The Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared Governor Simon Lalong of the All Progressives Congress winner of the Plateau governorship election.
The Returning Officer in the state, Prof Richard Kimbir while announcing Lalong as the winner following the supplementary poll held on Saturday, said the governor scored 595,582 votes to defeat 23 other candidates, including the Peoples Democratic Party standard-bearer, Jeremiah Useni, who got 546,813.
Consequent upon his re-election, Lalong said in his acceptance speech “Fellow Citizens, four years down the lane, without prejudice to the just concluded re-run elections of 23rd March 2019, and the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), you once again came out en-masse and voted us to serve a second and final term as Executive Governor of the State, together with my Deputy, Professor Sonni G. Tyoden.
“We had a dream, which we collectively and tirelessly worked towards achieving it and succeeded. To me, this victory is a mark of honour and clarion call for consolidation of our gains and the sustainable peaceful coexistence for the good of the State. Together, we will do more. I urge all citizens to celebrate in harmony with even the opposition without harassment, intimidation and provocative statements against any person or group.
“With gratitude to God Almighty, on behalf of myself and the Deputy Governor, I sincerely thank you all. We whole-heartedly accept this mandate to serve for a second and final term with all the humility it deserves. Above all, we accept this mandate by equally soliciting your usual cooperation and partnership as we strive to sustain the execution of our mandate.
“The outcome of the exercise in the State was clearly an amazing show of confidence and trust. It was also a referendum on our most cherished principles of Unity and Peace as well as an affirmation of the desire to move to the Next Level. Moving to the next level in the light of equality and inclusiveness, which are core values fundamentally located in the heart of the Plateau spirit that speak to our sense of communality, diverse ethnicity, mutual respect, tolerance, peace, hospitality, humility, and diligence”