Plateau Assembly fails to elect principal officers

Lalong

Attempt by members of the Plateau State House of Assembly to elect principal officers of the eighth Assembly ended in stalemate.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has the majority with 13 members, while the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has 11 members in the 24-member Assembly.

During the election which held at the Assembly Complex in Jos, the state capital, neither the PDP’s candidate, Mr Istifanus Mwansat, nor the APC candidate, Mr Peter Azi, who contested for the speakership was able to garner majority votes, as both scored 12 votes each.

The second round of election could not continue following a tensed atmo­sphere in the House, a de­velopment which forced the state governor, Sımon Lalong, to direct the law­makers to reschedule the election.

It was gathered that both the APC and PDP lawmakers were given an opportunity to go and reconcile after the first election and be able to chose their leaders, but they failed to reach a com­promise, after which the Clerk of the House, Ayuba Gongu, read a letter from the state governor, direct­ing the lawmakers to re­schedule the election to a later date.

It was however learnt that the governor’s decision to push for a rescheduling of the election was arrived at when it was discovered that the ruling party’s can­didate, Azi, was going to lose to the opposition PDP, if the second round of vot­ing was allowed to take place immediately.

The postponement of the election further heightened tension in the Assembly complex, as supporters of the PDP in the state were seen leaving the Assembly complex in anger, accusing Lalong of undue interfer­ence.

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