By Marie-Therese Nanlong
POLITICAL parties in Plateau State are at one another’s jugular over the controversies trailing the forthcoming Local Council poll.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the Action Democratic Party, ADP, are raising alarm that the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC, and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are working together to short-change the people. In September 2017 when the PLASIEC released the time table for the election, some aspirants expressed doubts that the election would hold. However, when the PLASIEC Chairman, Mr. Fabian Ntung, announced that the election will take place on February 17, 2018, while a run-off and/or re-run, if any, will hold on February 24, 2018, parties began plans to outwit one another at the poll. But 11 days to the set date, Ntung announced an indefinite postponement citing security reasons, saying he was “advised by the State Security Council not to hold the election”.
With the postponement, many political parties doubt the sincerity of PLASIEC saying the claim was a ploy to make them relax so that the APC would spring a surprise on them.
The PDP, in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, John Akans, notified its supporters of the alleged plans by PLASIEC to conduct the said election on September 15, 2018 without following due process.
“Information available to the Party suggests that, the APC-led government will leave out some local governments identified as PDP strongholds across the three senatorial zones ostensibly because of “security” reasons.”
Similarly, the State Chairman of the ADP, Nanyah Daman told Vanguard: “We are hearing from the grapevine that they are planning to hold the election in September but nobody has communicated to us officially. ADP is fully prepared for whatever tactic they want to deploy.”
Poll can’t be held in secret – APC
However, the State APC Chairman, Latep Dabang, a former PLASIEC chairman noted, “We are a political party not PLASIEC. We have not been told when election will hold and definitely, it can’t be done in secret. There are rules to be followed in conducting election, PLASIEC must follow the rules.