Plateau Guber Race: Desperation, Strength And Disadvantages Of Gladiators

March 9, 2019

Governor Simon Lalong

After studying events in the state,from 2015 elections, the failed October 2018 said local government election and the just concluded presidential and national assembly elections. It has become pertinent for me to share my perspectives and thoughts towards the Saturday election in our dear state.

Let me be blunt and frank here,it’s going to be a desperate race and contest. The rate of betrayers will be high, people you least expect will betray their party. The use of force will be very visible as the case is in Rivers,Cross River, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa and Delta State. May God help Plateau and give it needed peace.

I query the lack of consensus on the Plateau like it was in Nasarawa and Kaduna,Oyo etc between key opposition parties candidates. For the sake of easy victory for the opposition, the race would have been 1/1. 

Oppositions versus ruling party as other states have done

For anyone to think that Lalong will be gentle is wasting his thoughts pattern. The governor will surely fight with every resources and facilities at his disposal to retain power. Power is transient but not very easy to give out to opponent.

Power is sweeter than wealth, wealth without power is baseless. He will do everything possible to remain in little Rayfield and retain the “keys”.

There is still time for the core opposition parties candidates of; Dan Auta, Temlong,Miri and JT to breach the gap and sign a pack. There is need for them to carryout this huge sacrifice for the state.

This is the only limiting opposition factor  now them oust the incumbent. Rigging will be very limited if this conscientious agreement is entered into by the opposition Leviathans.

Like many observers and watchers of Plateau politics  have said, that the race is strictly for PDP and APC. I don’t think so. Miri is a force to be reckoned with, Temlong and Dan Auta are pulling votes too. Imagine if the over 300,000 votes these parties will pull is added to the PDP. This will make the work easier for them to sack the APC government in the state.

The second option for PDP if the alignment failed before Saturday 9th March is to guide it votes. Defile all the security bottlenecks that will be put in place to hinder and weaken it. Guide INEC office carefully on Sunday after the election. Call Mr Pai the REC to good and sound order to keep to the oath of his office. Make sure that results are declared as when due and as the right place by all returning officers at all levels. Then victory will be possible.

The APC will be capitalizing on the following local government areas;

Quanpan, Shendam, Wase and Kanam. They see those places as their almighty strategic strength vibes and fiber to Victory. The PDP should maintain a close observation of the APC in those axis without relenting. Wase and Kanam votes will always come late to change the cause of things after Jos North has entered. The question is, why is it customary for Was and Kanam votes to arrive late for collation? This must be taken seriously by the opposition.

With the combination of surveillance by  all the opposition parties. The APC strength will be limited. If the opposition parties relax or overlook things, then the ruling party will have an easy flow to do and undo things within a giffy.

Plateau shall be experiencing a very strict and tough election in 2019, a time we’re new gladiators will emerged in the state if the status quo is maintained.

I hope the last results shall be announced on the Plateau this time around not FCT as the case was previously.


So many factors have been identified as things that lead to chaos and promote skirmishes during elections in the state. 

In a stakeholders meeting held on 6th March for 5 communities of: Gangere, Abba Na Shehu, Ibrahim Katsina, Kabong and Tuduwada pointed out the following as projectors conflicts during, before and after elections: 

1.Lobbying and campaigning during voting.

2.Vote buying and selling by parties and voters.

3.Poverty and religious colourations of political parties. Certain party is view as either Muslim oriented party or a pro Christian in nature.

4.Delay arrival of materials. This happened in the last election and shouldn’t be allowed to be repeated again.

5. Incomplete materials. Ad-hoc staffers must come to the polling units with adequate materials. People in a large polling units mustn’t be disenfranchised.

6.Lack of good sensitization of the people on how to vote.

7. Bitterness and hatred in the minds of the people.

8. Desperation by the politicians and their supporters.

9. Excessive celebration with knives, sticks and other violent instruments and materials..

10. Zero sum game or winner takes all and loser losing all. Lack of inclusion government.

11.Rumours and fake news for victory ahead.

12.Violence statement of politicians or incisive comments.

13.Drugs and alcoholism. 

14. Preachers hate preaching and inducement of followers to vote based on religion.

These factors are not limited to the five communities of Jos North alone. It cut across all the 17 LGAs and Nigeria in general.

If INEC remain unbiased, elections will be peaceful, free,fair and credible without rancor.

It will be good to look at the strength and weaknesses of APC and PDP on the Plateau.

So many factors could have played against the governor of plateau state since 2015-2019.



1. INCUMBENTCY: This is a strength indeed because the governor is in charge. Abuja will give him all the needed help and support he needs  He will direct the security to his thirst.

2. LOYALTY OF APPOINTEES: All the appointees of the government shall work hard to deliver their units and wards. They are well equipped and have all the support and resources to the bidding.

3. MONEY,MEN AND MATERIALS: This three M’s will work for the government. Everyone is at the command of the governor. They have advantage of the materials and men, when there is need for money and resources. This won’t be a challenge…it is called “kayan aiki”.

