Jos: Police detain three Officials over election results

Police in Plateau State have detained three persons for alleged electoral offenses during last Saturday's elections.

Mr. Agaba Abole Okwoli, Mr. Mgbojikwe Anthony and Mr. Nentawe Dazel were arrested at Jos North Local Government collation centre between 24th and 26th February 2019.

Mr. Okwoli and Mr. Anthony were according to officials arrested on 24th February for impersonation and declaration of fake results while Mr. Dazel was arrested on 26th February also for declaring fake election results.

Official sources however say the trio served as Ward Collation Officers in Jos North LGA during the National Assembly and Presidential elections where they insisted on the authentic results be announced.

They were said to have been persuaded to change the results from their stations in favour of the APC but they declined.

Their attorneys from A.M. Okwori and Co. Chambers on Wednesday wrote the Police authorities to release them or fake legal actions.

A letter addressed to the Plateau State Police Commissioner by Barr. Arome Okwori of the legal firm says the trio were being held against their constitutional rights.

The letter says, "It is lamentable that our clients have been kept in custody for alleged offenses for which they were neither charged, arraigned or granted bail in gross violation of their fundamental rights to personal liberty, freedom of movement and right to dignity of their person respectively guaranteed by sections 34 (1)(4)(a) and (b) and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

"We hereby demand for their release on bail forthwith since the allegations against them are such as entitles the Police to grant our clients bail.

"If our demand is not acceded to, we shall be left with no other option than to take steps to enforce the fundamental rights of our clients as guaranteed by the constitution."

Police Plateau State Public Relations Officer, DSP Tyopev Terna has confirmed that the suspects are in custody at the Police Headquarters Jos.

In a telephone interview, Terna said the three were undergoing "investigation".

It is however unconfirmed if the suspects were actually INEC Ad hoc staff as reported.

An enquiry yesterday sent to the INEC Head of Voter Education and Public Relations, Mr. Osaretin Imahirebo had yet to be replied as of the time of publishing this report.

Plateau North: ID Gyang wins Senate polls with 37% vote difference

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC yesterday declared the results of last Saturday's Plateau Northern Senatorial elections in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Professor Christopher Vande, the Coalition and Returning officer for the Plateau North Senatorial District declared that the candidate of the APC, Mr. Rufus Bature polled 171, 233.

Mr. Bature scored 98,322 votes (36.47%) lower than his opposition rival, Mr. Istifanus Gyang who polled 269, 555 votes.

ID Gyang as he is fondly called won in all the six local governments of the Senatorial zone with the exception of Jos East.

The results however show a 12.88% drop in the total votes purportedly scored by ID Gyang and a 5.08% hike in Mr. Bature's votes.

An unconfirmed social media broadcast had earlier reported that ID Gyang polled 304, 279 votes to beat his closest rival, Mr. Bature who scored 162,533 votes.

The declaration of the results however puts to rest heated controversy that had trailed the withholding of the results for five days.

The PDP leadership in the State had held a Press Conference in Jos on Wednesday demanding that the electoral umpire released the results or risk throwing the State into crisis.

Similarly, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN had warned that the continued delay in the announcement of the results was capable of sparking violent conflicts.

The results for the Jos North/Bassa constituency which were equally withheld are however to be decided after a rerun of the elections.

Coallation and Returning Officer for the National Assembly Elections, Professor Francis Kwese declared the elections inconclusive following a cancellation of the votes from Tudun Wada/Kabong Ward.

The Ward which has 92000 registered voters had faced the same cancellation of votes during the Presidential elections.

Series of protests had trailed the cancellation of the Presidential votes but there seems to be a concensus on the decisions over the NASS results.

The votes declared in the Reps elections show that the APC polled 114705 against the LDP with 89262 votes.

Jos: CAN warns of fresh crisis over election results

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says any alteration of the results of the National Assembly elections in Northern Plateau would likely spark violence.

Already, the delayed announcement of the results for Plateau Northern Senatorial District and Jos North/Bassa Federal constituency is causing anxiety among citizens, the Christian body said in a statement yesterday.

The statement signed by the Northern Plateau CAN Chairman, Canon Isa Gowon therefore called security agents to ensure transparency and accountability in the processing of the results.

Plateau Tribunal Orders Rehearing of Langtang North Chairmanship Petition

The Plateau State Local Government Election Appeal Tribunal sitting in Jos  the Plateau state capital has ordered for the hearing of a chairmanship petition of Ubandoma Joshua Laven of the People Democratic Party (PDP) on merit by the Plateau State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal.

Chairman of the Appellate tribunal, Justice Arum Ashom gave the order in a judgement in the appeal of Ubandoma Joshua Laven and Peoples Democratic Party against Kwarnim Nanloh of the All Progressive Congress and the Plateau State independent Electoral Commission.

Our correspondnt recalled that upon the conduct of the 10/10/18 councillorship and local government chairmanship elections by Plateau state independent electoral commission PLASIEC and subsequent returned of Kwarnim Nanloh of APC as chairman of Langtang North,  Ubandoma Joshua Laven and PDP approached the tribunal seeking for redress.

However, through preliminary objections and motions on notices, counsel to the respondents challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the petition on grounds of it being incompetent, statute barred and filed out of time.

Deciding on the objections raised, the tribunal chaired by Jovita Binjim with Jacob Longden and Isaiah Randa as members, in it's wisdom struct out the petition which prompted the petitioners to filie an appeal against that decision.

The ground for the appeal was for the Appeal Tribunal to determined whether they were heard on merit, if they were giving rights to fair hearing when the tribunal refused to use the two sets of results of the election presented before it and if the date for the declaration of the results were not wrongly calculated.

Deciding on the four issues raised, the Appeal Tribunal with Justice Arum Ashom as chairman with Nankwat Shaseet and Martin Omohwo as members while resolving the four grounds for the appeal in favour of the appellants , said the appeal succeeds as there was miscarriage of Justice by the lower tribunal.

It also set  aside the ruling of the tribunal on 14/1/19 that dismissed the petition of the petitioners, the Chairman of the appeal Tribunal pointed  out that arriving at that  decision could not have arisen if the  lower tribunal had looked at the witnessed statement of Kwarnim Nanloh which adduce to the fact that results were announced on 16/10/18 instead of 10/10/18 as alluded to.

However, subsequently, the Appeal Tribunal chairman, Justice Are Ashom ordered the petition to be return to the trial tribunal to be heard base on merit.

