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Lalong’s 2019 bid: New movements on the plateau

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The disclosure by Governor Simon Lalong of his kowtow to pressures to re-contest the governorship of the state has reignited political dynamics as political stakeholders on the plateau take position on his bid.

By By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Governor Simon Lalong made his disclosure at a meeting of  stakeholders at Yelwa Club, Jos nearly two weeks ago.

Gov. Lalong

His bid followed a motion by the member representing Jos South/Jos East federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Edward Pwajok to compel the governor to seek a second term.

Since then, senior party members have been falling over one another to identify with the governor.

At the said meeting, various speakers including a former Deputy Governor, Dame Pauline Tallen, former gubernatorial aspirant, Arc Pam Gyang, former Chairman, National Population Commission, Samaila Makama among others paid tribute to Governor Lalong for successfully steering the Party away from crisis following his Committee report which gave an amicable solution to the crisis at the National level.

However, while some especially from outside the ruling APC opposed the declaration, diverse groups have continued to commend it, pledging their support to ensure the dream becomes a reality.

Among those in support of the second term bid is the former Chairman, National Population Commission Sama’ila Makama, who said, Governor Lalong’s integrity and character has endeared him to the leadership at the National level as a credible leader stressing, “Governor Lalong represents humility, openness, simplicity and character to demonstrate honesty at all times which has endeared him to Mr. President.”

Also the Chairman, Plateau Youth Council, Pankshin local government area Chapter, Chikas Kumle, a Youth Activist from Mikang local government area, Boniface Tamwai and the Chairman, Association of Concerned Plateau Indigenous Youth Groups, Rotdunna Sekat thanked the Governor Lalong for “responding to the popular demands of Plateau people.”

In separate occasions, Kumle described Lalong as “a Listening Governor” who is passionate about the youths, Tamwai said “Mikang youths will work round the clock to deliver 100 percent” and Sekat added the endorsement was “based on the Governor’s track record.”

While commending the Governor for sustenance of relative peace, employments of teachers, promotion of agriculture ensuring improved infrastructure as well as the Operation Safe Haven for working to maintain the peace in the State, Sekat maintained that Lalong’s getting of another term, would make the State to fully return to the path of development.

According to him, “We the concerned youth leaders from all the ethnic groups in Plateau have come out to unanimously endorse Governor Simon Lalong for another term of four years. This endorsement is premised on 10 key areas of education, welfare, peace and security, youth development, human capital development, agriculture, tourism, health and infrastructure.

“The Governor has demonstrated good leadership qualities, if given another term in office, Plateau will fully return to the State where peace, justice, equity and development shall be the order of the day, we declare our support for his re-election. Having reviewed the security challenges we are facing on the Plateau, we are pleased with the new tactics and innovation, the Commander of Operation Safe Haven and his men are adopting in dealing with the challenges.

“The deployed Motorcycle Platoon which ensures quick response is commendable, we appeal to all ethnic groups in the State to come together as one and work together with the security agencies by sharing credible information and suggestions on how best to overcome the security challenges.”

However, PDP is said to be quietly repairing its house after the marked division party members said led to the loss of the state to the APC. Permutations towards a strong candidate from Plateau Central or South to confront Lalong are said to be in the works with the former Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON in Plateau believed to be a crucial platform for whatever the PDP is likely to present.

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