The Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) Commissioner, Electoral Operations, Patrick Mangim has vowed to resign his position if ever intimidated to bend due process to favour any political party in the forthcoming local government elections in the state.
According to him, his desire is borne out of his strong Christian beliefs as well as his desire to promote good governance and democratic values in the state.
He said, “I have said at different fora that whoever wins his election takes his victory home.
“That is our stand in PLASIEC regardless of the fact that we are being funded by the government.
“I have said if malpractice was the reason we were appointed, then I will rather resign and believe me if the occasion calls for it, I will.”
Mr. Mangim told journalists at an interface with the Plateau State Peace Building Agency, PPBA and other stakeholders that the commission has been fully funded and given the freehand by the state governor, Simon Lalong to deliver creditably.
He said, “Thank God for the kind of governor we have, he doesn’t interfere in our activities.
“He has given us every logistical support and it is now squarely in our hands to determine how the elections run and we are determined to do the needful.”
The PLASIEC Chief however dispelled rumours that the government was threatening to replace some of the body’s principal officers due to their firm stance in due process saying, “it is not true.”
The monthly Peace Architecture Dialogue of the Plateau State Peace Building Agency, PPBA for December 2017 had focussed on the preparedness of the State Independent Electoral Commission towards the forthcoming Local Government elections in the State.
The PPBA’s concern was on the ability of the electoral body to deliver credible, free and fair elections in the state.
This, its Director General, Joseph Lengman said was crucial to peace maintenance and sustainability before, during and after the polls.
He said the State cannot forget its 2008 LG elections which were marred by violent conflicts owing to allegations of malpractice.
Thus, the PPBA he said finds it crucial to ensure all stakeholders prepare and advise properly before the 2018 elections.
Lengman added that the agency will not rest on its oars in partnering with relevant stakeholders including PLASIEC towards ensuring that all conflict triggers are duly addressed before the polls.
The interface with the electoral body and the Peace Agency which held at the PPBA head office in Jos brought together Civil Society Organizations, Security, Religious institutions, Government Agencies such as the NOA, NDLEA, as well as NGOs.
Participants were allowed to ask questions on critical matters regarding the forthcoming elections as the PLASIEC representative provided answers.
The forum is expected to continue in January next year focussing on the same elections with a view to perfecting the peace process in the state ahead of the polls, officials say.
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