Reacting to newsmen on the development  Ubandoma Joshua Laven said it is a victory for the good people of Langtang North local government council as judiciary is the last hope for the common man in the country.

According to him, this will  strengthen democracy and the rule of law adding that the good people of Langtang North  local government council unanimously voted him and were demoralized when PLASIEC refuse to declare him  the winner of the election.

He pointed out that with the appeal tribunal ordering that his
petition  be return to the trial tribunal to be heard base on merit, they will be light at the end of the tunnel. Laven said .

Election Results: INEC sets tone for crisis in Plateau says PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the Plateau State INEC pointsman, Mallam Halilu Pai has compromised his position by failing to release the election results for Plateau North.

The Independent National Electoral Commission under Mr. Pai had canceled several results of polling units across the state towards giving the ruling APC an advantage, State Chairman of the PDP, Damishi Sango said yesterday.

The body according to the opposition leader had earlier put Returning Officers who conducted elections in the Central Zone under duress to announce results in favour of the APC.

Sango added that the body is delaying the results of a 92,000 voter capacity ward in Jos where the PDP "roundly won" the House of Reps and Senate elections for Jos North/Bassa constituency and Plateau Northern Senatorial District respectively.

With this, it is 'evident' that the electoral umpire was 'deliberately' targeted at disenfranchising citizens and weakening the PDP, the Party Chairman said in a Press Conference in Jos.

Consequently, Sango said the State Resident Electoral Commissioner should be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the State.

"He has set the whole of Plateau on tension which is a recipe monumental crisis," said Mr. Sango, an ex Nigerian Minister.

Plateau: Wild celebrations in Mangu over Buhari's election victory|| Photos

This is the mood in Mangu, Central Plateau State as the Independent National Electoral Commission declares Muhammadu Buhari as winner of Saturday's Presidential elections.

ABP Presidential Candidate Rejects Election Results

The Presidential Candidate of the All Blending Party, ABP, Moses Shippi says the results of Saturday's elections announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission do not reflect the actual votes cast for the Party.

In a Social Media broadcast on Wednesday, Mr. Shippi said the Party's score as announced by INEC was not up to 1% of its actual score.

"Our results were altered. We have all the score sheets from the polling units but all the same, God knows it all," he said.

The People's Democratic Party has since rejected the results which showed that President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC scored the highest votes in the 2019 presidential election polling 15,191,847 votes.

Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled 11,262,978 votes.

Jos: Police summon Corps Members who conducted elections in Tudun Wada/Kabong Ward

The Plateau State Police Command has summoned Corps members who served as Presiding Officers in last Saturday's elections in Tudun Wada/Kabong Ward of Jos North Local Government Area.

According to several sources, the Corps members are expected to report to the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the Command at its Jos Headquarters today by 8am.

A copy of the invitation text message purportedly sent to one of the NYSC members reads, "Good evening PO, I am directed to ask you to come to police CIID jos tomorrow by 8am."

Although the Command's Public Relations Officer, DSP Tyopev Terna said he was unaware of the summon when contacted, the Officer that sent the invite from the CIID, identified as DSP Gana J.J. confirmed it to be true.

The Corps members were being invited to verify their signatures on the result sheets from the elections they conducted last Saturday, he said.

The NYSC authorities in the State however deny knowledge of the decision.

Most of the affected Corps members have therefore expressed fear that they were being invited to be victimized.

A few of them who took part in the polls have publicly claimed the elections in the affected Ward ended in favour of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has however withheld the results from the Ward which has over 90,000 registered voters.

The votes for the Presidential polls in the PDP stronghold were rejected by the Collation Officer for Jos North for not being eligible enough and not being scripted on the appropriate forms.

The Senatorial and House of Representatives election results which were said to have been properly documented and filed have however been kept from public view.

A meeting of stakeholders was summoned yesterday to decide the fate of candidates who stood in the polls but no decision was reached.

Rumours however filtered in towards dusk yesterday that the State Governor, Simon Lalong had colluded with the State Police authorities to force the results in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

The final decision on the election results is expected to be reached by the end of today.

A Journalist wrote this and was evicted from a Government WhatsApp group


Dear Sir, 

I wish to draw your attention to a grievous mistake you made in your write-up “How Lalong Closed the Gap for Buhari in Plateau” on February 26, 2019. 

In the said write-up you attributed the mass votes gotten by President Muhammadu in Plateau State to the efforts of the Plateau State Governor, and gave him the glory alone saying that the performance of the governor in the state attracted the massive votes.

Sir, in as much as Governor Simon Bako Lalong contributed immensely to achieving the feat in colossally closing the gap at the presidential poll, you were unkind to so many stakeholders who played vital role in the realization of this success including President Muhammadu Buhari himself, religious sects, and ethnic groups that voted the president.

As a journalist, I embarked on series of investigations to know why despite the campaign in so many churches against voting for President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in the state, the citizens disregarded the persuasion of the clergies that embarked on such calumny.  

There are people that voted for Mr. President because of the N-POWER scheme that they are benefitting or members of their families. So many of them used part of the meagre resources they got from the scheme and campaigned for the president. In this regard, Lalong has no effort in it.

There are also many aged people that are benefitting from the monthly N5000 stipends given to the vulnerable by the Buhari administration.  Most of the beneficiaries and their families showed appreciation by voting for the president.

There are those who based on the school feeding programme gave their votes to President Muhammadu Buhari. There are retired military, police and other paramilitary personnel that Buhari administration cleared their entitlements? There are the liquidated NITEL, Mtel and Nigeria Airways workers whose entitlements have been paid by the Buhari administration. There are also widows and orphans of the police, paramilitary and military personnel who died in active service that were paid the benefits of their late husbands and fathers. Most of them showed appreciation by voting for Buhari.   

The Federal Government Projects too such as; Baban Lamba road, Pankshin – Kanke- Bogoro- Gindiri Road, Mangu Regional Water Plant etc. all contributed immensely to attracting votes  to the President by lovers of infrastructural development.

The labour of some stakeholders such as Dame Pauline Tallen contributed a lot to the votes that President Buhari got in the state.
To state the obvious, Governor Lalong as a person aside being the governor, doesn’t have the crowd of followers Dame Pauline Tallen has. She was a minister, Deputy Governor, and a gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party in 2011.

