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