Barely one year after the conduct of Local Government Elections in Plateau State, the Berom Youths Moulders Association (BYM) has called on the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to conduct elections in Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Jos South and Jos North LGAs which were hitherto excluded from the earlier polls.
The group also said government’s failure to conduct the polls in the aforementioned local government councils will leave them with an impression that the present administration is deliberately marginalizing the people in the affected areas.
The BYM stated this through its National President, Rwas Gabriel Sunday, while addressing journalists in Jos the State Capital.
DAILY POST recalls that on the 10th October, 2018, the state electoral umpire conducted council elections in 13 LGC, excluding the mentioned above.
The electoral umpire cited insecurity as a reason for not conducting polls in the councils, saying it was acting base on a State Security Council advice.
Sunday said, “You are all aware that Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) suspended the conduct of Local Government Election in four Local Government Area of Jos South, Jos North, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas.
“We wish to inform you that government has not made pronouncement on the conduct of election in the respective Local Government Areas.
“PLASIEC had conducted Local Government Election in the state on October 10, 2018 but suspended the polls in Jos North, Jos South, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas few days to the election.
According to him, “This was after all interested political parties including the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the. opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had filled Chairmanship and Councillorship candidates just like their counterparts in the 13 Local Government Areas where the Election was held.
“These candidates from all the political parties had fulfilled all the necessary requirements of PLASIEC and embarked on electioneering campaigns where the spend huge sums of money. But few days to the election, PLASIEC suspended the polls in the concerned Council Areas.
“To our dismay, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted the 2019 General Elections without any hitches in Jos South, Jos North, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas.
He maintained that, “Votes for the Presidential, National Assembly, Governorship and State House of Assembly counts from the respective council areas and winners declared without violent protest.
“We wish to acknowledge the fact thay Jos South, Jos North, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi are experiencing relative peace where citizens embark on their daily activities without harassment intimidation and violent attacks except in some few cases”, he maintained.
The BYM President further explained that, “The Governor of Plateau State has also confirmed in several forums that his administration has restored relative peace in the state coupled with the recent peace programme staged by the Plateau Peace Building Agency where various peace stakeholders were honoured.
The group however demanded that, “With the relative peace the state has recorded so far, we demand that Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) should conduct Local Government Election in Jos South, Jos North, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas without further delay.
“The entire peace loving Berom youths home and abroad express utmost support for the conduct of the Local Government Election to enable people in the affected Local Government Areas participate in the election of those who will govern them as permitted by the democratic rules.
“We express our dismay over the position of Government in suspending election in the four local government areas which many people believed that the action was taken based on the fact that the ruling APC was not going to win election in those Local Government Areas.
According to him, “As a non partisan organization, we do not share in that school of thought but we have made effort to educate people on the need to respect government policies but keep quiet on the conduct of election in the affected council areas is not healthy.
“We demand that the State Governor, Simon Lalong should direct Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to fix a date and conduct the Election to enable the affected Local Government Areas to enjoy the dividends of democracy as its counterparts.
“Any further silence from government on the conduct of the elections in those various local governments will leave us with the impression that the present administration is willing and has taken a deliberate decision to marginalize people in the affected Local Government Areas based on the reason known to them”, he maintained.
“As youths, we will continue to respect all constituted authorities and remain law abiding and peaceful in all our conduct while we await Government quick response to our demands”, he stressed.
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