4. Prompt payment of salaries AKA governor alert. Plateau workers put salaries first above any other thing. So most of them will vote the governor because of salary payment. This is part of known politics on the Plateau.

5. OPPOSITION PARTIES DIVIDING THEIR VOTES: The opposition parties are many and are very strong. Going into an election like this to unseat the incumbent will be extremely difficult. Their collective strengths is an adventure of good will to the governor.


1. WEAK INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT: Many are not satisfied with government role in infrastructure since 2015. He is compared with JD Gwomwalk and JD Jang and was rated extremely low despite huge amount of money that came into the state through; internally generated revenue, Federal allocation, Paris club refunds and bail out funds that came in trenches.

2. DIVISIVENESS OF PLATEAU: Many see the governor as been more gaimai in his outlook and pro hausa fulani than been Plateau in disposition. This factor worked against the PDP in 2015. Lalong will not escape this easily.

3. UNEVENLY DISTRIBUTION OF APPOINTMENT: Stakeholders have query the government over giving key appointments to his people from the gaimai extraction. Plateau is a state that take this kind of sentiment seriously.

4. INSECURITIES: There is a high rate of insecurity in the state. Thousands of people are at the IDP camps. While the governor is busy claiming to have brought peace, security remain a huge challenge.

5. UNGUIDED PUBLIC STATEMENTS: The governor have said many things that may act as hindrance to his reelection. “I warned the government of Benue state of anti grazing law…I am from the North not from middle belt, I can die for Buhari,he is my godfather, government house is on grazing route”. 


1. THE PDP STAMINA: The party is the oldest party and over the years,have ruled for 16 years. In those years, it have gain exposure and huge followership. It experience if put in use will work for it.

2. LOSING OF 2015 ELECTIONS: This has made the PDP to be stronger. The party may have learnt from it experience. If it work well with the wisdom it got from last election,it will win. Experience they say is the best teacher.

3. RETIRED GENERAL: The PDP gubernatorial  candidate is a retired general who commands a lot of respect from the military ranks. If he make use of his experience and relationship well,he will get vital intelligent reports from Undercovers spies. If intelligent gathering fails him, it will limit his advantage. If the three stars general put solid structures on ground, his admirers will assist not to be put to political shame.

4. SECURITY: The PDP have a well plan security agenda for the state. As a retired general, they people believe that he will be in position to bring peace to the state if elected. His knowledge on security is a good profile to his ambition.

5. UNFULFILLED PROMISES OF LALONG: The governor has failed to fulfill most of his campaign promises he made in 2015; rock hotel, terminus market, BARC farms, revitalization of the agricultural sector, promotion of unity among the people and putting Plateau first instead of dying for the president. 

These are working as  core advantage and strength to the opposition PDP. That is to say, whatsoever the governor has failed to do is an advantage to the PDP for strategic campaigning.


1. AGE OF IT CANDIDATE: Many have accused the PDP f filling in a candidate that is old and sleep without control. Sentiment aside,we know that this allegation don’t hold water. Some have said recently that they prefer a sleeping general that will put plateau first than someone who will sale their inheritance to others. That it is better to sleep and bring security than to be awake and breed insecurities.

2. PERCEPTIONS THAT PDP WILL VICTIMIZE THE APC: The fear of many is that, the PDP will ruthlessly deal with this administration because of it wastage of resources and indiscipline in terms of financial management. This is a challenge.

3. BETRAYERS AND DEFECTIONS OF MEMBERS TO THE APC AT THE EVE OF ELECTIONS: The decamping of members now is not good at all. They waited for the party to involved them in their strategies and key strength then defect. They will feed the APC of most plans of the PDP. 

4. PERCEIVED DISUNITY AMONG THEM OR WEAK LOYALTY TO THE PARTY: The party seems to have many bad eggs in it coffers. Those who are neither here nor there. Their loyalty is questionable. Key people acting as under covers to the ruling party because of monetary compensation they receives from the government clandestinely. No secret or top secret is kept by them. The unity here ought to be full and commitment to party codes been absolute. The party must work on this hard fact divisively.

5. LACK OF STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE APC: It was the delay of the Plateau north senatorial announcement that waken the party from it slumber. They came out enmass to protest and reclaim their mandate. Before, the look warm and I don’t care attitude make the APC to take them for a ride. The party must stand and give the APC a strong opposition this time around. If not their votes will be upturned.

The strength of APC in 2015 was protest votes from Plateau people to them because the fight against dynasty establishments as the case was seen, sympathy votes against the PDP and Dara ayi are not working this time around.

The governor has plateau people to contend with. The ultimate fact is that, there will be an election tomorrow. Our utmost demand is for the election to be peaceful.

All contenders must put plateau first.

After the election, the IDPs must be resettled. Infrastructure Should be developed. Security should be restored. The Youths should be empowered. Women should be employed. Our schools should be revived and our health sectors must be revisited. This is what we need. These are our demands. We have more serious challenges on the Plateau than fighting at the polls.

God bless Plateau state.

Rwang Patrick Stephen

Federal University of Kashere.

Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences,

Department of Political Science.

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