The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, has revealed concern for maintaining peace in the state, while stating that he would not interfere in the state’s electoral process.
This is in reaction to allegations by the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others, who accused him of interfering particularly in the Plateau North Senatorial election and that of Jos North/Bassa federal constituency, which created tension in the state as the results were not made public until Thursday evening, five days after the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the results yesterday, returning the PDP candidate, Istifanus Gyang, as the winner of the Plateau North Senatorial District while the result for Jos North/Bassa federal constituency was declared inconclusive.
In a statement in Jos today, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Yakubu Dati, stated that the pronouncement of the Plateau state office of the INEC on the delayed results for Plateau North Senatorial District and the Jos North/ Bassa Federal Constituency absolved the governor of any involvement in the electoral process.
The Commissioner said, “Governor Lalong is the architect of a peaceful Plateau and would not turn round to threaten his good deeds by interfering in a process he is a contestant in and with no control over”
Dati also quoted the Governor as saying, “Though he would have loved his party to win, as governor of all, he respects the wishes of the electorate which he describes as the beauty of democracy.”
He said further that politics is a game of numbers and maintained that the Governor would work whoever INEC declares winner irrespective of religious, ethnic or political differences in advancing the interest of Plateau.
Gyang, who currently represents Riyom/Barkin Ladi Federal Constituency, emerged winner of the Plateau North Senatorial election.
The Collation and Returning Officer for the Plateau North Senatorial District, Prof. Christopher Vande, declared the results in Jos yesterday, stating that Gyang scored 269,555 votes to win.
He said that Gyang’s closest opponent, Mr Rufus Bature of the APC, secured 171,233 votes.
On the other hand, Prof. Francis Kwase, the Returning Officer for Jos North/Bassa House of Representatives election, while declaring the result of the contest for that seat, said that the polls were inconclusive.
Kwase, who made the declaration in Jos, said that the decision followed the cancellation of votes from Tudun Wada/Kabong ward in Jos North Local Government Area.
He said that INEC would fix a date for a re-run election.
Kwase, however, said that Mr Jonathan Dabo of the PDP had secured 89,262 votes to trail Mr Haruna Maitala of the APC, who had 114, 705 votes in his kitty.