Gyang Bere, Jos
The Berom Youth Moulders (BYM), a Plateau State youth association, has urged Plateau State governor Simon Lalong to conduct local government elections in the four local government area where the polls were suspended due to insecurity.
BYM National President Rwas Gabriel B Sunday made the call on Monday in Jos during a press briefing.
The Plateau State Independent National Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) had conducted local government elections in 13 of the 17 LGAs in the state on October 10, 2018, but suspended the polls in Jos South, Jos North, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi, Berom ethnic enclaves, due to insecurity.
“With the relative peace the state has recorded so far, we demand that Governor Simon Lalong should direct Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to conduct local government election in Jos South, Jos North, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi local government areas without further delay,” Sunday said.
“The entire peace-loving Berom youths home and abroad express utmost support for the conduct of the election to enable people in the affected areas to participate in choosing their leaders as permitted by the democratic rules.
“Further silence from government on the conduct of the elections in those local government areas will leave us with the impression that the present administration has taken a deliberate decision to marginalise people in the affected areas based on the reason known to them.”
Sunday noted that since government suspended the polls in the four LGAs, no effort has been made by PLASIEC to conduct elections in the LGAs despite the relative peace currently enjoying in the areas.
He urged the government to find a way of conducting the polls since the 2019 general elections were conducted without violence or harassment of INEC officials.
Sunday lamented that the election was suspended in the affected LGAs a few days to the polls after all interested political parties, including the ruling APC and the opposition PDP, had satisfied all conditions of the PLASIEC and registered chairmanship and councillorship candidates ahead of the polls.
The PLASIEC had hinged its reasons for the suspended elections on the directive of the State Security Council which advised them to suspend the election due to the insecurity that was ravaging the areas.
“Governor Simon Lalong has said on different occasions that peace has return to Plateau and, as law-abiding citizens who are working on the consolidation of peace in the state, we demand that the governor should conduct election in the four LGA for justice, peace and equity.”
Sunday said the youths would continue to be peaceful and respect all constituted authorities in the discharge of their responsibilities as citizens of the state.