Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has called on people of the state to remain calm and avoid taking the law into their hands over the results of the just concluded local government elections in the state.
Following the announcement of the results, irate youth burnt down the house of the caretaker chairman of Bassa Local Government Area, Sarah Bali, alleging election rigging.
There was also protest in Mangu LGA over alleged manipulation of election results.
The elections were conducted in 13 of the 17 LGAs of the state. The Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASEIC) on Thursday declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of 11 chairmanship seats.
Elections in Langtang North and Mangu councils were declared inconclusive.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party rejected the outcome of the polls describing it as fraudulent.
Earlier, irate youth had protested the alleged refusal of the electoral body to release the election results.
An eyewitness, Johnson Adudu, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on the telephone from Bassa, said the violence erupted after the announcement of the results.
“Angry youth are protesting over allegation of rigging in the election that seemed to have been conducted peacefully, ” Mr Adudu said.
Mr Lalong in a statement signed by the commissioner of Information and Communication, Yakubu, Dati, asked citizens of the state not to do anything that may affect the peace of the state.
“Anyone who feels aggrieved over the result of the local government elections as announced by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASEIC, should tow the democratic path by approaching the local government elections petition tribunal to ventilate his or her grievances.
“The Local Government Election Appeals Tribunal were inaugurated even before the local government polls took place.
“Lalong as a democrat, he cannot interfere in the work of PLASEIC being an independent institution. According to him “PLASEIC is headed by a credible leadership who are ready to make clarifications on the polls” adding that such should be directed to the body and not the governor.
“Governor Lalong assures citizens of his administration’s commitment to peace, justice, and fairness.
“In any context, there must be a winner and loser and therefore ask winners to be magnanimous in victory while losers should be humble in defeat, ” Lalong added in the statement.”
The elections were postponed thrice due to reports of insecurity in the state before they were held in all but four LGAs on Wednesday.