LG polls: Lalong urges Plateau people to shun hate speech, fake news

Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has urged the people of the state to avoid over-heating the polity by shunning hate speech, fake news and “toxic propaganda” as the State goes to the polls to elect Local Government Chairmen and Councillors on Saturday.

Lalong made the call on Thursday in a broadcast to the people of the state on the forthcoming Local Government Elections.

He said such actions would cause division in the state, damage to the collective aspirations of the people, saying, religious, ethnic or political sentiments should not be allowed to divide the people of the state .

” In any contest, there must be winners and losers. Those who do not succeed today, can emerge victorious tomorrow. Let us work for the unity of our dear State and the progress of the nation,” he said.

The governor said as part of preparations for the successful conduct of the elections, Oct. 8 had been declared a work free-day to enable all residents of the state, particularly civil servants, to travel to their voting units for the exercise.

” On Election Day, Saturday Oct. 9, 2021, all vehicular movements shall be restricted from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the 17 local government areas of the State. Only those on essential duties will be allowed to move to their duty posts,” he said.

He said that the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) had assured all residents , candidates and political parties of its preparedness to conduct free, fair and transparent elections, in line with the constitution and other relevant guidelines.

Lalong appealed to all Plateau residents, political parties and their candidates to cooperate with PLASIEC to enable it to conduct the exercise in a peaceful, safe and unbiased manner.

He said that PLASIEC had also disclosed their engagement of security agencies at several levels, with assurances of adequate deployment of personnel throughout the 325 Wards and 17 local government areas for a hitch-free exercise.

He said the State Government would complement their efforts by ensuring that there was peace before, during and after the elections.

The governor advised all residents to vote candidates and parties of their choice without any molestation, harassment or intimidation, as security agencies had been directed to provide a safe environment for the exercise.

” Those who are bent on causing trouble with a view to disrupting the process or causing pain on the people should be warned to shelve the idea because they will not be allowed to succeed.

“Government has directed security agencies to deal decisively with anyone who threatens the lives and properties of law abiding citizens using this election as a cover,” he said.

He expressed delight that political parties and their members, as well as other aggrieved citizens, had followed the right path of approaching the courts over their grievances to seek redress.(NAN)