Fanto, a lawyer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Jos that the two parties – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – had disappointed the rural dwellers over the years.
“The 2019 elections provide an opportunity for the rural voters to test new leaders outside the PDP and APC.
“The PDP led Plateau for 16 years. Some of its leaders moved to the APC in 2014 and formed the state government in 2015, but nothing has changed for the rural dwellers.
“They still suffer utter neglect. There are no roads, no health facilities and electricity. The schools are an eyesore. We cannot continue like this,’’ Fanto said.
The lawyer, who said that she had been a member of the PDP, and also worked hard to ensure it was defeated by the APC in 2015, said that the insecurity, bad economy, nepotism and poor leadership that “killed’’ PDP were even worse under the APC administration.
“Plateau needs another platform that is based on honesty and trust. We need a new foundation which neither the PDP nor the APC can offer.
“We must show those two political parties that we are tired of their lies and deceit. It is not about me or my aspiration to be senator. It is about our children and their tomorrow,’’ she said.
Fanto regretted that the rural dwellers had continued to live without good water, saying that most villages in Plateau South had boreholes that were not functional.
“The current Plateau governor is from that zone, just like the water resources commissioner, but we do not have water. It is a big shame, but that is the unfortunate truth,’’ she said.
She also decried the lack of good roads in the area, saying that agricultural produce from the rural settlements hardly reach the right market because there was no access to the urban centres.
“The worst road in Plateau today is the Garkawa-Yelwa road. It is one of the most dangerous paths on the Plateau, yet we have a sitting governor from that area,’’ she lamented.
Fanto promised to make a “huge difference’’ if voted into the senate, and called on the voters to give their mandate to a woman because “women, as mothers, rarely make promises that they will not keep’’.
The candidate also decried the “massive poverty’’ among the rural areas, and promised to mobilise them to form cooperative societies through which they could access facilities offered by international organisations concerned with poverty reduction.
Fanto also expressed deep regrets over the conduct of the Oct. 10, 2018 local government elections in Plateau.
“The local government elections were the worst thing that has ever happened to Plateau.
“People were asked to go and vote, but their votes were not even collated before the `results’ were announced. The funniest aspect is that the `results’ were announced without scores.
“In my own local government and ward, the agents are still holding to the results from the election venues. No one has asked them for them,’’ she said.
She advised INEC to “do what is right in 2019’’, warning that the security agencies might not be able to contain the confusion that an unacceptable election could throw the nation into.
“As lawyers, we have advised INEC to be fair to all and avoid playing games. We have also advised INEC to ensure that people’s wishes were not subverted,’’ she said.
Fanto advised Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter’s Cards and use them to decide who should govern them, saying that it was not right to refuse to participate only to criticise leaders voted in by others.
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