Plateau state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state has taken steps to demonstrated that it is going to manipulate the process and outcome of the planned local government election scheduled for the 17th of February this month.
The opposition party accused the ruling party of abusing the electoral processes as stipulated in the state’s electoral laws 2017.
State chairman of PDP, Hon Damishi Sango made the allegations in a press conference held in his office in Jos yesterday.
According to Hon. Sango, “With two weeks to the date of the council election in the state, the state independent electoral commission (PLASIEC) has not deem it necessary to display the voters register.
He said, “Under the PLASIEC law 2017, the voters register collected from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is supposed to be on display at least one month to the date of the election. But with just two weeks to go, the state electoral commission is yet to display the list. Therefore we are not sure of those qualified to cast their votes on February 17th.
“Under normal circumstances, recruitment of ad-hoc staff for the conduct of the election is supposed to be properly advertised and done in a transparent manner, but we are witnessing a secret recruitment exercise being handled by the state APC Chairman.
“Worse of all, there is no existing law to govern the administration and functions of those to be elected at the polls. We are aware the state house of assembly passed the local government laws which takes care of tenure and general administration five months ago. However, the state governor is yet to accent to the law”
Speaking further, Hon Sango said, “It is evident from these observations that the absence of the local government law is a deliberate attempts on the part of the governor Lalong administration to build a house without a foundation, thereby creating loopholes for the collapse of the local governor system in the state so as to continued to impose ad-hoc management Committee to run the local government.
“The non-display of voters register as provided for by law is intended to disenfranchise our teeming supporters across the state as we suspect the voters list is being doctored right now.
“The secret recruitment of ad-hoc staff by the state APC Chairman is also another plan to rig the election in favor of the ruling party. This further give credence to rumor making the round that the election results would not be declared at the respective levels as provided for by the PLASIEC law 2017.
“This is why we are calling on Governor Lalong to make public his position on the local government law as passed by the state house of assembly five months ago.
“We believed that the palpable lapses we have observed in the entire process leading to the council election is not by accident but a crafty designed plot to give the ruling APC undue advantage over other political parties.
“We wish to state in clear terms that while we have worked hard to contain the apprehension of our teeming supporters, we urged the state government and PLASIEC to come clear on the issues raised.
“However, despite the shortcomings mentioned above, PDP in the state is fully ready for the council elections on the 17th o& February, 2018”said Hon Sango.