- Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau says he is not jittery over the forthcoming rescheduled election in his state
- The governor stresses that re-electing him will mean continuous payment of salaries and completion of on-going projects in the state
- Governor Lalong says his meeting with President Buhari was aimed at peace and stability
The governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong, on Monday, March 18, declared that he was not jittery over the governorship election re-run fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for March 23.
Legit.ng understands that Lalong made the declaration when he spoke with State House correspondents after a private meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Lalong expressed confidence that he would be victorious adding that the units where votes were cancelled were his strongholds.
“How can I be afraid when all the votes that were cancelled were my votes? These were areas that I won.
“There was no need for cancellation; but then as a lawyer, I still want to comply with the rules; I don’t want to be talking about infringing on the rules when the elections result is very clear.
“They said registered voters were 49,000 but the votes were not up to 20,000 but people were still saying we need 49,000 and I was already on top with 45,000 votes. So we are going to get the 49,000.
“How can you imagine that a sitting governor cannot get 3,000 votes out of 39,000 in an area that I have dominated for a very long time? So for me, election is as good as concluded in Plateau state.
“I see it as an opportunity for people whose votes were cancelled for them to vote. People came and said their votes were cancelled; it is for them to go back and vote and ensure their vote counts this time around.
“That is why I support that we go back and conduct the elections. If they (INEC) like, let them conduct the elections more than once, we will soon win,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes him as saying.
The governor stressed that getting reelected would mean continuation and completion of projects and initiation of new ones.
“So we want to continue with payment of salaries, gratuities, completion of projects that were started before I came and the ones I have initiated.
“That is the Next Level in Plateau,” he said.
The governor also revealed the details of the meeting with President Buhari saying it was hinged on security and peace.
According to him, the last election in the state as peaceful and he would want INEC to also conduct peaceful supplementary elections; hence his briefing with the president on the need for adequate security.
Concerning the recent attack in the state in which cattle were rustled, he said: “That was why I said I am concerned about security. Usually it starts like that; they start rustling and killing cattle and the next thing you will hear is that it is farmers-herders crisis.
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“I know that I have addressed that issue for a very long time and the police are handling the issue.
“So I informed the president that we are on top of the situation because we wouldn’t want that to escalate into farmers-herdsmen crisis.
“It is not farmers-herdsmen crisis; it is criminals trying to forment trouble after losing elections.
“I always say it has political undertone; why is it happening immediately after elections. It usually happens immediately before or after elections; why is it like that? It has some political connotation.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau state, Senator Jeremiah Useni, recently vowed to provide the fund that will lead the party to victory.
However, the senator representing Plateau South dismissed rumour that he has given up on the rerun election and thus will not spend money for campaign.
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