By: Valentine Adese,
The Plateau State Government is yet to conduct Local Government Councils’ election in the state, three years after assuming office allegedly over security threats.
According to the Governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, his administration has not conducted Local Government Council Elections due to security threats.’
He said the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) had fixed February 17, 2018 for the conduct of council elections, but was compelled to postpone it indefinitely as a result of reports on security concerns.
The Governor disclosed this on Monday during a training programme on Leadership and Conflict Management for electoral stakeholders for the Chairman of the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria (FOSIECON) held in Jos, the state capital through is Deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, who represented him at the event.
“For us on the Plateau, the State Independent Electoral Commission was at the verge of conducting elections into the various electoral offices at the Third Tier in February 2018; but this had to be put on hold because of security concerns.
“We are hopeful that at the end of this training session, your in-depth discourse on electoral fragilities and anticipated electoral conflicts will help us strengthen the process of conducting an election that will be all-inclusive, transparent, credible and acceptable to all.
“We are committed to this, and will not rest on our oars in ensuring that we establish democratic structure in the various Local Government Areas of the State.” He stated.
The Governor through his Deputy said he is in support for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections devoid of violence at the Local Government Areas in preparation for the 2019 general elections in the state.
The Governor said, “I have it on authority that the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) Nigeria, is partnering with the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria (FOSIECON) to provide training and sensitize Electoral Officers on how to plan and conduct credible, free and fair elections at Local Government level, within the context of the European Union Support to democratic governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN),”
“Pre and post electoral violence anywhere in the world have a way of eroding confidence in government. Strengthening democratic governance therefore must begin with a credible, free, fair and acceptable electoral process. The concept of good democratic principles must be seen in the electoral process if the quality of democratic representation is to be enhanced in the country,” he said.
He challenged the electoral management bodies to improve their understanding of election administration, and take on board means for preventing and mitigating the escalation of electoral conflict throughout the electoral circle.
However, in another development, the electorates in the state have continued to put the Plateau State House of Assembly under pressure on why the elections in the LGAs have not been conducted.
You would recall that the House members only few days ago, have further extended the tenures of the Caretaker Committees by another one month.
Addressing stakeholders and some selected media men in the state, the Plateau State House Committee Chairman for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Baba Hassan has told the public that, the Committee is planning to invite the State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), to come and explain further why the elections have not been conducted, irrespective of the alleged security threats.