The State of Plateau as a platform seeks to promote democracy on the local level by bringing the fore issues concerning the State, and facilitating citizens debate on public issues, through participation in government decision making.

NYSC most relevant these critical times - Lalong

Date: Sep 27 2017 4:00AM

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has said the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme has remained relevant and imperative for national unity‎ since its establishment over four decades ago.

‎Speaking yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Annual Management Conference of the NYSC in Jos the Plateau State capital, the governor said, "At this critical time in our country that there is clamour for secession and restructuring in several quarters, the scheme remains a unifying factor, especially amongst the youths who form a large chunk of agitators.

The NYSC scheme has contributed greatly to the integration and unity of our nation... I therefore, urge the coordinators of the scheme to continue to sustain and improve on the giant strides so far achieved."
Sales approval of government properties in Lagos, Jos, Kaduna by Nasarawa State Assembly.

Date: Sep 26 2017

Nasarawa state House of Assembly yesterday approved the request of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to sell the state properties in Lagos, Jos and Kaduna state due to the dilapidation and deteriorating condition of the properties.

Speaker of the House Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi disclosed the approval yesterday while reading the house resolution over the governor’s letter presented by the majority leader of the house Tanko Tunga at the floor of the house in Lafia.
Abdullahi said the proceeds realized from the sales are to be ploughed back to complete the multi-purpose Nasarawa state House at the Central Business area, Garki, Abuja as well as other projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the citizens of the state.

“We are passing a resolution approving the request of Governor Tanko Almakura to dispose government properties in Lagos, Kaduna and Jos due to the following reasons: Dilapidation and deteriorating conditions of the buildings, high cost of maintenance of the buildings and payment of municipal taxes, squatters challenge in all the structures and collection of illegal rent by unscrupulous officers with such monies not coming to the state,” the speaker said.
According to the letter, “The sale of the assets is now liquidated Nasarawa Investment and Property Development Company(NIPDC) Ltd to offset its liabilities while the balance, if any, is ploughed back to government to pursue its developmental agenda.”
He directed the clerk of the house to communicate the house resolution to Governor Al-Makura for necessary action.
Peace Corps stage ‘WakaForPeace’ in Jos

Date: Sep 22 2017

The Nigeria Peace Corps in Plateau State yesterday marked this year’s World Peace Day by staging a walk around Jos with placards that called for harmonious living between the various communities in the state.
The walk tagged ‘WakaForPeace,’ was aimed at dousing tensions between Hausa and Igbo communities following last week’s skirmishes in Jos.
The state Commandant, Sunday Joseph, said Nigerians must resolve to live in peace irrespective of their geographic locations and blamed the recent skirmishes in Jos and Bukuru areas on the false information circulating on the social media.
“Mischief makers should not plunge the country into unnecessary crisis which is why we are calling on government to put mechanism in place to regulate their activities on social media,” he said.
Group seeks participation of Plateau youth in electoral process

Date: Sep 22 2017 

The Plateau State Coalition on Electoral Reforms and Good Governance (PLASCER) has called on youth to actively participate in electoral process.

The Coalition consists of Plateau state’s Ministry Women Affairs, Youths and Sport Development, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Faith Based Organizations (BSOs) and Media among others.

It made the call through the acting Director, Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP), Mr Nelson Ananze at a Town Hall Meeting with Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) at Crest Hotel, in Jos.

Mr Ananze advised youth not only to be active when elections were around the corner but to do good things before the elections come, during and even after.

He also urged them to join civil society groups so they can work closely with the electoral bodies in order to engage them in conducting free, fair, credible and acceptable elections.


LG polls: Plateau APC assures level field

LG polls: Plateau APC assures level field
Ahead of the forthcoming local government elections in Plateau State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it will give a level playing field for all contestants.
The chairman of the party, Latep Dabang stated this yesterday during a town hall meeting organised by the Plateau State Coalition on Electoral Reforms and Good Governance (PLASCER), in Jos.

Mr Dabang explained that internal party democracy was crucial for their party because they had seen a number of political parties that collapsed after they derailed from the norms.  “As chairman of APC, I am not taking the issue of internal democracy lightly, because it has been responsible for the collapse of PDP having ruled for over 15 years,” he said.

Plateau United shop for fresh legs to bolster squad

Plateau United shop for fresh legs to bolster squad
Albert Dakup, the Media Officer of Plateau United of Jos says they are aware of the enormous task ahead of them as they represent Nigeria in next year’s CAF champions league.
Dakup, who spoke yesterday, said that modalities were in place to strengthen the team with quality players who have the CAF Champions League experience in order to galvanize the team to perform well at the forthcoming CAFCL.
He explained that the technical crew has already penciled down such players and efforts were on to engage them for negotiations.
On the rumour making round that the Plateau United were negotiating to secure the signing of Kano Pillar’s defender Jamiu Alimi, Akwa United’s midfielder Hafiz Aremu, Enyimba’s striker Mfon Udoh and MFM FC’s striker Sikiru Olatubosun, Dakup said that the team can’t disclose their names because “we are still negotiating with their clubs.”
Aware of Nigerian teams’ poor performance in previous CAF Champions League, Dakup said Plateau United would prepare adequately in order to go far this time around and make the country proud.

On the ongoing AITEO Cup where his team advanced into the quarter-final and would play the first leg of the two-legged affair against Niger Tornadoes today, Dakup assured that the Jos-based soccer lords would give their best, stressing that winning the double is not out of place.
Plateau United who won the National Challenge Cup in 1999, made history by winning the Nigeria Professional Football League title in their 39 years of existence to become the 4th team in the North-Central to win the league title after Mighty Jets of Jos, BCC Lions of Gboko and Lobi Stars of Makurdi.