 She has a formidable structure across the state, and massive support of the female folk, not to mention her massive philanthropic acts to women, orphans, widows and the less privileged that greatly endeared them to her. Her structure helped Lalong to win the House of Assembly in 1998. And her structure too contributed immensely in the votes Lalong got in 2015 to emerge as governor. 

To buttress my points as facts, a typical example is the All Progressives Congress (APC) Southern Zone 2018 Senatorial primaries where it took the government two and half days to rig her out of the primaries. If Tallen is a light weight, it wouldn’t have taken the government two and half days to rig her out of the contest. Tell me which of the senatorial districts took two and half days to complete their APC senatorial primaries? 

It is a fact that she attended to thousands of people both in her house in Jos and Shendam, persuading them to vote for Buhari. Whenever she came before the elections her house was always a bee hive of people. Tell me one person in Plateau or in the Lalong administration that attended to thousands of people as Tallen did? 

Other stakeholders like Joe Ari and many federal government appointees laboured hard to the realisation of the votes Buhari got, not to mention the labour of many clergy.
As there were churches that solicited votes for Atiku there are clergies that really worked for Buhari too.

Can you count the number of the Izala Islamic Sect adherents that adhered to their leader’s advice to vote for Buhari? Is it Lalong that lobbied them to do that? Don’t they deserve accolades too? Is it Lalong that lobbied the Jonde Jam Fulani Association with thousands of its members to come out en masse and throw their weight behind Buhari? I can go on and on.

Sir, there is the task of getting a second term for Governor Lalong. Think about it. If all those mentioned above that contributed to the votes that Buhari got, got angry and decided to work against Lalong at the polls because of your write-up will it be nice?

Lalong deserves accolades for the votes but does not deserve to take all! You didn’t do well by giving him the whole glory. I will advise you take the statics of all those that contributed immensely and congratulate them for their efforts too.

Thank you!

Yours Shabul Mazadu

 Publisher, The Beacon newspaper

INEC might forcefully declare Plateau North results for APC

Unconfirmed reports say the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is under pressure to declare last weekend's National Assembly election results for Plateau North in favour of the ruling APC.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong is said to be depending on the results of the Plateau Northern Senatorial District and Jos North/Bassa constituency elections for his reelection ticket.

A social media broadcast yesterday alleged that the Muslim community in the State had demanded that the Governor worked the victory of the APC NASS candidates or lose his second term ticket.

Governor Lalong has therefore kept close contact with officials of INEC towards ensuring the election results are not announced as obtained from the field during the polls, sources say.

Security agencies are said to be on standby to neutralize any protests against the announcement.

The PDP was reported to have won the Presidential and NASS elections in Plateau Northern Senatorial district but INEC is insisting on cancelling some votes to give the APC an advantage.

Tudun Wada/Kabong ward which has 92000 registered voters has had its Presidential election results in favour of PDP rejected.

Same is expected to play out for the NASS poll results which are being planned for secret declaration today.

INEC had withheld the results to consult with stakeholders yesterday but could not take a decision.

Journalists were barred from covering the proceedings of the meeting which ended in a deadlock.

The circulated results of the Plateau North Senatorial polls which are reportedly being concealed by INEC on the directive of the State Governor are as follows:

APC = 16,132        
PDP =42,125

APC = 27,752.       
PDP =35,205

3). J/ EAST.
APC =  12,635.      
PDP = 8,679

APC. =  70,662.     
PDP =  88,726

5). J/SOUTH.
APC =  26,474.      
PDP = 108, 451

6). RIYOM.
APC = 8,878.          
PDP =  21,093

TOTAL =      APC =  162,533
                      PDP =  304,279.

No official comment has been obtained on this yet.

Opinion|| How Lalong closed the gap for Buhari in Plateau State by Yakubu Datti

Boasts about how Plateau and other Middle-Belt states would make the difference for the opposition party in the 2019 presidential elections by wide margins have been emptied and left barren.

The stark reality exposed by the results of the 2019 presidential elections have shown particularly on the Plateau that the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari are well accepted by the people of the state.

From the results released, it is clear that Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has lived up to his promise to contribute to the success of President Muhammadu Biuhari at the polls.

Votes coming from the Plateau have not only improved but have closed whatever margin the opposition was expecting to add to its overall figure.

With the result of the 2019 presidential elections on the Plateau now out, it is clear that the people of the state have come to appreciate the efforts of Governor Lalong in seeing that the state is recognized at the center as well as his commitment to infrastructural development and have demonstrated that resolve by coming out to vote the president in a manner that is unprecedented since the president started contesting the Nigeria presidential elections in 2003.

President Muhamnadu Buhari at the just declared polls posted 468, 555 number of votes winning in six of the local governments in the state.

This is remarkable given that not only has the President garnered more votes than he had ever done in Plateau but the gap between him and his main  challenger stands at only about 80, 110 out of 1,74,042 accredited voters.

Those with a fair knowledge of Plateau politics know that this is a no mean feat given the propaganda by the opposition against the ruling party and its candidate but people have come to realize that this was achieved due to the commitment of APC foot-soldiers on the Plateau led by the Governor Lalong.

Prior to the elections, there have been concerted efforts by the opposition to explore  primordial  fault lines by painting the President in bad light and accusing him of siding with one side whenever there’s was an attack on communities in the state.

But Lalong had always moved in quickly to counter such narratives, he has succeeded in removing the veil used to cover the eyes of the people and make them see the situation for what it is really was by exposing how some crisis entrepreneurs in the state are slanting the narrative to achieve selfish ends.

Little did the opposition realise that the people are watching and taking notes which explains why they came out and showed a greater support to the president than they had done before by adding to his acceptance level in the state.

To the shock of many in the opposition, the President is becoming more and more popular in Plateau State. A look at how he fared in the past would confirm this.

In 2011, when President Buhari contested against then President Goodluck Jonathan, he only managed to poll 356, 551 votes while Jonathan led comfortably with 1, 029, 809 votes.

An unbiased observer may wish to compare that with 2015 when Lalong was contesting as the governorship candidate of the APC and a remarkable progress was recorded in the votes for President Buhari.

The President in 2015 reduced the nearly 700,000 vote difference to about 120,000 votes by scoring 429,140 votes as against the 549,615 scored by Jonathan.

The good thing about the 2019 elections is that it shows a consistency in improving on the level of acceptance of the people of the state for their president by shooting up the votes from the 429,140 in 2015 to 468,555, a difference of about 40,000.

