A group, Concerned Elders of Plateau, has called on the state government and the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to postpone the scheduled Oct. 9, Local Government elections.
Leader of the group, Mr Dachollom Jambol, who made the call at a news conference in Jos on Wednesday, said the call was necessary to allow the judiciary do its bit without forcing on it a ‘fait accompli’.
Jambol said any haste to conduct the elections without exhausting the judicial process, might amount to a waste of the state scarce resources if the court eventually reversed all the steps hastily taken.
“We are some concerned elders of Plateau, who are constrained to address the government and people, we wish to state that we are not politicians and do not belong to any political platform but a group of elders who are concerned with the peace and stability of the state.
“We call on the Plateau government and PLASIEC to postpone the elections to allow the judiciary do its bit without forcing on it a fait accompli,” he said.
Jambol while commending the state government and PLASEIC for the determination to conduct the elections, expressed concerns over the process of the elections.
He stated that in a democracy, the process was as important as the outcome, adding that it was wrong that only the ruling party candidates were eligible for the Oct. 9, election.
“Reports reaching us suggests that only the ruling party candidates are eligible for the elections, participation and inclusion are necessary ingredients that give legitimacy to democratic elections.
“We frown at any decision that shrinks the democratic space rather than expanding it to create room for choice,” he said.
The group also expressed worry over the timing of the elections in view of recent happenings in the state adding that state was still mourning and in some cases people were still being needlessly killed especially in Jos North and Bassa
Jambol stated that security arrangements in the affected local government areas had not improved upon but rather deteriorated with a subsisting curfew.
He also expressed concern on how the proposed election was being funded stating that the election expenses were not captured in the 2021 Appropriation Law.
He added that no supplementary budget had been presented to the state House of Assembly to appropriate funds for the crucial public expenditure. (NAN)