– The only road leading to Jos has been blocked by angry youths in Mangu, Plateau state
– The youths are protesting alleged refusal of electoral officers to release results of local government elections held on Wednesday, October 10
– The youths say they won’t vacate the road till the results are announced
Angry youths in Mangu have blocked the only road leading to Jos to protest alleged refusal of electoral officers to release the results of the Plateau local governments elections held on Wednesday, October 10.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the youths have refused all entreaties to vacate the road, and have vowed to remain there until the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), announced the outcome of the polls.
NAIJ.com gathers that sources indicated that trouble started on Wednesday night when the returning officer for the local government, Christopher Beten, general manager, Plateau Environmental Protection Agency, started the collation of results from the wards, but abandoned the exercise midway.
A source said: “The official had collected results from some wards when a call came. He immediately told the agents and other ward returning officers waiting to take their turns, that he had been summoned to Jos.”
The source said that the caller also spoke with the electoral officer in charge of Mangu local government, Hosea Plang, as well as a senior police officer maintaining law and order at the centre, adding that the trio left the collation centre few minutes later.
The source said: “This happened last night, but since they left, we have not seen any of them. We suspect that they want to manufacture figures and announce same in Jos. That is why the youths are angry and have reacted by blocking the highway to demand for the declaration of the results.”
Following the youths’ action, motorists coming from Shendam and Langtang axis have been stopped from moving to Jos, while those from Jos are massed up on the other side, waiting to be allowed to move.
A spokesman of the youths, who gave his name as James, said that the road would remain blocked “until the returning officer comes back to declare the result of yesterday’s election”.
He said: “We, the youths of Mangu, will not allow any car to pass through Mangu town until the needful is done by PLASIEC officials that conducted the local governments elections yesterday (Wednesday).”
Contacted, Terna Tyopev, spokesman for the Plateau police command, confirmed the protest, but said that security personnel were trying to calm the youths.
He said: “We are trying to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), in Mangu has confirmed the whole situation to me, but we are doing our best and have appealed to the youths to be peaceful in their protest.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that a poor turnout of voters was observed in most polling units in Plateau as the state held elections into its local government councils.
The elections were held in 13 out of the 17 local governments with Jos North, Jos South, Riyom and Barkin-Ladi left out.
Nigeria news: IDPs in Plateau getting ready for the elections | on NAIJ.com TV