The State Campaign Council of the main opposition PDP in Plateau State has taken a swipe at the Governor Simon Lalong-led APC government in the state, alleging that the state government is planning to deny opposition parties in the state, particularly the PDP, access to possible campaign venues.
The PDP equally blamed the resurgence of attacks in some communities in Barkin Ladi LGA of the State which claimed 14 lives are part of the grand plan by the ruling APC so that the general elections will not hold, adding that the APC is terrified of looming defeat in the upcoming polls.
The council, which is the highest decision-making body on the party’s campaigns, disclosed this through the Chairman of the Media Committee, Abraham Yiljap, in Jos.
Yiljap said, “The Council is disappointment that the governor could even contemplate such an action when he had just returned from Akwa Ibom where a PDP State government gave the APC complete access to the Uyo Stadium to flag off its presidential campaign.
“The Council counselled Governor Lalong not to use the sweat and creative efforts of past visionary leaders of Plateau who had put in place the much needed infrastructure in denying PDP their use.
“Lalong’s plan is hypocritical, and is also a desperate attempt to hide its obvious fast-approaching and irreversible defeat at the polls by the PDP.
“The State Campaign Council also came down heavily on Governor Lalong for allowing the complete rekindling of the widespread and unchallenged murder of Plateau people in the hands of killers.”
The council continued, “The Governor has tolerated the reign of terror and the unrestrained flow of blood from December 23rd in Gako in Riyom Local Government Area to Christmas day and Boxing Day in Barkin Ladi town, and Nding – all in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area in which more than 14 people have been killed.
“Rather than being bold at least for once and go after the killers, the governor is rather gleefully and vigorously working on every detail of his re-election campaign.
“The APC would rather be more concerned about dancing on the campaign podium than sharing in the grief of the people or taking practical steps to unmask the ‘unknown gunmen’ and bring them to justice. Should votes count more than blood? He asked.
“The renewed attacks are part of the APC grand game plan not to hold the general elections because this party is terrified of overwhelming defeat,” PDP further alleged.
The council maintained that the Plateau people are very determined to free themselves from the “APC yoke of oppression and deception”.
The council made it clear to the ruling party that what happened in the October 10, 2018, Local Government election in the state will not be allowed to repeat itself at the general election.
It said Plateau people are ever prepared to defend their dignity and freedom through every decent and constitutional means allowed.
The Council extended its deep condolences to the people of Rawuru, Ropp, Nding, Dorong, Nyarwai, Gako and many other communities attacked in Riyom and Barkin Ladi LGAs since Christmas eve to the end of 2018.
The PDP asked the people of the state to remain resolute in “voting out an uncaring, insensitive, incompetent and self-serving administration”.
Reacting to the allegations, the State Commissioner of Information and Communication, Yakubu Dati said, “Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has vowed to sustain the peace prevailing in the state despite efforts of some conflict merchants to instill fear in the populace.
“Governor Lalong said recent reports of attacks in parts of Fan district of Barkin Ladi Local Government should not be seen as victory of evil forces but an act of desperation to take the state back to the ugly past.”
The Commissioner assured that security operatives have been directed to go after the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Dati explained that security agencies have been directed to make effective coverage of flashpoints to prevent further threat to lives and property.
He said government will not be deterred in its commitment to return internally displaced persons back to their ancestral land.
“The Governor asks citizens to in the spirit of the new year forgive and forget the past and forge a new partnership for a better Plateau state,” he maintained.