Plateau State Governor, Jonah David Jang casting his vote
By Seriki Adinoyi and Odionu Florence
Plateau State Governor, Jonah David Jang has commended the citizens of the state over their peaceful conduct and impressive turnout during the Plateau North Senatorial by-election held in the held in the state Saturday, adding that “it shows that our people are getting even more conscious of democracy; despite the rain and the cold, the report reaching me shows that our people have defied them to cast their votes.”
Jang made this remark when he cast his vote at the Ladura polling unit in Du district of Jos South Local Government Area of the state.
The Governor, who arrived the polling centre at about 11:50 am was in immediately accredited, but had to wait till about 1:41 pm when he voted because of the heavy down pour which distorted the exercise.
He said Plateau is a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state and the northern zone of the state is the very home of the party, “as far as I am concerned, I have no doubt in my mind that PDP is going to win this election, considering the level of campaign that we carried out. And the good thing about it is that the campaign went very peacefully; there was no any inter-party clash anywhere. It shows that there is a lot of maturity also among the political parties.”
However, the candidate for Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Yusufu Pam, who voted at the Gold and Base Polling Unit, noted that there was general voter apathy development he described as an indication of the people's disenchantment with the PDP-led government.
Pam, who spoke to newsmen after casting his vote, nevertheless urged the electorate to come out and exercise their civic right saying that remaining at home would not help matters.
"This is what we in the ACN are saying; what we are witnessing is an indication of the people's disappointment with the government of the day. I am appealing to them to come and vote, not only in this election, but in subsequent elections so that we can have the kind of government we want to change the society."
He expresses optimism at the outcome of the election, adding, however, that like Abraham Lincoln, he is ready to accept the wishes of the people if the election were conducted in a free and fair manner.
On his part, the PDP candidate, Mr. Gyang Pwajok, who voted at his Angwan Dalyop polling unit in Alikazaure ward of Jos North, expressed satisfaction at the voters’ turnout in the election.
The election was conducted in six local government areas of Barakin Ladi, Bassa, Jos East, Jos North, Jos South, and Riyom.
Reports, however, indicated that in Riyom, home of the slain Senator, Gyang Dantong, whose seat is being contested, the turnout was poor. The situation was not helped by conflicting directives from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Habu Zarma, had at a stakeholders meeting said that those without voter’s card would not be allowed to vote, but sensing that the turnout might be low, INEC started announcing on the state radio that people without cards could still vote in as much as they can identify themselves, and their passports appear on the voters registers.
As at the time of this report, collation was already in progress in some wards, and there were strong indications that the PDP candidate may be having a field day going by the level of preparation and the results so far in.