Therefore, you must take this assignment as a challenge for you to bring to bear your wealth of experience and make a difference.
“I urge you to consult widely and carry along all stakeholders in running the affairs of the Local Government. You must be fair to all and ensure that you avoid any action that can divide the people.
“When there is injustice, unfair treatment and selective distribution of projects and services, your popularity will fade fast and peace will be difficult to sustain. Without prejudice to your right to choose and appoint people you can work with, endeavour to carry along all interest groups in your appointments especially people living with disabilities and women.” He stated.
Lalong urged citizens to put behind all differences and work together in building a better Plateau that will yield its prosperity and endowments to the current generation and the generation to come.
He said election is neither war nor an avenue for division and disharmony, adding that those who didn’t succeed today, can emerge victorious tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Plateau State has rejected the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairmen and Councilors elected at the Saturday 9 Local Government Election in the state.
The Party described the process as an appointment and not election since the PDP which is the strongest opposition party in the state was excluded deliberately from the polls by Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC).
The Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. John Akans who briefed Journalists on Monday at the party’s Secretariat in Jos, expressed optimism that the Court of Appeal will order for a proper and inclusive election when the substantive matter is heard.
“The announcement of winners by PLASIEC yesterday and the action of governor Lalong can only be described as executive rascality. This is the worst local government election in the history of Nigeria.
“In warfare a battle is either won or lost. As a party that respects the rule of law, we are pursuing our course to participate in the local govt elections at the court of appeal. We expect that PLASIEC would have waited for the decision of the court of appeal on this matter.
“Its surprising to see that PLASIEC that is a party to this suit and was well represented in court, announced its shameful appointees as winners when the matter was adjourned for 22nd of November 2021.
“We advice those declared by PLASIEC as winners not to celebrate because they were not elected by the people but rather appointed by despotic leadership and this scam will lead to no where, as plateau people can not be scammed again.”
He urged Plateau people and members of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP to remained calm and patient as the party is pursuing the matter at the Court of Appeal which he expressed optimism that it will turn out in favour of the party and the people.
He urged the National Assembly to declare vacant the seat of Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency which the member died for over 90 days.
“We call on the Independent National Electoral commission, INEC to, inline with the provision of the constitution and electoral act fix a date for the by-election of Jos north / Bassa federal constituency. INEC should come out and tell Plateau why its yet to fix a date for the conduct of this election having lost the member representing that constituency over six months ago.
“The Peoples Democratic Party will not hesitate to take legal action against INEC if it fails to fix a date for the election because Jos north/Bassa people are left without a representative for the past six months. INEC has gone beyond the required time to conduct the election as done in other federal constituencies.” He stated.