Protests After Council Polls In Plateau As PDP Rejects Results

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Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State
By; BUHARI B. BELLO, Jos

Youths across five local government areas of plateau state on Thursday simultaneously protested the announcement of Wednesday’s local government elections conducted in 13 of the 17 local government areas in the state.

The election in Langtang North was declared inconclusive. However youths have taken to the local government secretariat, chanting solidarity songs and asking that their mandate cannot be stolen from them.

Fabian Ntung, PLASIEC Chairman had declared that the APC won in 11 of the 13 local government areas where elections were conducted leaving the results of Mangu and Langtang North as inconclusive.

Shortly after the results were announced, In Bassa, there were reported cases of houses and offices being torched while sporadic shooting could be heard as residents in the area protested.

Elsewhere in Mangu, the youths barricaded the road while they laid siege on the local government secretariat insisting that their votes must be counted and their wishes be respected in the results collated.

Sources in Mangu have said that the Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden who was in his ward for the election, had to be delayed from proceeding to Jos as a result of the protest following the barricades mounted by the youth.

It took the intervention of the Operation Safe Haven to placate the youth to re open the roads.

Howver in Bokkos, it was a bit of drama as some party agents and officials claimed that as at 11am Thursday morning, they were still waiting to turn in their results sheets.

In a similar development,  the Peoples Democratic Party has in the meantime rejected the result as announced by PLASIEC.

State chairman of the PDP, Hon. Damishi Sango while addressing Journalsists at the party secretariat on Thursday moning, said while anxious voters were waiting at the collation centres to get PLASIEC’s verdict on their free franchise, the electoral officers and returning officers have disappeared into the thin air, leaving room for avoidable anxiety.

Hon. Sango in his text claimed that he “spoke to the Commissioner of Police, Plateau State Command and the State Director of Security Services a short while ago intimating them on the present sad development, and made it clear to them that Governor Lalong should be held responsible for any breach of peace in the State should he and his cohorts continue on the dangerous path they have chosen to tread”.

The party is still waiting to take its next line of action.

However, the turn out of voters was quite impressive across the local government areas. There were also no reported cases of violence as people turned out in their numbers to exercise their franchise.

It is the first local government elections to be conducted by the APC-led government in Plateau State after several postponements by the state electoral body who cited security reasons.

With the state barely coming out of a fresh violent skirmishes, authorities must work hard to ensure they maintain law and order for the good of the land.

Sources from the state government have said that the swearing-in of the newly elected chairmen and councillors is being muted for Thursday of Friday this week.

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