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Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau on Monday dismissed claims by rival political parties that his administration had not conducted local government elections because it was afraid of losing.
“Rival political parties have said that we are afraid of conducting local government polls because we shall lose; that cannot be true. If the elections are conducted today, we shall sweep all the seats.
“Our primary focus is to ensure that there is peace in Plateau. That has been our major concern. Now that we have stabilised the polity, elections will soon follow,” Lalong said in Pankshin.
He spoke during an empowerment programme organised by Sen. Joshua Dariye (Plateau Central), for his constituents.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 17 local governments had been under Interim Management Committees since 2015 when Lalong sacked officials elected in November 2014.
Elected office holders from rival political parties have claimed that the government was afraid to conduct elections because the APC had become unpopular and would be defeated in any fair political contest.
But the governor declared that it was not possible for the APC to lose any election in Plateau having performed “so wonderfully”.
He said that government’s focus had been to make Plateau a peaceful state so that development would flourish, and declared that elections would “come naturally, thereafter”.
Lalong, however, said that the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) had gone far in its preparations for the polls, and assured Plateau people that the elections would hold “very soon”.
The governor commended Dariye for the gesture to his constituents, and described the gifts as “very encouraging”.
He advised other politicians to emulate the former governor’s love for the masses, and cautioned politicians against turning their backs on the electorate after winning elections.
Lalong said that Dariye had been his “strong political pillar over the years”, saying that he would remain eternally grateful to him.
NAN reports that Dariye donated 1,800 bags of fertiliser, 89 motorcycles, 89 sewing Machines as well as N1.8 million scholarships to deserving youths. (NAN)
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