By Marie-Therese Nanlong

The immediate past Secretary of the Plateau State Government, Rufus Bature has emerged the new State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC following a State Congress of the Party held on Saturday in Jos.

Bature, who was once a member of the State House of Assembly, emerged as a consensus candidate as the Party allocated the seat to his Barkin Ladi local government area amidst grumbling from aggrieved Party members who lamented alleged highhandedness in arriving at the candidate.

But the elated Bature who expressed appreciation to the members and leaders of the party for electing the new executive said the fact that their “election was done through consensus without any challenges means that the party has fully evolved and is taking major strides in good governance, inclusiveness and fairness to the citizens.”

He specifically thanked Governor Simon Lalong for “giving the State the needed leadership that has endeared APC to the people and continued to give them hope,” and stated the party 36-man exco will support him and also carry along all members at all times and also avail them level playing field for aspiring to any position.

Also speaking at event witnessed by INEC, the State Governor, Simon Lalong noted APC in Plateau State remains a beacon of democracy and the hope for the peace, progress and unity of the State and the nation at large, adding “the level of maturity and seamless conduct demonstrated by members clearly shows the strength of the party in the State and the unity of its members.”

According to him, “The peaceful conduct of the State Congress which was through consensus shows how committed the members are in galvanising all differences and working together for the common interest of the party. Such unity of purpose has been responsible for the continuous acceptance of the party and its consolidation in Plateau State.”

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While urging the new State party Executives to work in synergy with other party officials at the Local Government, Ward and Unit levels, Governor Lalong emphasized the need for them to carry along all members and be fair, honest and transparent in all their dealings.

However, it was gathered that Party members in the faction loyal to the immediate past State Chairman of the Party, Letep Dabang who is currently on suspension are not happy with the outcome of the exercise but the plan to hold a parallel congress did not materialized.

When contacted for comment on the exercise, Dabang said, “I was not involved so I will have anything to say. I will not know that people are not happy because nobody has reported anything to me. I am not even on ground for the past three days I am not even in Jos so I don’t know what is going on there. Since my suspension, I have not been involved in any Party activities, they have not called me and I have respected myself and keep my distance.”

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