By Gabriel Sabbanani
What happened at Shendam today is most unfortunate and should be condemned by every peace loving citizen both within and outside Plateau State as the state has gone beyond violence and cannot be allowed to retrogress to an ugly and sordid past simply because of the desperation of certain politicians in the state.
For the nearly eight years that Governor Simon Lalong has been at the Little Rayfield Government House, the state has experienced peace and security to world acclamation.
But today, we have seen how some are willing to trade away all that gains on the altar of politics not minding the consequences on the people of the state, the very people they are intending to govern.
Today in Shendam, the home local government of the governor, some youths known to be sponsored and enabled by the Labour Party candidate in Plateau State, Dr. Patrick Dakum, were instigated into taking actions meant to embarrass the governor.
Before this incident it was clear that these elements, going by their nocturnal and clandestine meetings, were planning something mischievous due to the popularity of Governor Lalong who is the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Plateau South Senatorial District.
The opposition have seen how the governor blended and interacted freely with his people during the festive period and knew for certain that his election and that of the presidential candidate of the party as well as the APC governorship candidate is a foregone conclusion and have become jittery hence resorting to desperate measures.
The are yet to fathom how the governor with his appointment as the Director General of the Tinubu/Shettima APC Presidential Campaign Council has been able to whittle down the attempt at primordial politics to politics of issues and ideas and is set to deliver Plateau to the APC in the next general elections.
But one is not surprised that they are doing what they are doing now because they have lost touch with the people and cannot campaign on issues as Lalong has covered every ground they would have tried to promise the people.
Governor Lalong has achieved lasting peace and security in the state so candidates of other parties have nothing to say about restoration of peace which used to be a problem in the state.
The Governor has also paid salaries and taken care of the welfare of workers so that too, which used to be a big issue with the past administration is no longer a campaign issue.
Further to that, Governor Lalong has built several lasting infrastructure in the state and has put on ground legacy projects that are tested to serve tbe people of Plateau for the next 50 years!
It is because of these that the opposition party candidates have resorted to dirty and bitter politics where name calling, threats, brigandage and thuggery rule the day.
But Governor Lalong has been a peaceful governor who made the return to peace a cardinal principle of his administration and cannot be pressured into such acts of desperation.
For the over seven years he has been in office, peace has returned to Plateau State and incidences of violence that pervaded communities in the state have abated.
All these were not mere happenstance but results of concerted efforts by the government to see to the general well being of citizens and for meaningful development to take place in the state.
These should not be thrown away on the altar of party politics.
But this is hardly surprising as one is not unaware of the bad politics that characterised the primary of the Labour Party in Plateau State where a candidate was intimidated to accept his demotion to the position of a place holder just to pave way for the emergence of certain privileged aspirants who never believed in the ideologies of the LP but see it only as a platform to vent their desperate spleen wrongly couched as ambition.
It is this desperation that is making them to take these heinous actions of reintroducing roguery and thuggery to plateau politics.
They should learn from Governor Lalong who for all the times he has contested and won elections starting from his days at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to the State House of Assembly to when he became Speaker and now governor, he always plays by the rules knowing fully well that his ambition is not worth the blood of any citizen.
It is God that bestows power on people and this cannot be supplanted by the level of desperation or violence unleashed by misguided political wanna bes.
The people of Plateau are watching and they know those who love them and would do anything to see them live peacefully and secured and those who at the slightest challenge, are ready to upturn peace and expose them to harm and violence.
The antics of the leaders of the Labour Party in Plateau State is abhorable but they must be put in their proper place as Plateau is bigger than any of them.
This is the first time that Patrick Dakum is contesting elections, so he should allow those who know the terrain put him through; violence and brigandage are simply not the way.