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Security threat stops council elections in Plateau – Lalong

Gyang Bere, Jos

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has stated that his administration has not conducted Local Government Council Elections due to security threats.

He said the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) had fixed February 17, 2018 for the conduct of council elections, but was compelled to postpone it indefinitely as a result of security concerns.

Governor Lalong disclosed this on Monday during a training programme on leadership and conflict management for electoral stakeholders for the chairman of the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria (FOSIECON) held in Jos, the state capital.

“For us on the Plateau, the State Independent Electoral Commission was at the verge of conducting elections into the various electoral offices at the Third Tier in February 2018; but this had to be put on hold because of security concerns,” said Deputy Governor Sonni Tyoden who represented Lalong at the event.

“We are hopeful that at the end of this training session, your in-depth discourse on electoral fragilities and anticipated electoral conflicts will help us strengthen the process of conducting an election that will be all-inclusive, transparent, credible and acceptable to all. We are committed to this, and will not rest on our oars in ensuring that we establish democratic structure in the various Local Government Areas of the State.”

The Governor is canvassing for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections devoid of violence at the Local Government Areas in preparation for the 2015 General Elections.

“I have it on authority that the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) Nigeria, is partnering with the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria (FOSIECON) to provide training and sensitize Electoral Officers on how to plan and conduct credible, free and fair elections at Local Government level, within the context of the European Union Support to democratic governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN),” Tyoden said.

“Pre and post electoral violence anywhere in the world have a way of eroding confidence in government. Strengthening democratic governance therefore must begin with a credible, free, fair and acceptable electoral process. The concept of good democratic principles must be seen in the electoral process if the quality of democratic representation is to be enhanced in the country,” he said.

He challenged the electoral management bodies to improve their understanding of election administration, and take on board means for preventing and mitigating the escalation of electoral conflict throughout the electoral circle.

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

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