Caution your followers against violence – Plateau group warns Political leaders

From Isaac Shobayo, Jos

The Plateau Peace and Mediation Working Committee (PPMWC) has called on the stakeholders, especially political leaders in Plateau State and the entire country, to restrain their followers from taking the law into their hands.

Addressing newsmen in Jos, the chairman of the group, Dr. Dinshak Luka Dajahar, enjoined all the political actors to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and avoid any act that could lead to lawlessness, adding that in any political contest, there must be losers and a winner.

He said: “There is no gainsaying the fact that there would always be winners and looses in any contest. Losing in a continuing contest such as the periodic elections is only temporary, as contenders could ordinarily go back to re-strategize for the next opportunity”

Dr Dajah narrated that there were instances in Plateau State and other parts of the country where those who lost before won another time adding that it is all a game of a person’s ability to commend oneself to the electorate and performance at the period of service for those seeking reelection.

“This should be the case in a normal situation.” Unfortunately, our governance system and its institutions are weak. This includes the electoral and justice systems. The electoral process that produces winners and losers is not wholly trusted by politicians and electorates.

“Questions of credibility and fairness usually trail the electoral umpire in virtually every election.” Sadly, the justice system is also not considered strong enough to deliver justice to aggrieved parties. This has often led to parties taking it upon themselves to personally address any perceived infraction through violence, which often leads to destruction of properties, injuries, and even the loss of lives in so many cases. “This is most sad,” he said.

He pointed out that Plateau State has gone through much already for a little over two decades now, and the people need to rethink whenever there is tension concerning any issues and note that a single wrong step can spark off yet another cycle of violence that none can predict how far it can go.

Dr. Dajah equally stated that in spite of
Despite the fact that there are challenges with the Nigerian justice system, there have been several instances where election results were successfully challenged and the outcomes reversed.

The Chairman appealed to all stakeholders to still resort to the legal procedure, and where this does not produce the desired expectation, those concerned should be consoled that power comes from God and no one can come into it except He gives it to the person.

“We therefore urge all stakeholders, especially political leaders, to restrain their followers. Former President Goodluck Jonathan rightly stated that nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any citizen. Again, Martin Luther Jr. admonished that we must learn to live together as brothers or all perish together as fools because he acknowledged that although there would be situations where we have reason to be angry because we consider we have been wronged by our neighbors, we must find a way of peacefully accommodating ourselves or we all lose out”

He, therefore, charged the people of Plateau State to conduct themselves peacefully as the results of the remaining areas are released and as the people looks forward to conducting the governorship and House of Assembly elections that come up on March 11, 2023.

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