Gyang Bere, Jos
The Autochthonous People of Jos, Plateau State, have protested the appointment of a non-indigene and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Shehu Bala, as Management Committee Chairman for Jos North Local Government Area by Governor Simon Lalong.
Hon. Theresa Azi Nyako, spokesperson of the concerned citizens, disclosed this on Tuesday during a press conference in Jos and called on Governor Lalong to direct the Plateau Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to conduct elections in Jos North, Jos South, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom LGA where polls were suspended for security reasons.
Hon. Nyako, accompanied by community leaders of Afizere, Anaguta and Berom, said they are ready to die in defence of the land bequeath to them by their ancestors.
“We want to state in clear terms, unmistakable and unambiguous terms, that we totally reject and condemn in the strongest terms the suppression of our franchise in Jos North LGA, among others,” Hon. Nyako said.
“The imposition of a non-indigene, who also doubles as the APC candidate during the pendency elections, completely rubbishes global best democratic practices; it is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.
“It is a great disservice to our people in particular, and indeed Plateau State in general, as it has the capability to breach peace in the Tin City. It makes a mockery of Governor Lalong’s pillers of his purported 3-point agenda.”
Hon. Nyako alleged that there is a plan for the newly appointed Council Chairman, Hon. Shehu Bala, to submit a memo for the creation of a district in Jos North for the Hausa-Fulani which will prepare the ground for the realisation of the age-long quest for an Emir of Jos, and appealed to Governor Lalong to reverse his decision.
“We urge the natives of Plateau to monitor carefully the conduct of the Honourable Members of the Plateau State House of Assembly and hold them accountable in case of any attempt to annex our heritage to a feudalist. We are equally prepared to die for our people and for our collective heritage,” she said.
In a swift reaction, Governor Simon Lalong, through his Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Dan Manjang, said the elections suspended in Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas was due to some serious security challenges.
“With the security situation improving in those areas, and as a good measure in the interest of the people, government is working hard to ensure that elections are conducted in the affected Local Governments Areas,” Hon. Manjang stated.
He said the Management Committees were reconstituted in line with the provisions of the law and in a bid to ensure smooth governance in those areas.
The Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) had conducted Local Government elections on the 10 October, 2018, but suspended elections in Jos North, Jos South, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom LGA. APC Chairmanship candidates in those areas have since been appointed Management Committee Chairmen pending security improvement.