THE long awaited Local Government elections in the state have come and gone, leaving in its trail controversy. Election is a process of choosing leaders by popular votes to represent the masses at all levels of governance. It is therefore a moment that the people need to exercise their franchise as part of their civic responsibilities.
SOME have opined that the election was allegedly characterized by irregularities that disenfranchised citizens in the state from voting their preferred candidates who had indicated interest to contest elective positions under the umbrella of other political parties and therefore attributed it to lapses on the part of the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) which tactically eliminated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the process as there was a court verdict restraining PDP from participating in the election.
PLATEAU State Independent Electoral Commission in May this year had announced plans to conduct elections into 17 Local Government areas of the state in line with the powers conferred on it by law. This became necessary as the tenure of the out gone chairmen and councilors were coming to an end. It was followed up with the unveiling of guidelines and time table for the elections by PLASIEC, which afforded all political parties and their members opportunity to commence preparations for the elections as scheduled. Months later, it was expected that each political party should have done the needful. If any failed to meet up, how does PLASIEC shares the blame?
THERE have been insinuations in some quarters that the present government wants to force people into a one party system. But could that be the true position of the government? There were seven registered political parties that had the opportunity to slug it out, but most of them didn’t utilize it well to market themselves. Pockets of votes emanated from some of the smaller political parties, which gave a ray of hope that the citizens need to work extra hard to make impact in the political arena.
THE Peoples Democratic Party should avoid any form of blame game and reorganize itself for next time as their divided loyalty within the party circle actually landed them in the situation they found themselves. Certain excesses they allowed unchecked brought them to this level. For quite awhile, the party had been factionalized, giving room for different interests to affect the collective zeal of its supporters. Larger numbers of the party followers were innocently dragged into unhealthy competition that only placed them at a disadvantaged position of not actively participating in the electoral processes.
THE party had sometimes given out strong worded statement that no faction of its party should be recognized except it harmonizes its position and their differences settled. The renowned personalities that have turned themselves to godfathers over stretched their tentacles which caged many patriotic citizens instead of resolving their selfish respective ideologies. This wrangling could not allow them to accomplish the laid down guidelines that were provided by the regulatory body towards a successful polls. It shouldn’t be the basis to confuse electorate.
WE strongly believe that it’s time for Nigerians to be awake to their responsibilities and for their leaders to understand that power belongs to the people or else they would continue to be cheap vessels in the hands of ‘slave masters’ in politics that might deny them their rights to vote and be voted for.