Gov election polarised Plateau along ethnic, religion lines ― Lalong
Basking in the euphoria of his declaration as the winner of the Plateau gubernatorial election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Governor Simon Lalong said the state during the election was polarised along denominational, religious and ethnic lines which caused disunity among the people of the state.
The governor who stated this on Sunday at the thanksgiving service to mark his reelection at Saint Monica Catholic Church in Jos enjoined the people to eschew bitterness, ethnicity and religious bigotry and channel their energies towards productive venture that will enthrone development in the state.
“I was disturbed during the campaign that the state was divided along church denominations, religion and ethnicity which portend danger to the development of the state. We were able to surmount the challenges and come out victorious at the supplementary election. As a government we will focus on providing security for peace and unity of the state.
“We must pray for the unity of the church, I was born a Catholic and I am proud to be a Catholic. I was not voted by Plateau State because I was a Catholic, it was because of what I have done in the state,” he said.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after he was declared the winner of the election, Governor Lalong said his administration will work with the opposition political parties and every stakeholder for the development and prosperity of Plateau people.
He assured that he will not harass, witch-hunt or intimidate his opponents rather he will extend his hand of friendship to consolidate on the existing peace in the state.
“The outcome of the exercise in the state was clearly an amazing show of confidence and trust. It was also a referendum on our most cherished principles of unity and peace as well as the affirmation of the desire to move to the Next Level.
“Moving to the next level in the light of equality and inclusiveness, which are core values fundamentally located in the heart of the Plateau spirit that speaks to our sense of communality, diverse ethnicity, mutual respect, tolerance, peace, hospitality, humility and diligence.
“To my fellow contestants, who not only participated in the historic Gubernatorial Debate, prior to the elections and also contested with me, I wish to congratulate you for your matured conduct during and after our electioneering campaigns.
“I also extend my hands of friendship and urge you to share in the patriotic zeal of building a virile Plateau so that we can bequeath a positive and lasting legacy for the younger generations.
“I urge all citizens to celebrate in harmony with even the opposition without harassment, intimidation and provocative statements against any person or group.”
Lalong praised the courage and dexterity of INEC and security agencies for playing the game according to the Electoral Act and their contribution to the success and peaceful conduct of the election.