Several cars were smashed in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital on Monday when All Progressives Congress, APC and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP supporters clashed at a ceremony to inaugurate local government officials elected on Saturday.
The state electoral commission had on Sunday declared that APC won six chairmanship seats against PDP’s four while results from three councils were declared inconclusive
Violence broke out at the gate of Nasarawa Government House, venue of the inauguration, when supporters of both parties, chanting slogans of their candidates, started pelting stones at each other.
Although no serious casualty was recorded, more than 10 vehicles were smashed before police officers dispersed the youths using tear gas canisters.
Reacting to the skirmishes in a brief speech to swear in the officials, Gov Umaru Al-Makura called for peace amongst the people irrespective of their political differences, stressing that “We can only grow and develop in a peaceful environment,” he declared.
The governor commended the people for their peaceful conduct during the elections and described the outcome as “indeed very historic.”
“The peaceful conduct of the polls has shown that we are all law abiding and I want this spirit to be sustained,” he said.
He assured the chairmen that they would be given a free hand to administer their councils as an entity recognised by the constitution as the third tier of government.
Meanwhile, the governor has warned the newly elected local government council chairmen in the state against corrupt tendencies, and vowed to deal severely with anyone found culpable.
“My administration has zero tolerance for corruption and will never spare anyone involved in it,” he stated, and directed the officials to emphasise accountability, transparency and good governance.
Al-Makura said his administration was determined to entrench good governance rooted in prudence and effective management of resources.
He tasked the new council chairmen to strive to provide dividends of democracy to the electorates and urged them to see their assignment as a divine calling for which they would give account hereafter, and advised them to be fair to everyone.
The governor challenged the officials to work toward improving internally generated revenue of their councils so as to have more funds for project execution.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Henry Omaku, Chairman, Doma Local Government Council, promised that the new officials would strive to improve on the living standard of their people.