The governorship candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State, Jeremiah Useni, has sid he would still participate in the governorship re-run election schedule to hold on 23rd March in the state.
The Plateau governorship election was, on March 11, declared inconclusive by the state returning officer, Richard Anande, a professor. He said the margin between the two leading candidates is less than the number of votes cancelled in the entire election.
Anande had on March 11, announced that Governor Simon Lalong of the APC had scored 583,255, while Useni of the PDP scored 548,336 votes, highlighting that none of the leading candidates met all the requirements of the law to win the election.
49,347 votes across 41 polling units were cancelled in nine Local Government Areas of the state.
Useni, who expressed confidence in winning the rescheduled election, assured people of the state that he was only spending one tenure of four years. He highlighted that the issue of governance is not about how long you stay in power.
The PDP governorship candidate made his position known on Wednesday during a press briefing held at his party Secretariat, in Jos.
“I want to assure the people of Plateau that I am still very much in the race and I will lead in the most responsible manner.
“I want to assure the people that I will only spend one tenure of four years, because I believe it is not a matter of how long you stay in office but how much you can do within a short time.
“I cannot turn my back now when we are coasting home to victory. The whole election is about the soul of Plateau; its heritage and its People. I call on our stakeholders and supporters to stand taller and even stronger than before as we approach the supplementary election,” he said.
The former general, who alleged electoral malpractices in the first election, warned that security personnel be fair to all political parties as required by the law.
“There was widespread thumb printing, vote-buying and outright Intimidation by some security men who had absolutely no business with the election. In one instance, I personally went out to Tudun Wada Collation Centre and freed voters who were made to lie down on the ground by some security men;
“Civil servants and our traditional rulers were threatened to either deliver to APC or lose their jobs or be dethroned. Votes were simply allocated to APC or bought with large sums of money
“We caution against the deployment of Security Personnel that will harass and intimidate our people at their polling units and collation centres. The security agencies should remain neutral and stick to their constitutional roles. I call on our people not to give room to fear,” he added.
Useni, however, vowed to challenge all the electoral frauds claimed to been recorded during the elections.
“After due consultation, we have decided to take specific legal steps to address areas of concern in the last elections. These include, a petition to INEC, and we hope they will look into it as quickly as possible,” Mr Useni said.