Tight security as A’Court delivers judgment on Plateau gov election

Armed soldiers on Sunday cordoned off different locations in Jos, the Plateau State capital, including the Court of Appeal complex in Jos.

Our Correspondent observed that apart from the appellate court complex located along the ever-busy Yakubu Gowon Way in Jos, the soldiers who positioned their armoured tank in front of the court complex also stationed themselves in different strategic locations of the city alongside other security operatives.

The development, it was gathered, was due to the Plateau State governorship election petitions billed to be delivered by the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Sunday.

The Spokesman for the Military Taskforce in charge of maintaining peace in Plateau state, Captain Oya James, who spoke with The PUNCH in Jos on Sunday over the development, said the presence of the armed soldiers was to prevent a breakdown of law and order following protests occasioned by a recent court of Appeal judgment which sacked all the National Assembly members elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.

James said, “You know about the tension in the town due to the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal. So, there is little tension in town as the governorship election petitions will also be delivered on Sunday. And you know we have worked tirelessly to restore peace on the Plateau. So, in a situation like this, although the police being their primary responsibility is deployed, our people are only there to monitor the situation so that we don’t go back to where we are coming from and to avoid a breakdown of law and order.”

Meanwhile, the Middle Belt Youth Council has frowned at the use of its name by those it described as “fake Middle Belt groups” to score cheap political points in Plateau State.

Addressing a press conference in Jos on Sunday, the President of the Middle Belt Youth  Council, Emmanuel Zopmal accused the lawmaker representing the Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam federal constituency, Yusuf Gagdi, of being behind the fake group activities meant to cause trouble in the Middle Belt region said he should be held responsible in the event of any breakdown of law and order in Plateau state owing to his do or die style of politics.

Zopmal said, “The apex body of the Middle Belt youth leadership under the leadership of Middle Belt Forum led by Dr Bitrus Pogu has become aware of a fake group claiming the name Coalition of Middle Belt Groups.

“As a reputable organisation that promotes equity, justice, fairness, and unity in the Middle Belt, we issue this press conference to categorically denounce and distance the Middle Belt from the purported “Coalition of Middle Belt Groups” that was drafted by a desperate and callous politician in order to score a point in the ongoing judicial process on election matters in Plateau State.

Middle Belt Youth Council categorically states that the Middle Belt Forum has not endorsed, supported, or participated in the creation of the purported coalition.

“We wish to state categorically that this group is not recognised by the Middle Belt Forum nor any leader of the Middle Belt, and their statements do not reflect the mission and vision of the Middle Belt. We have been working tirelessly to promote credible elections and justice in our electoral process and we will not be associated with any group that seeks to hide behind our name to propagate deceit, falsehood, or criminal agenda.

“This group of persons is never part of the Middle Belt struggle at any point in time. They are misrepresenting the Middle Belt’s name and objectives, which they aim to undermine the credibility of legitimate organisation of the Middle Belt.

“They are miscreants sponsored by Hon Yusuf Adamu Gagdi, the member representing Pankshin, Kanke, Kanam Federal Constituency, who has vowed with the last drop of his blood to deliver the APC gubernatorial candidate at the Supreme Court. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi does not even believe in the Middle Belt. His alliance is outside the Middle Belt. Therefore, we urge him to immediately desist from forging a group in the name of Middle Belt to pursue his wild and do-or-die political ambition.

“We call on the public to disregard any statement or action attributed to this fake group and urge the relevant authorities to investigate and bring these imposters to justice. Middle Belt Youth Council has had a functional office in Abuja for more than 20 years now.

Zopmal, who reaffirmed the belief of the Middle Belt Youth Council in justice, urged the judiciary, particularly the Appeal court, to be fair to all parties in the discharge of its responsibilities.

He added, “We remain focused on our commitment to ensure that the right thing is done. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi should be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in Plateau State if the judgments go against the hallowed mandate of Plateau people going by his several confessions preempting the court judgments and which they ultimately come out to be exactly what he professed from the Tribunal and now at the Court of Appeal.

“We also strongly believe that the apex court will correct the anomalies encountered at the Court of Appeal. We urge the security agencies to beam their watch-light on him because he has become more desperate about the governorship case in court than the candidate himself.

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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