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Gov Lalong bows to pressure, says Plateau can conduct council polls

The Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) can now go ahead to conduct the Local Government Election, says the state governor, Simon Lalong.

Lalong stated this on Wednesday in Jos when he signed two bills passed by the Plateau State House of Assembly into law.

This is coming after series of pressure mounted on the state governor by the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP), for refusal to conduct the LG polls, alleging that the governor is scared of losing at the polls.

Recall that couple of weeks back, the PDP had dragged Lalong to court, challenging him to conduct the polls, an act that led the governor to swear-in the just appointed LG boss (Transition Caretaker Committee), at midnight for fear of getting a court injunction.

However, Lalong has said that the local government elections were not swiftly conducted by his administration because of the faulty of law establishing the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission.

The governor said that there were so many flaws in the formal law making it difficult to conduct a proper election acceptable by the people of the state.

“What is worth doing is worth doing well, there were so many flaws in the outdated law.

“We have amended the law and addressed the flaws and PLASIEC can now go ahead and conduct the council elections.

“Local government elections are very key to people and no responsible government would deliberately refuse to conduct elections at that level of government.

“This is because the people elected at that level of government like the counsellors are very close to the people at the grassroots,” he said.

The governor boasted that his party was prepared to participate in the elections and urged the umpire to hold elections without further delay.

Lalong further stated that the new PLASIEC law has also provided for the creation of development areas which he promised the people during his campaign.

He announced that the development areas would be created after the council elections.

The governor who also signed the amended law establishing the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service (PSIRS) into Law said that the new law would boost revenue generation for the state.

Lalong said that the harmonised law would help in collection of taxes at both state and local government areas.

He stated that areas of conflicts in the just repealed PSIRS were addressed in the new law.

Mr Jonathan Mawiyau, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice presented the synopsis of the bills before they were assented to by the governor.

Mawiyau said that the law establishing PLASIEC and other related matters has seven parts, 112 sections and two schedules.

The commissioner said that the law establishing PSIRS and other related matters has 13 parts, 125 sections and seven schedules.

He said that with the assent of the governor all the former laws establishing the PLASIEC and PSIRS were repealed.

Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos

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