Plateau state governor Simon Bako Lalong has been accused of undermining democracy by using the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), to exclude the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidates in the local government elections billed for saturday in the state.
Rising from its monthly meeting in Abuja Thursday, former members of the House of Representatives under the PDP from the 6 states of the north central zone including the FCT, described the plan by the governor to allow only APC candidates in the elections as an act of democratic dictatorship, reckless approach to political power and cowardice.
In a strong worded statement signed by former deputy majority leader and former deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Baba Shehu Agaie and Rt Hon Engr Muktar Ahmed respectively, the over 50 former legislators berated the governor for taking democracy for granted because of his privileged position.
According to the lawmakers, “it is unheard of anywhere in the world for a big beneficiary of democracy like a governor to behave like a new comer. How on earth does it sound for someone elected first as a state assembly member/ speaker and later as governor in a sound competitive democratic environment to turn around to seek to bastardise its due process and rule of law?
“If such people are not called to order, democracy will sink down to the mud and its true meaning will be lost. We call on every well meaning Nigerian democrat to condemn this style of misgovernance. Its a bad democratic example.”.
The former lawmakers call on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly call Lalong to order and not allow him execute such an illegality in a civilised democracy such as Nigeria’s.
“Whatever are the issues, democratic matters are people oriented and cannot be determined by one man in a privileged powerful position. He should know that he cannot be Governor for ever and he should not change the colour of democracy because he is in power today. As former PDP lawmakers, we condemn in strong terms such undemocratic attitude where fellow political actors have invested their lives in a game of democratic governance only to be so maltreated by a fellow politician. It can never be constitutional to do so.
“The Governor has shown so clearly that he has failed his people and therefore afraid of engaging them in the field. He has shown that his party, the Apc has gone out of radar and therefore the only way to remain relevant is to forcefully exclude other key players from the scene.
“For his information, that can only add to the pollution of his democratic credentials as no one is rewarded in a democratic setting for seeking to destroy it.
“The story of elections in the country has never been this bad. It is a shame and an embarrassment to us in the North Central zone of the country, that its one of us, a sitting Governor and former State assembly Speaker that is found wanting in this grave aberration. Its a big shame.
“We call on other Apc critical stakeholders from the north central zone to show concern and condemn what Lalong is doing so he does not set a wrong and dangerous democratic precedent for the nation.”