The Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Yakubu Dati has condemned the violent protests that followed Wednesday's Local Government elections in the State as an aberration of Democracy.

Dati in an interview with MKB shortly after the inauguration of 11 Local Government Chairmen who were declared winners of the elections conducted in 13 LGAs at the State Government House in Little Rayfield, Jos attributed the protests to the "troublemaking" legacy of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He expected the aggrieved parties to take advantage of the available legal means to resolving grievances rather than resort to self-help.

He said, "I know that genuine people who are Democrats who know that in every contest there must be a winner and a loser will take advantage of the tribunal set up by the government which is an independent arm of government to present their grievances and it will be looked at.

"Resorting to self-help does not help. You also know that the elections were conducted peacefully all over the state.

"But of course, what do you expect from PDP? They are an opposition and they believe that opposition means creating fear and anxiety in the hearts of people which is far from the ethos of democracy."

"People trusted PLASIEC"

He insisted that the turnout by voters at the polls was as a result of the public's confidence in the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC.

"It takes confidence for people to even come out because if they didn't trust the system, they will not come out.

"But in cases where you have people who are looking for the slightest opportunity to ignite problems, it just goes to show that the opposition party just wants to create problems where there are none."

"Blame Gov. Lalong"

The Peoples Democratic Party Chairman in the State, Hon. Damishi Sango had earlier protested the outcome of the Local Government elections which was declared in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The election results which show the APC winning in 11 local governments with two declared inconclusive were described by the party Chairman as "desperation by Governor Lalong to subvert the people’s will."

Sango in a news briefing at the same time the election results were being announced alleged that the APC was "hell bent on plunging the State into yet another needless political crisis," while warning security agencies to hold the Governor responsible for any breach of peace following the announcement of the results.

A coalition of Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based organizations, Community platforms, and relevant government agencies known as Plateau State Coalition on Electoral Reforms and Good Governance (PLASCER) had issued a statement saying it could not authoritatively confirm that the elections were free and fair.

Mr. Nelson Ananze, Coordinator of the licensed observer group corroborated claims of failure by electoral officials to declare the election results at designated collation centres in various LGAs before forwarding same to the electoral umpire's headquarters.

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC in the State, Hon. Latep Dabang however told journalists that violence by political thugs believed to be working for the opposition prevented the announcement of the results at the local government collation centres as demanded by the constitution.

Instances of violence were recorded in Bassa, Bokkos and Mikang LGAs with Langtang North and Mangu LGAs recording the worse cases leading to the withholding of their election results.

Low key inauguration

Meanwhile, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State has sworn in Chairmen of 11 LGAs declared as winners of the polls conducted in 13 LGAs of the state yesterday.

Lalong swore in the Chairmen Thursday evening at the State Government House in Little Rayfield, Jos.

The inauguration was held amid controversies over the election results leading to clashes in some parts of the State.

Only a handful of spectators were at the event which had very little media presence.

The ceremony was however thought to be lowkey due to the violence that followed the announcement of the results in some LGAs.