From Gyang Bere, Jos

The former Governor of Plateau State, Sen Jonah David Jang, has described as a show of shame and cowardice by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Plateau State Government the exclusion of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from participating in the Saturday, October 9, Local Government Elections in the the 17 Council Areas of the state.

Jang, in a press statement signed by his Media Consultant, Clinton Garuba, said that if the APC was popular as it has claimed, they should have allowed the PDP to participate in the polls.

He, however, expressed confidence that PDP would sweep the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.

‘This is a clear show of shame exhibited by the government and the APC in the state. If the APC government was as popular as it has portrayed itself to be, the right thing to do was to allow its state-funded umpire to conduct a free, fair and credible election to test its popularity,’ Jang stated.

‘The Plateau State Government must bury its head in shame, denying the people their right to choice of candidates is the worst kind of impunity and anti-people treatment to receive from those who occupy elected office.

‘If the performance of the government resonated with the people, there wouldn’t be any need to disenfranchise them but the only way out of a looming disgrace and a taste of what is to befall the APC anytime elections were held, was to remove the only hope of the people, the PDP from the ballot. What a show of cowardice.

‘The PDP approached the Courts, which should be the hope of the masses, with the hope that the sham of an election being held today will be stopped but the court in its wisdom thought it otherwise to allow the elections to hold.

‘While it is too early to conclude that the Honourable judges erred, by not seeing the consequences of the elections, we hope that when the substantive suit is heard and the fallout of the elections will make them recant the decision and subsequently declare the election illegality.

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‘The will of the people to choose those who should govern them overrides the personal or even collective will of a few people to subvert the process that recruits leaders and twist it in favour of primordial sentiments over the truth.’

He added: ‘The act of cowardice displayed by the government and the APC in Plateau State is a clear indication and further confirms that the people are not in support of the puppetry and subservience which the government of the day represents.

‘To use state organs to deny parties participation in an election is a travesty and the height of mockery of democracy. This is not the Plateau that our founding fathers envisaged,’ he stated.

Jang assured the people of Plateau that the PDP will do everything within the ambit of the law to invalidate the illegality perpetrated by the APC government.

‘This is not the time to allow the desperation of a few people to cling on to power, make us lose faith with the PDP.

‘We assure our dear party faithful and all peace-loving Plateau people that we would do all within the ambit of the law to invalidate the illegality perpetrated by the state government and will work together to end the impunity even as we approach the general elections in 2023.’

Jang pleaded with the Plateau ‘remain resolute… not relenting in our efforts to see that our dear state is delivered from the hands of those who do not wish us well and wish to relegate us to perpetual subservience or second-class status.

‘Plateau will rise again! Our collective efforts in sustaining our heritage and building the Plateau of our dream remains the task ahead of us and all hands must be on deck.’