• Friday, March 01, 2024
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BusinessDay

Plateau 2015: Who will wear the crown?

As 2015 general elections draw nearer, stage has been set for various individuals to contest from the platforms of different political parties.

Plateau State however, seems to be hushed about the forthcoming gubernatorial election as so many aspirants seem to be nursing and incubating their political ambitions without making so much active moves.

The People’s Democratic party (PDP) and Action Progressives Congress (APC) seem to be just the two political platforms in state.

There seems to be some sort of intra-party war within the two political parties as interests of different aspirants clash.

Many of the aspirants whose only moves were printing of posters were slowed down by the declaration of Governor Jonah Jang who is referred to as “the father of the state and the leader of the Redemption Team” when he stated that he has been “praying for God to choose the anointed one” to succeed him.

Opinions from various quarters have it that it is time for the Southern Senatorial Zone of the state to take the reins of government since the Central Zone has served its term with the administration of Joshua Dariye, a serving senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial Zone in the National Assembly, who was impeached in 2006 during his second tenure and the Northern Senatorial Zone where Governor Jang, who is serving his second term, comes from.

Many of the political gladiators in the state however, think that the governorship of the state does not depend on zoning as no agreement about zoning is reached hitherto, hence candidates from any zone including the Northern Zone is free to contest for the position. 

There are however, a number of posters of individuals contesting under the platform of PDP such as Jimmy Cheto, Victor Lar, Hezekiah Dimka, Longmas Wapmuk, a former DG of Industrial Trust Fund and Sonni Tyoden, a former vice chancellor of the University of Jos, are all over the city .

There are yet several notions that these aspirants are not sure on whether or not to forge ahead with their ambitions since most people are waiting for the “anointed one” to be declared while hoping that they are to be the one.

Few months ago, Haruna Dabin, a former chairman of the PDP in the state, was suspended over alleged misappropriation of funds and failure to call regular meetings.

Some people however, believed that his previous declaration of interest in the gubernatorial seat was the crux of the matter.

Recently, Fidelis Tapgun, former governor of the state who won his election under the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992, who served for one year and eight months before his administration was truncated by the then military regime, also indicated interest to contest the gubernatorial seat under the platform of the PDP.

Addressing his supporters last week during a formal inauguration of the grassroots moblizers for his campaign at the Banquet Hall of the Hill Station Hotel in Jos, Tapgun stated that “the principle of zoning and rotation is to ensure fair play, justice and togetherness” as he  stressed that the southern zone of the state stands a better opportunity to produce the next governor of Plateau State, pointing to the fact that the immediate past governor Joshua Dariye was from the central zone while the outgoing governor Jonah Jang is from the Northern part of the state.

Tapgun emphasised that the best way to ensure togetherness is for the party to show understanding by zoning 2015 election to the southern senatorial zone.

According to him, as one of the founding fathers of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he has no faith in any other political party, and therefore urges the public to discard insinuation that he has left PDP.

Ibrahim Kasar, his campaign director, told journalists that they had already met with the elders’ community and religious leaders in advancing the actualisation of the 2015 gubernatorial election.

Stating that “Plateau State has a lot of potentials that previous administrations have not properly harnessed”, Kasar expressed confidence in the candidacy of Tapgun whom he said his pedigree as a former governor, ambassador, federal minister and having handled many public responsibilities gives him an edge over other candidates.

Meanwhile, there are speculations that Simeon Nanlong, a former speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly and Senator John Shagaya may contest the governorship seat under the platform of the APC whose chairmanship is in tussle even though they have not formally declared their intentions.

There have been political tussle within the Plateau State chapter of the APC between Laptep Dabang who was declared chairman of the party after the party’s election, and Amos Gombi who petitioned the National Secretariat of the party over Dabang’s chairmanship.

Dabang, however, debunked claims by his opponents that he was not given certificate of returns and was not qualified to run for the election because he was an aide to a senator and has not resigned his appointment before the party election.

Dabang said that “there is no law that says you cannot be an aide and a member of a party,” adding that he resigned his position as an aide before the election and that he was given certificate of returns the same day he was sworn in pending the day of the party’s EXCO’s formal inauguration. According to him, “it shows he does not know the workings of the party”.

 Hope Ikwe