That means that in less than 12 years, the gap of 700,000 has been reduced to only about 80,000.

This as many have pointed out is an indication that the governor has remained committed to the policies and progammes of the APC on which platform he became the governor and that his numerous achievements in developing the state as well improving the living standard of the people is being appreciated by the people.

Further to that, this is a clear manifestation the zeal the governor has shown towards seeing to the payment of workers’ salaries , pension and student bursaries are well known and are beginning to yield results.

To many people on the Plateau, the manner the governor has been promoting the unity of the people of the state as opposed to divisive policies of past governments as well the reign of enduring peace he has been pursuing rather than the unnecessary conflicts encouraged in the past has also helped in making the APC the accepted party in the state.

Those who have been making empty boats that the APC did not stand a chance in the presidential elections in Plateau have seen how wrong they are and it has reinforced the fact that Plateau is an APC State.

 Yakubu Dati is the Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communication

Plateau: Military Task Force denies collusion over election results

A soldier touring a conflict scene along with some civilians in Plateau State. Credit: Masara Kim

The Special military Task Force in Plateau State says it remains neutral in all election matters in the State.

The Task Force has no business with elections, but the peace of the State, its Commander, Major General Augustine Agundi said in a telephone interview.

Although soldiers were deployed to various locations during the last elections, the STF he said has never been directly involved in any electoral decision.

This according to him is because elections are civil affairs which require no military involvement.

Gen. Agundi therefore dismissed allegations of collusion with civil authorities to manipulate election results in the State.

His loyalty according to him is to Nigeria through the Chief of Army Staff and not any civil authority.

Election Results: Plateau bans wild celebrations

The Plateau State Government has called for restrain in celebrating the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections in the State.

A statement by the State Information and Communication Commissioner Yakubu Dati says although it is the right of citizens to celebrate, it should not be done in a manner that threatens the right of other citizens and the peace of the state.

Security agencies according to the Commissioner have been put on red alert to prevent any reckless celebration in the state.

Photos: Plateau Commissioner funds Football tournament in honour of Village Chief

The Plateau State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Bulus Bot has sponspored a football tournament in honour of Gwomrwei Paul Tadi, the traditional Ruler of Heipang, his home village.

The tournament kickstarted yesterday with its first match at Pwomol Field featuring seven teams.

The opening match was between Chit United and Kpang United which ended O - 2 in favour of Chit United.

The next match holds today at 2pm between Ban United and Tatu United at Chit Playground, to be followed by Celtic vs Pwomol United at 3.30 same venue.

Jos tanker explosion under control says Govt

The Plateau State Government says the fire incident involving a petrol tanker at Bok filling station near INEC office, Kufang, Jos has been brought under control.

This according to a statement on Monday followed the 'timely' intervention of men of the Fire Service and 'good spirited' members of the public. 

The statement by Yakubu Datti, the State Information Commissioner therefore appeals for calm as the relevant security agencies investigate the cause of the incident.

It also asked the public to disregard exaggerative reports meant to create anxiety. 

Election Results: Plateau Peace Agency cautions as group issues warning to INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has been warned not to temper with the National Assembly election results for Northern Plateau State.

A statement from representatives of the Tudun Wada/Kabong electoral ward in Jos North Local Government Area alleges plans to change the election results for Jos North and Bassa LGAs to favour the ruling APC.

The statement signed by Mr. Ibrahim Yilji says the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State interrupted the declaration of the results for a suspicious stakeholders meeting.

"The results if the Plateau North Senatorial elections and those of Jos North/Bass Federal Constituency had been collated and announcement of winners was to be made only for the Plateau State Resident Commissioner to stand down proceedings.

"The collated results clearly indicate an outright victory for candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Rep. I.D Gyang and Jonathan Dabo.

"It is however disturbing and unacceptable to us that the REC suddenly took over the process from the Returning Officers and took a decision to subject the results to a meeting if so called stakeholders," the statement says.

The statement insists warns that the INEC officials should not allow personal interest to negatively affect the prevailing peace in the state.

It therefore urged the Plates State Commissioner of Police, the DSS Director and all other Security Heads to intervene.

Meanwhile, the Plateau State Peace Building Agency says the rising tension in some parts of the State capital over Saturday's elections in parts of Jos North is of "great concern".

This it says has the potential of "setting back the clock by exhuming the carcass of violence" in the state.

A statement by its Director General, Joseph Lengman on Monday therefore called for restrain in the interest if peace.

"Taking the law into our hands will, at the end, make us losers and not any better," the statement says.

The agency called all those with genuine complaints to follow laid down procedures for seeking redress on any issue connected to the polls.

Breaking News: Fuel tanks explode near Presidential collation centre in Jos

A sudden fire outbreak at a filling station near the Independent National Electoral Commission's Jos Headquarters today caused heavy logjam in the Plateau State capital.

The fire at the Bok Investment filling station started with a loud explosion at about 4:30pm, local time.

Series of other minor explosions followed as the flames flew high into the sky accompanied by thick dark smoke.

The Presidential Collation Centre situated within the INEC Headquarters had just gone on a recess to compile the final election results as received from the 17 LGAs in the State when the disaster occurred.

No life is thought to have been lost as the filling station was said to be closed when it happened.

A private vehicle parked within the filling station was safely evacuated with the help of some youths while the fire was still raging.

A fuel tanker was however flaming along with other facilities in the filling station as of the time of this report.

The disaster is believed to have occurred when the now razed tanker was offloading fuel.

No official comment has however been obtained on the actual cause of the incident.

Photos of the disaster

Jos: INEC cancels 92,000 votes in Tudun Wada/Kabong Ward

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has cancelled all votes cast in Tudun Wada/Kabong ward of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The collation officer for the LGA, Dr. Augustine Azi announced the rejection of the votes on claims of illegibility.

According to the results submitted to the Presidential collation centre at the INEC Headquarters by Dr. Azi on Monday, the APC scored 93,800 votes against the PDP which polled 53,277.

The ward where the votes were cancelled is said to have 92,000 registered voters.

Collation Agents for the PDP say they were deceived into signing the results without properly entering them at the Local Government collation centre.

The Collation officer for the LGA reportedly assured of rectifying all issues connected to the results before finally submitting them.

Journalists have equally confirmed that the LGA collation officer assured of harmonizing the results before submission.

