Sunday 1 October 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

Since the beginning of the Legal Processes in the 2023 general election, members of the Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seem to be shopping for a possible enemy of the party in the state and without, with the aim of accusing them for been part of the problem of the party and the state.

The party members and its officials in the state, have been accused by pundits in the state on the ground hat, rather than looking inwards to challenge and correct any perceived irregularities within the members and their officials have rather, decided to expend their energies to be listing to perceived enemy voices and write ups, on radio programs and on the social media respectively.

It is a fact that, all the people that voted in the governorship election in Plateau State on the 18th of March, 2023, are citizens of Nigeria, with some being indigenous to the state.

At the end of the election exercise, the Returning Officer for the governorship election in the state and Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Lafia, Professor Idris Amali, declared the PDP candidate winner at exactly 3:33 on Monday afternoon after collating results from the 17 local government areas of the state.

You would recall that, the PDP had been in power in Plateau State since 1999 until 2015, when the APC candidate, Simon Lalong, dislodged the party and won the governorship election of the state.

Also, Governor Lalong had won his re-election in 2019 to retain power for the APC before a fresh governorship election took place on Saturday, 18th March, 2023.

All through this period under review, while the PDP remained in opposition, the APC had no course to start searching or shopping for enemies.

Facts are that, the APC only constantly reply to constructive criticism from the PDP in the media space.

It is also a fact that, the PDP’s candidate, Mutfwang, was declared as the duly elected governor at the INEC collation center in Jos,  by the state Returning Officer saying that, the PDP candidate polled 525,299 votes to defeat his closest rival and the candidate of the ruling APC as it were then, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, who polled 481,370 votes.

It is on record that, after this declaration, the APC and its candidate did not indulge in name calling and delving into spiritual suspicions of INEC officials. They simply headed to the Tribunal, which is the next phase of the election process for 2023 general election.

There is also the need to know that, one of its members, who once headed PDP’s Legal Team, both in the rescue of the party and one of its Leaders, Sen. Da Jonah David Jang, from the hands of the EFCC and ICPC, Hon. Edward Pwajok (SAN), was tagged an enemy of the party for simply advising the chapter to obey instant Court Orders.

It is on record that, the Governorship election results showed as at then that, the PDP candidate, Caleb Mutfwang, won 7 out of 13 LGAs as published on’ March 19, 2023, while the APC candidate led in Shendam, Kanke, Pankshin, Kanam, Jos East and Wase Local Governments.

The question here is, can these people become part of the enemies been searched for by the PDP members? Pundits are asking.

As the panel of the National/State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal chaired by Hon. Justice B. M. Tukur started dishing out Judgments not in favaour of the PDP, another potion of hell’s gate was opened against the Panel Members. This time, they are tagged “Enemy of Plateau State” going by the petition filed against them to the NJC by PDP EXCO led by its State Chairman, Hon. Chris Hassan.

Although they are not forced to respond, the Panel Members have advised the Lawyers having cases before them to look inwards and advise their clients.

The members have also admonished the Lawyers to always tell their clients the truth of what happens at the Tribunal and speak to them in the language they would understand.

According to them, “The person who bought you today will not trust you tomorrow!”

However, it must be noted that, it was as a result of the sheer number of Election Petition cases in Nigeria this year and the desire to ensure that all cases are completed within 180 days (6 months) as required by Section 285(6) of the 1999 constitution, that the Chief Justice of Nigeria created one Tribunal, but with separate Panels to dispose of the cases within the time required by the Constitution.

In Plateau state as in other states with many cases, the Tribunal has three (3) Panels thus:-

  1. Governorship Panel Cases
  2. Legislative Houses Cases-the Legislative Houses Panel is further subdivided into Panel A and Panel B

Because of the sheer number of cases that came up for Senate, House of Representatives and State.

In its verdicts for the State Assembly petitions, the same Tribunal has also declared the following APC candidates as winners: Rt. Hon. Yakubu Sanda for Pengana constituency; Hon. Eli Bako Ankala for Rukuba/ Irigwe constituency; Hon. Sylvester Ibrahim Wallangko for Bokkos constituency;  Hon. Nanbol Josiah Gomam for Langtang North-Central constituency; Hon. Mark Sunday Naah for Jos North-West constituency and Hon. Dachung Moses for Riyom constituency.

By implication, the APC now controls the majority in the State Legislature with the following spread as it stands: APC 14; PDP 9 and YPP 1.

For the National Assembly, the APC now has 2 Senators and 4 Members House of Representatives against the PDP’s 1 Senator and 2 Members House of Representatives whereas the LP has 2 Members House of Representatives.


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