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March 23 re-run polls in Plateau, a walk-over — Lalong

…Says insecurity in state politically motivated

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA—GOVERNOR Simon Lalong of Plateau State, yesterday, said the March 23 supplementary election in the state would be a walk-over for him and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Lalong
Lalong

Plateau State is one of the states that Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared the result of the March 9 governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections as inconclusive and ordered for a re-run.

Speaking to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Lalong, who is leading Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the results so far declared, alleged that the renewed insecurity in the state had political undertone.

Asked why he was at the State House, he said: “My meeting with the president is the usual briefing. I call it usual because of my passion for peace in the state. It is not about the election, it is about the peace, to ensure we have very peaceful elections.

“So far so good, we have had very good peaceful elections. We are coming back for supplementary elections. I will like INEC to conduct a peaceful election, so we will like the security apparatus to be on ground in the state. That was my briefing to Mr. President.”

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Asked if he is panicking over  the supplementary elections, he declared: “How can I be when all the votes that were cancelled were my votes? These were areas that I won. There was no need for cancellation but then as a lawyer, I still want to comply with the rules, I don’t want to be talking about infringing on the rules when the elections result is very clear. So, for me, election is as good as concluded in Plateau State.”

On his reaction to the recent attack on the Plateau State on cattle rustling, he said: “That was why I said I am concerned about security. Usually, it starts like that, they start rustling and killing cattle and the next thing you will hear is that, it is farmers-herders crisis. I know that I have addressed that issue for a very long time and the police is handling the security.”

Also asked whether he suspected political undertone in the insecurity situation in the state, he said: “Very well. I always say it has political undertone. Why is it happening immediately after elections? It usually happens immediately before or after elections. Why is it like that? It has some political connotation.”

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