Dr. Azi however claimed that he only assured of seeking clarification on the issues at the Presidential collation centre.

In reaction, the State Returning Officer, Prof. Anande condemned the action.

"That is wrong," he said but however maintained that his job was only to receive results and not entertain complaints.

This is the second time the results of the opposition stronghold are being cancelled in three years.

A similar scenario played out in 2015 but no public reaction was recorded.

Saturday Polls: "Stop circulating fake results or risk sparking conflict," Plateau Peace Agency warns

The Plateau State Peace Building Agency has warned that circulating unverified election results is capable of causing tension and breach of peace.

A statement by its Director General, Joseph Lengman, Sunday describes the circulation of figures purported to be the results of yesterday's elections by some social media users as unpatriotic.

"We are all aware that the conduct of the general elections in our state has so far been relatively peaceful.

"In this light, we must all join hands to ensure that it ends without bloodshed or violence of any sort," Mr. Lengman said.

He therefore called on citizens to desist from publishing fake news and images on the outcome of the elections.

Only the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has the responsibility of declaring valid results, the PPBA boss said.
Mr. Joseph Lengman, DG PPBA

No trace of violence in Jos - Police

The Plateau State Police Command says Social Media reports alleging the killing of commuters at Anguldi Junction in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State are false.

Authors of the reports are mischief makers who are unhappy with the peaceful conduct of yesterday's elections in the state, an official statement says.

The statement by the Command's spokesman, Tyopev Terna advises the public to call the 2019 General Elections Joint Operation Room Numbers 08181840461 and 09024453126 in case of emergency.

Why I still vote despite govt. disappointment - 82yr old woman

Mrs. Titi Pam, 82 is a retired Nigerian Civil Servant. Her husband has been bedridden for 15years.

He was hit by a motorcycle in 2004 on his left leg while still recovering from partial paralysis.

Doctors have struggled to fix the broken bones but he still hasn't been able to walk.

Although it is not clear what could be responsible for his present predicament, it is on record that the now 86yr old has been battling stroke for 26yrs.

It is learnt that the great grand pa retired as a Director in the Federal Civil Service but still awaits his entitlements to this moment.

On the eve of Nigeria's federal elections held on Saturday, Mrs. Pam went to a government hospital in Jos the Plateau State capital and waited in vain to be attended to.

It took her days to save money for her husband's medication due to low income.

However, after waiting for long to purchase a booking card, the Doctor she was supposed to see appeared from the consulting room and warned that she was no longer attending to anyone.

The cashier on duty at the Dadin Kowa General Hospital without hesitation locked her booth in compliance.

Mrs. Pam who was next in turn with her payment receipt already issued was instantly dismissed along with others queuing up to be attended to.

"I will never blame the workers here, but the government which has made the system this way," she said in reaction.

According to her, successive governments in Nigeria have only disappointed her, despite voting in every election.

As a result, she has lost interest in the country's electoral process, she said.

"It is the same people with the same policies and intentions that always ascend to power," Mrs. Pam lamented.

She wondered why she should still vote and suffer.

However, while she believes she has nothing to lose by voting or not, Mrs. Pam still bears the burden of saving her children's future.

"I might have nothing to lose because I am quarter to go (soon to die) but what about the children I will leave behind?

"I still owe them a future and therefore have to vote even without the gains.

"At least it will encourage them not to leave their constitutional rights to waste, perhaps it will pay someday," she said.

Mrs. Pam therefore charged young citizens in Nigeria not to let others decide their government for them, but to always get involved in the decision process through voting.

She was later confirmed to have walked herself to her polling station in Gyel on Saturday where she stayed long in the queue but still voted in the Presidential and National Assembly elections before returning home to her sick husband.

Rufus Bature to INEC: Let the people's voice speak

The Plateau Northern Senatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Hon. Rufus Bature says the best is expected from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the successful conduct of the Federal elections today.

Mr. Bature after casting his vote at his polling unit in Gwol, Barkin Ladi said the electoral body is expected to deliver credible results.

"Let INEC conduct itself well and let the people's voice speak," he said.

Despite the late arrival materials at the polling unit, the former Secretary to the Plateau State Government said the exercise was generally peaceful.

He however observed that the deployment of election materials to his polling unit about 4hrs late did not justify last week's postponement of the polls.

"If INEC postponed the elections due to logistics, one would have expected that the existing problems would have been fixed," he said.

ID Gyang to INEC: "Cheat and face resistance"

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial Candidate for Plateau North, Istifanus Gyang says his victory is sure by the end of the ongoing Nigerian elections today.

Gyang after casting his vote at his polling unit in Rafan, Rawuru, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area said he was impressed with the turnout of voters for the exercise.

Calling the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure transparency in the process, the serving House of Reps member warned that attempt to subvert the will of the people in the elections will be resisted by the people themselves.

He however dispelled rumours of underaged voting in his locality, saying he has rather been notifying INEC of lapses observed in any voting location to avoid exclusion of voters by the end of the voting period.

Plateau Red Cross Official Becomes Varsity Dean

The Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Prof. Sati Fwatshak has emerged Dean of Arts, University of Jos.

Prof. Fwatshak secured the position in an election by a team of academics in the Arts Faculty of the University on Tuesday.

The Don who was Red Cross Legal Adviser until becoming the Vice Chairman of the NRCS branch says his tenure will be guided by the cardinal principles of the International Red Cross Society.

He however in a WhatsApp note to the NRCS branch solicited the continued 'legitimate' support of all Red Cross members in the State and beyond to enable him "perform with integrity the enormous task of leading the nine academic departments" of the Faculty.

Nigeria: Baby, nursing mother battle bullet wounds after Benue river attack

An under 5 year old baby is currently battling to survive at the Keffi General hospital, Nasarawa State following an overnight attack, Thursday on a fishing community in Central Nigeria's Benue State.

The baby whose identity has yet to be verified was reportedly shot by herdsmen during a gun attack in Agatu village, around the boundaries of Nasarawa and Benue States.

The baby's father was reportedly killed two weeks ago in a similar attack at the same location.

A nursing mother said to have been shot in the chest is also being treated at the same hospital along with two other victims of the attack.

About 14 people were said to have been killed in the attack which occurred at about 12am.

The armed assailants reportedly opened fire at late night fishers and fled without a trace.

One family lost about eight members, it was learnt.

