By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos – It is no longer news that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on Monday, March 20, 2023, announced the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Plateau State, Barr. Caleb Mutfwang as winner of the March 18th Governorship election.
The Returning Officer, Professor Idris Amali declared that Mutfwang, polled 525,299 votes to defeat his closest rival, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda of the All Progressives Congress, APC who scored 481,370 votes.
Immediately after the results were announced, the State erupted with joy. From the cities to the villages, an array of crowd spilled into the streets in jubilation. The elating sights announced that not only did Mutfwang win the election but Plateau won as happiness was expressed on the faces of many.
Before converging at the Langfield event centre in Jos where the Governor-elect gave his acceptance speech on that Monday, the citizens from the Jos/Bukuru metropolis, and the environs in open vans, cars, tricycles, motorcycles, and some trekking many kilometers took to the streets beating drums, chanting victory songs and dancing along the major roads and streets in celebration.
There were no complaints about gridlocks in major highways in the metropolis; the orderly and peaceful celebration was contagious as the candidate of the Labour Party for the same election, Dr. Patrick Dakum called to congratulate Barr. Mutfwang, that of the PRP, Luka Panpe too did.
Former Governor Joshua Dariye who is from another political party also did, Sunday Biggs who aspired to fly the APC ticket in the said election rejoiced with the winner but Dr. Yilwatda is yet to join the list as he is heading to the tribunal to contest the result.
Dr. Dakum said, “Hello Caleb, how are you? This is to say congratulations and wish you all the best. May God guide you, keep you and be with you. We will continue to pray along with you…”
However, as the Governor-elect prepares for governance from May, 29th 2023, he is conscious of the expectations of the people and had promised to work to deliver on his promises. He expressed this much and more in his speech at Langfield where he reassured that he would be “a governor to all.”
Citizens who prayed he does not disappoint expressed their thoughts; a resident of Jos, Joshua Dakup said, “This victory is a dawn of a new era on the Plateau. We have had enough of hardship under the APC government. The celebration is that of freedom from all forms of bad governance. We wish Barr. Mutfwang well and hope that he will not take this support for granted.”
Another, Naomi Lengkat noted, “I am excited, I am joyous. I can’t describe the feeling I have about the outcome of this election. This is not just Mutfwang’s victory but Plateau won because the people of Plateau spoke with one voice. We are very expectant that we would forget the pains of the last eight years.”
Elias Inusa added, “What you see on the streets is a testimony of the feelings of the people of Plateau, it has been long we had something to celebrate of this magnitude, and we pray the Governor-elect succeeds. He should listen to sane advice from people who mean well for the State.
“He should extend a hand of friendship to those who opposed his aspiration to govern the State, like he said, he should embrace everybody and use the resources of the State for the good of the State. We don’t want a person who governs from outside the State, he should not die for others at the expense of his people.
“Every segment of the State should be carried along and most importantly, the common man should not be made to regret the sacrifice which made his victory possible.”
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