Plateau 2019: Peace and security will determine the votes


Next year’s election in the Plateau will be decided by a combination of factors. Top in the agenda is the security situation in the state.

People of Plateau are not happy with the ruling party (All Progressives Congress).

They complain of hunger, indiscriminate killings and attacks without government, particularly the Federal Government coming to their rescue. They cited many instances.

They are complaining of attacks by herdsmen, which forced them to desert their homes to live in Internally Displaced Person’s Camps (IDPs) spread across the state.

The level of angst was shown recently when relations of displaced persons pelted the governor’s convoy with pestles and other soft weapons.

They are saying that the emergence of APC on the Plateau was a political accident, which will not happen again. “Having tested APC government on the Plateau for the past three years, we believe that it is not taking us nowhere and the early we come back to PDP, the better,” a PDP loyalist’ told The Guardian.

“Despite protest votes against Senator Jonah Jang’s candidate in 2015 in a perceived political miscalculation at the time, the beneficiary of the protest votes has done nothing to deserve another votes. The beneficiary is the Governor of the state, Mr. Simon Bako Lalong. He is too soft and civil to handle the affairs of the volatile state. Plateau needs somebody who is firm and if possible, harsh to succeed in the state,” a man who claimed to love the governor, added.

The massacre of persons in the state is too much for the people not to react politically. Despite the large number of political parties, only the APC and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appear set to play centre stage.

During the reign of PDP, governance was at a lull. The APC’s Change Mantra swept the people off their feet.

Governor Simon Bako Lalong met a huge debt profile of over N200b when he assumed office, in addition to other social issues. He managed to bring smiles to faces of workers who were owed arrears of salary and those owed pension.

Lalong also completed some abandoned projects by the previous administration.

He also embarked on campaigns and programme to restore peace to the Plateau. At the onset of this administration, some respondents expressed joy that government was mindful of the place of peace in society. They were happy that conscious steps were taken to curb killings.

It was based on that the Elders’ Advisory Council of the APC in the state unanimously endorsed Lalong for second term, stressing that he must be the sole governorship candidate come 2019 in recognition of his giant strides in governance.

But the new realities of rampant killings have dwarfed the Governor’s humble beginnings. Most people now doubt his capacity to restore peace and have made up their minds to vote for persons who can secure them and protect their farmlands from marauding killers of whatever description.

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