The Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, which has been saddled with the responsibility by Governor Simon Bako Lalong to conduct Local Government Council elections for local government chairmen and councillors, has promised to be patriotic in the discharge of its responsibility. In this interview, the PLASIEC Chairman, Fabian Ari Ntung, he promised the people on the Plateau to pursue the upliftment of the state to greater heights through legitimate means. Moses Gbande was there for The Eagle Online. Excerpts:
Who are you?
I am Fabian Ari Ntung. I have just been sworn-in as the Chairman, Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission.
What is your call to the management committee chairmen of the 17 LGCs in the state?
My call to the chairmen and by extension all people of Plateau State, stakeholders in this project is that they should be rest assured that we are an impartial body with the same patriotic zeal for the upliftment of our state and the country at large. In the course of performance of our duty as contained in our oath of office, we shall not have any bias in our mind. We are for all and to all shall we so belong and work.
Sir, based on your experience when you were being screened and sworn-in, how prepared are you to conduct the local government election in the state?
Thank you very much. As you are aware, the processes in the electoral body are guided by laws and regulation. As I told you, we intend to be fair and we are going to abide by the regulation and process for the conduct of the local government election. There are constitutional provisions and there are regulations from the preparation up to election proper. Our preparation: as we are, we are really preparing to follow the process step by step towards the attainment of our goals. In terms of our preparation, we raised a policy that made up of man and woman of competence and the commission is also having competent staff, which in that aspect we will harness all our energy and resources humanly possible to produce a very fair, credible and acceptable election.
The war against corruption is in earnest. How would you play your role in the next coming election so that you do not fall victim of anti-graft agencies?
As you know, corruption is the worst enemy of mankind. It is the worst enemy of Nigeria and it is growing by the day. Glory be to God we have a President who has gone to even the extent of sacrificing his life to attain sanity in our society devoid of corruption. And if you are taking an example from him and our Executive Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, a dynamic gentleman who is in pursuit of everything according to rule and regulation, the tendency of corruption will be very low when someone obeys the rules and regulation. It is when you begin to bend rules that corruption begins to set in and therefore as an individual, personally I detest corruption and I hate it to the last and believing that in line with the national policy, every Nigerian is now desirous of having a corruption-free society and within the frame work of the commission that I and other commissioners, we will go along way to detest the entry of corruption rearing a corruption away out of the commission. We are going to maintain the highest standards of sanity and transparency in the conduct of the election that is why we are very prepared for it.
What is your call to the people of Plateau State?
My call to the people of Plateau State is that they should be rest assured that there are impartial judges on the ground. We are all human beings. Where we go wrong, they should please call our attention. We are not all knowing, but depend on other people to also assist us to do this job in a good manner and very acceptable manner. So, we call on the people of Plateau to please support us and if possible join hand with us in moving the state forward by having a very standard democratic process in the state.