Mr. Collins Edache, a member of the affected family said in a telephone interview that the four currently receiving treatment are equally of the same family.

Security authorities according to him had gone to take assessment of the scene but had yet to give any report on the whereabouts of the attackers.

Agatu has for the past three years suffered deadly attacks leading to hundreds of deaths.

Officials have attributed the attacks to political interests but locals blame herdsmen from the Fulani tribes.

The Benue State Government last two years passed a law banning open grazing to check violent conflicts between herders and farmers.

The law was widely criticised across the country especially the Northern region.

Some Fulani groups had threatened to ground the State if the government failed to stand down the implementation of the law.

Military authorities have also blamed the persisting attacks in the State on the restrictive laws.

Nigeria: Rats eat up corpses in Jos mortuary

Violent protests yesterday broke out in Central Nigeria's Jos, the Plateau State capital following a reported mutilation of a corpse in a mortuary.

The eyes and breasts of Late Mrs. Angela Yakubu Nyam were rumoured to have been cut off after her corpse was deposited  at the old Jos University Teaching Hospital mortuary on Sunday.

According to family members, the discovery was made when the corpse was to be bathed for burial yesterday.

Sympathizers were gathered at the mortuary from 7am to convey the corpse to ECWA Church Rusau for funeral service.

Hospital Officials had reportedly requested to exclusively prepare the corpse and hand it over to the bereaved family in a casket.

The reasons given were that the corpse had gone bad.

Relatives of the deceased however insisted on inspecting the corpse to see what must have happened to it.

According to them, they had booked for the embalmment of the corpse before preservation.

Therefore, the corpse could not have gone bad, the insisted.

Determined to uncover what the mortuary attendants were hiding, some sisters of the deceased forced their way into the cold room and came out immediately, yelling that the body had been tempered with.

The mortuary attendants immediately fled as sympathizers began to protest, with some exhibiting signs of violence, it was learnt.

Rat attack

A Pastor of the Church where the deceased was to be honoured, Rev. Ali Matt was reportedly wounded while trying to prevent the protesters from pulling down the gate of the mortuary.

The protesters, mainly youths from Rusau village near University of Jos had threatened to burn down the mortuary.

The irite youths locked all the entrance and exit gates of the hospital demanding an explanation into the occurrence.

While police tried to keep the situation from escalating, a hospital official who came to calm the protesters was nearly lynched.

One of the mortuary attendants who later arrived the facility was also confronted by the protesters after many of them had left.

He however explained that he was permanently on morning shift and therefore was unaware of any 'deliberate' mutilation.

The Attendant who cannot be quoted for protocol reasons insisted that the corpse was intact as of Wednesday morning when he reported to work.

According to him, the only changes he noticed were that the eyes and lips of the deceased were slightly chopped off.

His suspicion which he said he immediately reported to the family was that the body was eaten by rats.

"There are other dead bodies affected by the same rat attack and the hospital management is aware," he said.

Mortuary freezers bad for 3yrs

According to the mortuary attendant, the fridges of the facility which contain 30 corpses have been broken since 2015.

The facility was also disconnected from electricity supply last year, he said.

Corpses according to him are therefore only embalmed and preserved with chemicals.

Late Mrs. Angela whose corpse was allegedly mutilated
Although it was alleged that in 2017, a male corpse's genitals were found to have been cut off after being deposited at the same mortuary, a team of Pathologists examined and confirmed the official's claims on Late Mrs. Nyam's corpse to be true.

Efforts to get comments from Police proved abortive as of the time of filing this report.

The Hospital authorities have however released a statement saying "there was no tempering with any corpse".

The statement signed by Mrs. Bridget Omini said the reports "have no basis".
Protesters at the JUTH mortuary

Saturday Polls: PDP, APC worst choices for President says Ex COCIN President, Yamsat

A Nigerian Don, Rev. Prof. Pandang Yamsat on Thursday said Nigerians must “think critically” before allowing PDP or APC to lead the country in the forthcoming Presidential elections.
Yamsat, a former President of the Church of Christ in Nations and one-time Chief Executive of the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN), Jos said the leading rival parties in Nigeria have polarized the country.
“We are witnesses of their manner of leadership that is polarizing the people and taking the country into a state of destruction,” he said.
Speaking to journalists in Jos the Plateau State capital, the Executive Director, Centre for Value and Attitudinal Reawakening said Nigerians should look beyond the two rival parties which he said have made themselves to be seen as the only political parties to choose from.
Yamsat specifically advised citizens to vote a young, vibrant and God fearing candidate as President, which he believes the leading parties lack.
“The new Nigeria that Nigerians are looking for should be a young mind and not people who are difficult to change and have ruled us for ages and the result of their leadership has taken us downhill and not uphill to greater heights,” he said.
Given the current zoning formula in the country which favours the North, Rev. Yamsat called Nigerians to support Moses Shippi, a young Northern Nigerian candidate from Bwai, Bauchi State contesting on the platform of the All Blending Party.

Court throws Reverend behind bars over rape allegations

From Joel Gomiyer, Abeokuta

A Nigerian Reverend standing trial for allegedly abusing female students under his care has been remanded in prison.

Rev. Isaac Newton-Wusu, the Director, Stephen Center International, a local child support foundation in Abeokuta, Southeast Nigeria is facing a five-count charge of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault of females.

The offenses are contrary to section 358, 359 and 360 of the Criminal code vol 1. Revised Law of Ogun State.

Mr. Newton who pleaded not guilty to the charges during his trial yesterday at High Court 6, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital was remanded in custody for failing to meet his bail conditions.

The court had asked him to deposit N5million with two Sureties who must have evidence of three years tax Clearance and landed Property within Ogun State.

His demand for bail on self-recognition pending the resumption of hearing on April 17, 2019 was declined by the standing judge, Mr. S.A. Olugbemi.

Mr. Newton's trial has been widely celebrated by acclaimed victims of his as well as interested parties across the country.

The case is being fronted by the Nigerian Union of Women Journalists and the International Federation of Women Lawyers.

Nigerian 'Reverend' standing trial for rape battles to meet bail conditions

By Joel Gomiyar, Abeokuta

The Director of Stephen Center International Abeokuta, Ogun State, Rev. Isaac Oluwale Newton-Wusu is struggling to meet his bail conditions having been standing trial for alleged rape.

