From Jude Owuamanam, Managing Editor, Northern Operations
JOS (Sundiata Post) – Journalists in Plateau State are about now voting to elect the next executives to run the State Council for the next three years. The atmosphere at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre venue of the election is charged as men of the pen profession from various media houses jostle to elect candidates of their choice.
Already the election has acquired a political hue as it has been tagged as a contest between Governor Simon Lalong and his deputy, Prof Sonny Tyoden. This is because the two contestants to the post of the chairman are both from either constituencies.
Mr. Paul Jatau, a journalist, from the Nigerian Standard newspaper, who hails from Shendam same as the governor, was once Personal Assistant to Lalong when the latter was the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, while Mr. Illiya Amos from the Plateau Radio and Television Corporation, PRTV, hails from Mangu, same as the Deputy Governor.
The situation is causing some disquiet among government circles ahead of the local government election and the bigger general election in 2019. Analysts are of the view that Wherever the pendulum swings, it will determine the pattern of politicking in the state, particularly with the disenchantment being expressed by the people with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The outcome of the election will also form the fulcrum of some unfolding alliances as a political pressure group, The Plateau Project, struggles to get a replacement for the incumbent administration in 2019.
TPP is also taking advantage of the no-love-lost between the APC administration and journalists in the state to woo journalists to their side. Any disenchanted party may be a willing tool.
The government, itself, aware of the unfolding scenario, is said to be seriously interested in the outcome of the election as unconfirmed sources told Sundiatapost that some officials of the state government had reached out to the two contestants, asking them to beware of their utterances and to go about the election as a family affair.
According to the source, “They were warned that nothing should be done or said to jeopardise the existing cordial relationship between the governor and his deputy. They were told that APC is one family and nobody should break the bond.”
Full story later. ..