Group urges Gov Lalong, lawmakers, to stop Plateau Assembly crisis from escalating

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Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong

Group urges Gov Lalong, lawmakers, to stop Plateau Assembly crisis from escalating

A group, the Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives (PIDAN) has called on Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, the state’s lawmakers, the police, politicians, among others, to ensure that the crisis in the Plateau State House of Assembly is nipped in the bud in order not to plunge the state into another orgy of bloodbath as experienced in the past.

PIDAN gave the charge in a statement issued in Jos on Tuesday,  signed by Prof Aboi Madaki, its President and Comrade Nanle Gujor, Secretary-General.

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While it noted with dismay the ongoing leadership crisis that has bedeviled the Plateau State House of Assembly, the group stressed that promoting peace at all cost should be the paramount consideration in whatever people do  to avoid any situation that would jeopardize the fragile peace of Plateau State.

PIDAN urged the legislators to adhere strictly to the rule of law as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the House Rules on the conduct of the business of the House, so as not to further push the state into another avoidable round of violence.

The group also charged the police to be neutral in providing equal and effective protection for all the legislators, as well as cautioned political and religious leaders, and the youths, from making unguarded utterances that would only fan the embers of violent conflict.

The statement reads in part:

“We have watched closely the activities of the House since the politics of changing the leadership of the House began on Friday the 29-10-21 including the strange security architecture at the assembly on that fateful day.

“We have equally examined the arguments put forward by those against and those supporting the need for change in the leadership of the house.

“We have equally looked at the constitutional provision for change in such leadership and the house rules on the modus operandi for effecting such a change.

“It therefore becomes clear to us that the Plateau State House of Assembly did not follow the rule of law and the House due process in their attempt to change the leadership of the House.

“It is appalling that those elected to legislate for a peaceful society are the very ones subverting the rule of law and the House due process.

“We want to caution both parties to follow the due process for change in the leadership of the House. The Speaker Hon Nuhu Abok should be allowed to reconvene the sitting of the House and allow the legislators to decide on who to lead them.

“We implore the security agencies with emphasis on the police under the leadership of the State Police Commissioner to play the role of providing effective security cover to all legislators and citizens irrespective of their views on this issue.

“We take exception to situations in which the law enforcement agents prevent bonafide members of the legislature access to the legislative chambers during the hours of their duties.

“They should equally not allow legislators access to the legislative chambers outside the prescribed period for which the House conducts its legislative duties.

“It is also important to advise the leadership of political parties to guide their utterances on this matter because the House of Assembly belongs to all parties.

“We wish to call on the people of Plateau  especially the youth, religious leaders, traditional leaders and elders to grant the Plateau State House of Assembly the necessary support that will enable it discharge its duties efficiently.

“We wish to make a special appeal to His Excellency, the Governor of Plateau State to ensure that the Executive arm of Government provides a balance level of support that will enable the House of Assembly strengthen its leadership and discharge its functions effectively.

“We equally wish to call on all politicians on the Plateau to exercise caution in their utterances on the happenings in the House of Assembly so as not to plunge the state into another round of civil unrest on this matter.

“We look forward to the quick resolution of the crisis in the Plateau State House of Assembly, which we believe is essential for strengthening the fragile peace on the Plateau.”

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