Dr. Nandul Durfa, Chairman, Board of Directors, College of Health Technology, Zawan, has resigned his appointment, citing alleged electoral fraud and impunity in the Oct. 10 Plateau local government elections.
In his resignation letter addressed to the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, Durfa said that he was opting out because his conscience could not accept government’s impunity that could “bring further instability in Plateau’’.
A copy of the letter, dated Oct. 22, 2018, was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Jos.
Durfa, an APC elder and former Chief Medical Director, Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja, recalled that Gov. Simon Lalong, on resumption of office in 2015, endeared himself to the people by swearing in Mr Hitler Dadi as Chairman, Langtang North Local Government.
Dadi had won the election held in 2014, but was shoved aside by the then state government which swore in its preferred candidate that clearly lost in the polls.
“That action (swearing-in) was applauded by all of us who felt that a fair leader, with a sense of justice, had arrived.
“Ironically, in Aug. 2017, during the councillorship election in my Sabon-Gida ward of Langtang South Local Government, the winner was rejected and the loser sworn in.
“I objected to this, but the abnormally was never rectified.’’
Durfa continued: “On Oct. 10, 2018, local government elections were conducted and the same impunity was repeated in my Langtang South Local Government.
“I can report that the local government electoral officer did not collect the election result from any of the returning officers from the 15 state electoral wards before disappearing to Jos where the “results’’ were announced.
“Reports available to me show that the situation was the same in all other local governments.
“Acts of impunity like this might lead to distrust of the government and may further bring instability to our state,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Durfa is the second government official to resign over alleged fraud that trailed the local government elections.
NAN recalls that Dr. Stephen Hirse, Commissioner, Works, Planning, Research and Statistics, Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), had earlier resigned his appointment, citing electoral fraud.
Hirse had claimed that his conscience would not allow him to be part of “such electoral fraud’’, declaring that he was “a Christian seeking to make Heaven’’.
A top PLASIEC source quotes Hirse as saying that remaining in office while such fraud was being perpetrated would dent his integrity “being someone who is for light and truth and will never be part of what is wrong’’.
Hirse had declared further: “the truth is that the election was not free and fair; I am resigning to show that I was not party to what happened’’.
The PLASIEC official was further quoted as saying that he had accepted the appointment because he wanted to serve but had to leave because “Plateau people were robbed in broad day light’’.
Reacting to the resignations, Mr Mark Longyen, Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to Gov Lalong, said that the appointees were at liberty to relinquish their appointments “anytime’’.
“It is true that they have resigned, but it is also true that the appointment was not forced on anyone. They willingly accepted the offers and are free to leave.
“They have cited reasons for their actions which are personal; we should treat it as such and respect their decisions,’’ he said.