Friday, 9 February 2018

WE ARE DISPLEASED WITH PLASIEC—PLASCER SPEAKS OUT (READ PRESS RELEASE UNEDITED)


By: Our Reporter,


PLATEAU STATE COALITION ON ELECTORAL REFORMS AND GOOD GOVERNANCE (PLASCER) PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSING THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERMNENT ELECTIONS EARLIER SCHEDULED FOR 17TH OF FEBRUARY 2018
 
PLASCER MEMBERS AT THE PRESS BRIEFING TODAY
Plateau State Coalition on Electoral Reforms and Good Governance (PLASCER): is a coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Media, Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), specialized groups like Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), Women, Youth and community stakeholders across the three senatorial zones. It is part of the Action Plan of the State level Campaign Planning Meeting aimed at focussing on the obstacles & short- comings of the Nigerian Electoral System. The mandate of the Coalition is to promote Electoral Reforms in Plateau State in particular, and Nigeria in general with a view to strengthen the democratic institutions and citizens’ engagement in electoral processes. 

The Local Government as an Independent Tier of Government
This is a government at sub-national level exercised through representative councils established by law to exercise specific powers within defined areas.

W. A. Robson, in the encyclopaedia of the Social Services, defines Local Government as involving:
“The conception of a territorial, non-sovereign community possessing the legal right and the necessary organ to regulate its own affairs.”


It is at this level that the impact of governance is felt most by the people

In response to the decision of the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to indefinitely postpone the Local Government Elections earlier scheduled for 17th February 2018 on security grounds, the PLASCER wish to state its position, highlight issues; make appeals to citizens and recommendations to government as follows:

1.      That as a Coalition on Electoral Reforms and Good Governance, PLASCER like other well-meaning Plateau State citizens is deeply displeased with the inability of PLASIEC to conduct the elections as planned due to failure of government to guarantee the constitutional provision of security of lives and property, a fundamental reason for which it does exist.

2.      PLASCER as a Coalition is appealing to Plateau State citizens to keep calm and not take laws into their hands, instead should take the part of constructive engagement with PLASIEC and other relevant government agencies in charting the way forward.

3.      That the Plateau state government and PLASIEC should act responsively by taking proactive measures in providing the secure atmosphere needed for the conduct of a free, fair, credible, acceptable and violence-free local government elections as soon as possible so that Plateau citizens will not be perpetually denied their constitutional rights of service delivery that would enhance good governance at the third tier of government which is closest to the people.

4.      That the PLASIEC should as a matter of urgency and priority work on a new date for the conduct of the postponed local government elections and make it known to the general public to give Plateau citizens a renewed hope in the independence of the Election Management Body and to boost citizens’ confidence in the government’s ability to protect lives and property. 

5.      While PLASCER is not in disagreement with the reasons cited by PLASIEC for the postponement of the local government elections, our interest is to protect, promote, defend and deepen our democracy in accordance with the letters of our constitution and international best practices. 

6.      Finally, we urge the Plateau State Government to respect democratic tenet by allowing the citizens to choose their representatives at the Local Government level.

Long live PLASCER!
Long live Plateau State!!
Long live Nigeria!!!


____________________________                            ___________________________
Nelson Ananze                                                           Japhet Philip
Ag Executive Director CAPP                                   Interim Chairman PLASCER

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