The Director of the center, is standing trial at the Ogun state high court, Abeokuta Judicial Division on five-count charge of rape, attempt to commit rape, indecent assault on females contrary to section 358, 359 and 360 of the Criminal code vol 1. Revised Law of Ogun state.

The Ogun State High Court 6, under Hon. Justice S.A Olugbemi on Wednesday granted the accused bail for N5m in addition to two sureties who must be residing with jurisdiction with 3yrs evidence of tax payment and landed property in the state.

Journalists, NAWOJ officials from Plateau at the trial of Rev. Newton

Reacting to the bail condition, the Defence counsel, Samuel Nwaji, who had earlier pleaded with the judge to grant his client bail based on self-recognition and health condition, expressed dissatisfaction with the bail terms given by the judge.

The prosecuting counsel, S.D Maren who did not object to the bail application, expressed satisfaction with the conditions given, noting that bail is a normal thing as the law is clear about it.

It would be recalled that the Director of the center, Rev. Isaac Oluwale Newton-Wusu have been accused and dragged to court by some past inmates of the center under the body of Concern Past Students of Stephen Center International over alleged sexual abused to some female inmates while in school.

Present at the court was a high power delegation of Nigeria Association of Women Journalist, NAWOJ, Plateau state chapter, Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA plateau state chapter and their Ogun state counterpart among other journalists from Plateau, Kaduna and Ogun States.

Plateau LG starts Door-to-Door voter campaign for Saturday

Authorities in Central Nigeria say they are worried that last Saturday's shifted elections might result in widespread voter apathy on the new election day.

To avert this, a Door-to-Door voter awareness campaign has been opened in Bokkos Local Government Area, 40miles South of Jos the Plateau State capital.

The campaign is meant to sensitize citizens on their Democratic rights which must be exercised regardless of challenges, the Chairman, Bokkos LGA, Mr. Yusuf Machen said in an interview.

The concern is not who the voters choose as their leader but their active participation in the selection process, Machen said.

The LG boss said, "The shift in the elections might have been catastrophic for many Nigerians but a greater danger lays ahead for the country if citizens revolt and fail to vote next Saturday (new date for local elections).

"Aside determining who the preferred leader is, it is their votes that will legitimize any governmental structure in the country."

Why APC is not jittery over elections - Ex Reps Aspirant

By Douglas Francis, Jos

 A former aspirant for the House of Representative for Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency, under the All Progressive Congress (APC), David Bitrus says the APC will win most of the elective positions in Plateau State.

Speaking with newsmen in Jos the Plateau State, Mr. Bitrus said President Mohammed Buhari and Governor Simon Lalong's performances have endeared them, as well as the APC to many.

Athough he lost the legislative ticket at the Primaries, Mr. Bitrus said his confidence in the Party has made him firm in canvassing support for all its aspirants, including the person who defeated him.

He urged the electorates to disregard any allegations of conspiracy against the APC especially on the shifted Federal Polls.

He said the postponement has affected all not just opposition parties.

Calling for the resignation of the INEC chairman is however a wrong thing to seek, he said.

 Bitrus urged citizens to support INEC and the federal government to deliver credible elections.

Nigeria's PDP in trouble for accepting SDP defector in Plateau

The Social Democratic Party says "collateral damage" awaits the Peoples Democratic Party for accepting its 'self-acclaimed' Gubernatorial candidate, John Pofi.

Mr. Pofi announced his defection to the leading Nigerian opposition Party two weeks ago after months of battle for the SDP Gubernatorial ticket in Plateau State.

His defection according to SDP officials is however a move to escape 'embarrassment' having failed in trying to "form a clog in the wheel" of its 'authentic' Gubernatorial candidate, Godfrey Miri.

"We view the purported resignation of Mr pofi who has been parading himself as the party's flag bearer as a cunning move to escape embarrassment from a pending court verdict which he had instituted against the candidature of Mr Miri.

"Seeing that all facts needed to proof his case were non available, such as lack of evidence to even show that he had purchased the expression of interest form, or even participated in the party's primaries, the impostor had no choice but to quickly abandon the ambition," a statement by Mr. Yusuf  Hamman, the Director, Godfrey Miri campaign organization says.

Reacting to the allegations, Mr. John Pofi, a Pastor with the Living Faith Church said he left the Party after it was "hijacked by impostors".

In a telephone interview with MKB, Pofi said, "I singlehandedly built the Party from scratch in Plateau and legitimately earned my ticket as the Gubernatorial flag bearer of the Party.

"Godfrey Miri came from nowhere, because he has been a crook from INEC to force himself to the top.

"The so-called affirmation of his candidature was attended by no exco member but a group of impostors."

The now PDP member said he could still win his case against the Party and get back his mandate but no longer belongs to the Party.

"I toured the whole of the 17 LGAs in Plateau which Godfrey Miri never did.

"He isn't known anywhere in the State or elsewhere and is therefore going nowhere.

"I would have stayed and walked with him if he had shown any prospects of victory in the elections but as it is now, why should I waste my time?" Pofi said.

Breaking News: Nigeria to Probe Officials over Polls Shift

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari says last Saturday's shifted elections will be probed after the exercise this weekend.

President Buhari at a caucus meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress Party in the country's capital, Abuja on Monday said all logistics were given to the country's Independent National Electoral Commission for successful polls.

"We cannot understand this inefficiency," he said.

Buhari said his government will "find out" what led to the postponement of the exercise "after the elections".

Poll Shift Contradicts Your Change Mantra - Dem, Mang, Mwadkon tell FG

Former Nigerian House of Reps aspirants, Hon. Daniel Dem and Hon. Davou Mang have said that using the past to justify Saturday's shifted elections contradicts the All Progressives Congress Party's "change" mantra.

The ruling Party according to the duo was elected to correct, not repeat the past.

Mr. Dem who contested Plateau's Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal constituency seat in 2018 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said in an interview with MKB, "If something wrong happens in the past, and we say it should happen again, then we are not moving forward."

Similarly, Mr. Mang who contested the same position with Mang, which was won by ex Rep member, Simon Mwadkon said, "If you come with a change mantra and you begin to refer to those things that happened before, then where is the change?"

They both believe the shift was precalculated.

"Even when the shift was announced, the APC politicians were not moved.

"They were in fact still dishing out funds to prospective voters," Dem, a serving Plateau House of Assembly Member said.

On his part, Mr. Mang, a former Finance Commissioner in Plateau State said, "I think they knew about it because there were indications long before the election date."

