By: Valentine Adese,
With less than 13 days to the well advertised Local Government Councils (LGCs) elections in Plateau State, the expected Actors and Institutions in the electioneering process have not been able to show what direction and seriousness they have attached to the processes.The Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), despite being aware of the closeness of the time it has slated for the LGCs’ election has continued to fail to engage critical stakeholders in the electioneering process.
Most information coming out from PLASIEC with respect to the slated elections has constantly been disseminated in a monolithic way through the state owned media outfits thereby, avoiding the critical private media and their practitioners in the state.
The umpire has also failed to create a balance between it and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the state.
REALITY gathered that the CSOs in the state had expressed their grievances of their being neglected by PLASIEC in the processes recently.
You would recall that it was in the rumour mill that PLASIEC was allegedly going to engage members of CSOs from Niger and Borno states.
Although a round table meeting has been called to address this issue between the CSOs, REALITY gathered that the welcoming tea package to the CSOs has been sent back to PLASIEC. REALIY gathers.
However, while PLASIEC is taking steps to fulfill its statutory functions in a clandestine way, it is still been frustrated with lack of funds.
You would recall that the Commission only defended its budget recently and that the Governor also only signed the 2018 budget few days ago.
With respect to the political parties, who have candidates for the forthcoming 17th February 2018 LGCs’ election, their activities have so far not proven that they are prepared for the elections but, only those of the candidates themselves.
Investigations of REALITY indicates that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) has so much internal problems like the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Action Democratic Party (ADP) to concentrate on the forthcoming LGC elections.
REALITY gathered that since the elected EXCO of the APC in Plateau state allowed their allowances for one year to be used for the initial developmental progress of the state, they are yet to receive any allowance again two years and more after.
Findings further hold that, the party is broke and that the candidates for the forthcoming LGCs’ election are running their campaign from their pocket on behalf of their party.
This is not different with the PDP and the ADP. as findings from the PDP holds that expected contributions from constitutional person(s) elected or appointed from the party are not been received by the EXCO and leadership of the party in the state.
REALITY findings further indicates that members of the party and the EXCO of the party, are still living and behaving as if they are the ruling party instead of knowing that they are in the opposition, which they really are and hence, still have not seen that contributing to the party for effect running of the affairs of the party is key.
The ADP being a new party was frustrated with the high cost of the Nomination and Expression of Interest forms of PLASIEC. This REALITY finding discovers to be the main reason why the ADP was not able to fill in candidates in several LGCs.
Although the party believes that the local government election would be a testing ground for it potentials, the serious lack of fund is a big issue.