The two however differed on the possibility of voters still turning out for the polls on Saturday.

While Hon. Dem believes voter apathy will likely be experienced, Hon. Mang believes people who were uninterested in the polls would like be spurred to participate by the postponement.

"Aborted Independence Day"

The PDP House of Reps Candidate for Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency, Hon. Simon Mwadkon who was equally disappointed with the shift said the elections would have marked another "Independence Day" for Nigeria.

"People are already tired of the hardship induced by this present government and you could see their desire to vote them out for good," he said.

He however called on Nigerians not to allow the anger caused by the shift to keep them from voting on Saturday.

This would likely give the ruling party an opportunity to 'rig' the elections, he said.

In picture above: INEC Ad Hoc staff alighting from a bus, Saturday morning after spending a night at their areas of posting waiting for election materials

Opinion: Why Lalong is the only Plateau Guber candidate talking || By Yakubu Datti

A respected analyst of political events on the Plateau recently had a cause to ask why it looks like it is only the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Governor Simon Lalong that is the only one seen on podiums and  rostrums and standing behind lecterns to talk to the people of the state about his stewardship and  plan for them.

While it cannot be said that other candidates have not been campaigning, the level of interaction does not compare with what the APC candidate is doing.

Lalong has, aside the perfunctory address at political rallies, created a peoples’ assembly that radiates around his person and gives every person on the Plateau the opportunity to know what the governor plans for the state in his second term.

The campaign embarked upon by the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong has been well received across all the 17 local governments and senatorial zones in the state and it is evident that the people are eager to return a favourable verdict on the All Progressives congress, APC in the next elections.

In all the local governments in Plateau State, the APC governorship candidate has been welcomed  by a tumultuous crowd of eager voters whose excitement on the opportunity of an interface with the governor is boldly written on their faces.

This is unlike the PDP whose presence has all of a sudden dwindled  from important functions, such that people are beginning to ask if the party is serious about contesting elections.

While Governor Lalong is eager to interface with the people and explain to them certain policies of his administration as well as educate them on the ideals that drive his people oriented policies, the PDP governorship candidate, hitherto thought to be a major contender in the race, is avoiding such outings because he probably has nothing to offer.

For example, when the opportunity for the two major candidates to make their presentations to the electorate came by way of a public debate, the "Plateau Gubernatorial Debate" under the auspices of the "Plateau Gubernatorial Election Debate Group", the PDP candidate was nowhere to be found.

While candidates of ANN, Alex Ladan; SDP, Godfrey Miri; ADP, Gen. John Temlong; APC, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong and; APP, Danauta Kyarshik and the other candidates turned up, the PDP candidate, Jerry Useni did not come and he failed to offer reasonable explanation  as to why he failed to show up thereby showing contempt for the electorate.

Everybody knows that the PDP is hiding something. The only thing the PDP keeps holding on to is the narrative that its candidate being  a retired general would give  the issue of security  priority.

But the PDP candidate knowing fully well that he would be held to task to back his claims with practical proofs and clear cut methods that are different from what the current administration in the state is doing, did not have the ball to face such a scrutiny and therefore adopted an escapist plan.

Lalong however, in a calm manner, was able to explain to the voters in Plateau what has been achieved and  further plans he has for adequate security when he returns for a second term.

The governor made it clear that he has been in pursuit of peace since the day he took the oath of office and that that is why for some time now the state has enjoyed peace consistently and without a break,

This he explained were achieved through engagements with communities and later the establishment of The Peace Building Agency, approval for  the establishment of 2 Police mobile barracks in Barkin Ladi and Shendam LGAs, Airforce Search and Rescue base in kerrang and the Early warning signals platforms. Appropriate legislation was also initiated with the review of appropriate laws to see to the sustenance of lasting peace in the state. 

The governor acknowledged that the people of the state have suffered a lot in the past but that the efforts of the current administration have mitigated the suffering while there are plans to do more.

“I am saying this is what I have done. Given the opportunity I will do more,” he stated adding that the plight of the people is his responsibility.

The governor made it clear that other tendencies that tend to add to the tension in the state like the lack of employment opportunities and non- payment of salaries have been handled to the acclaim of the people of the state.

He gave practical examples of what he is doing, like the buyback of BARC farms which will create opportunities for the teeming youths in the state to be employed and would increase agricultural yields in the state and ensure food security by wiping out hunger and poverty.

The governor recalled the provision of tractors to boost farming in the state and made reference to the 400 number of tractors he was able to provide for farmers at subsidized rate for mechanized agriculture to thrive in the state.

He said this is because no meaningful agricultural development can take place without the heavy duty components.

The governor also reiterated his partnership with the ASDP saying by next year, Plateau State will start exporting potatoes, while the inland container depot which would take care of freight business at the ports would commence in full scale.

On the drug problem bedeviling youths in the state, the governor showed his concern for the damage the use of drugs is causing the youths and narrated how he was touched when he visited the office of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and saw firsthand the effect on the youths.

This the governor said he will tackle through a legislation that would see to the rehabilitation of those who have fallen victims of abuse by building rehabilitation centers..

The governor also said he believes in preventing the youths from taking the drugs rather than allow them to get disoriented by the effect of the substance before efforts are made to rehabilitate them.

The people were excited to see the on going schools and hospital projects going on in their locality under the Lalong legacy projects.

The big one has been the plans of the governor for the health sector. The governor affirmed a strong belief in Universal Health Coverage and the aphorism that "Health is wealth".

Governor Lalong said when he came on board he discovered that doctors were  not well treated so he harmonised their allowance and enhanced their package. He then promised to refurbish the Plateau Hospital and build new ones in Wase and Mangu while equipping all the government hospitals in the state.

Even on the issue of his stance on the Middle Belt, the governor took the more pragmatic approach for cohesion rather than segregation saying he believes in the unity of the country as he is from the northern part of the country and wants Plateau to excel in the north.

He wittingly made reference to how others go the ACF when it serves them right  but come home to claim other things to deceive the people.

But more importantly is the fact that the Rescue Administration on the Plateau has reiterated its readiness to consolidate on the gains of the 3Es of Engagement, Empowerment and Employment if elected for another four year term.

In the picture above, Gov. Lalong dedicating " Forgiveness Garden" on Plateau "Forgiveness Day", February 2, 2019.

Yakubu Dati is the present Information Commissioner, Plateau State