3,000 IDPs graduate from free summer classes in Plateau

About 3,000 children mostly Internally Displaced Persons from the central zone in Plateau State have graduated from free summer classes organized by the Jingina Empowerment Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation which aims to restore hope to the IDPs. 
Chairman of the Foundation, Dr. Hassan Jingina yesterday said the free summer classes were part of the foundation’s three key programmes in education, health care and human empowerment which would be executed every year targeting different sets of beneficiaries.
Attempted attack: Plateau taskforce kills 5 assailants, loses 1 soldier

Date: Sep 12 2017

Operation Safe Haven, the multi-security taskforce maintaining law and order in Plateau State, southern Kaduna and parts of Bauchi State said it killed five assailants at the weekend while repelling an attack on Hukke village in Bassa local government area of Plateau State Friday evening.

Reports has it that a soldier with the taskforce was also killed in the fire exchange while another was shot in both legs and is presently responding to treatment at the OPSH headquarters clinic.
About 20 people had been killed in the early hours of Friday when assailants launched an attack on residents of Ncha village in Miango district while they were sleeping. It is suspected that the same assailants had attempted to invade Hukke village and had engaged security agents in a fire exchange.
OPSH Media and Information Officer, Captain Adam Umar yesterday said, “Apart from the five that were killed by our men some were injured. But the thing with these assailants is that they don’t leave their dead, they run with them. We also lost one of our men and another was injured and is responding to treatment.”

He said the Miango area was still dominated by men of the taskforce who had since commenced day and night patrol and were combing the area in search of the assailants.
The Chairman of Miango Development Association, Irigwe Chiefdom in Bassa, David Chinge had told our correspondent that the gunmen had exchanged fire with security agents from across a river and that a young boy from the community had been shot in the leg.

Flood ravages communities in Plateau’s Kanam LGA

Flood ravages communities in Plateau’s Kanam LGA
Riverine communities in Kanam local government area of Plateau’s southern senatorial zone have been ravaged by heavy flooding which cut off some villages, submerging houses and washing away farmlands.
It was gathered that the flooding followed a downpour which overflowed river banks, rendering hundreds of people homeless.
Plateau State Deputy Speaker, Hon. Shehu Saleh Yipmong whose community was affected, had moved a motion on the floor of the House of Assembly on Wednesday and the House had mandated the committee on Public Accounts to write a report to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on the need to render assistance to the hundreds of people affected.
Yipmong who represents Dangi constituency, in a phone conversation yesterday said that the affected communities included his home village of Yipmong, Kyamsangi, Busari, Nameram, the roads linking Guruntung to Jarmai in Wase LGA as well as the Bagyar and Kyamsangi bridges which had been submerged.

“The same thing happened last year and a lot of people were affected yet no assistance came to them. I have personally moved a motion and we hope and expect that this time, SEMA will come to the aid of the people because several houses and farmlands have been damaged,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of SEMA, Alhassan Barde said the agency “will follow up to ensure that the report from the House is submitted so that we can take the necessary action.”

APC has come to stay in Plateau – Deputy speaker


Shehu Yipmong is the Deputy Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly. In this interview, he says since the All Progressives Congress (APC) capitalised on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) mistakes in the state to come to power in 2015, it is mindful of its responsibilities to remain the party to beat. Excerpt:

APC has come to stay in Plateau – Deputy speaker
Saleh Shehu Yipmong is the Deputy Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly
There is this notion that governors across the country have pocketed the state houses of assembly such that they okay and rubber-stamp anything that comes from the executive. Is that the scenario in Plateau as well?
What is enshrined in the constitution is for the house of assembly to be an independent component of government; independent of the executive. But as you said, houses of assembly across the country are being influenced by the governors all along. It didn’t begin today. For us in Plateau, we agree to rubber-stamp and even iron-seal anything from the governor so long as it is for the benefit of the common man.
On the Plateau for instance, it is only the 8th assembly that made the procurement law feasible. It reduces extravagance and poor handling of projects. The same house of assembly enacted a law that has been passed and signed, that is the Plateau State Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Law which has been working with the over 50 ethnic groups and 300 communities in terms of making provision for small businesses to spring up. If okaying all of these and more makes us rubber-stamp as a house, then we agree we are rubber-stamp, and we shall continue to rubber-stamp and iron-seal most of these documents so that the people will continue to benefit.
Would you support the bill to put an end to the state and local government joint accounts?
The local government is supposed to operate as a tier of government and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, gives that power to each tier of government to be independent.
So, by the time the local government is being subjected to the state, you will realize that a lot of things will not go down well, and that is what we are facing now. For instance, a local government cannot construct even a single culvert on its own without authorization from the state government. This is entirely not good for the system at all.
So, I believe when the joint account is separated, the local government can function properly because that joint account issue has been suffocating the system. That is why, again, when you look at the entire country, you will find out that the middle class is missing since the majority of that class is coming from the local government system where they are supposed to function on their own.
What all these mean is that if the local government is not on its own, less people control the resources and many people at the grassroots will be out of business. But, by the time the local government is on its own, things would be better. Even the rural-urban migration would be reduced to the barest minimum because there are lots of things which businessmen and technocrats can do at the local government level if the local governments have funds to engage their services.
There is this belief that governors are benefiting from the joint account and would therefore not let the LGs go.  Do you think Governor Simon Lalong would support it? And if not, will that not cause friction between you as members and him?
You see, the APC government’s slogan talks about ‘change’ and how change should begin with each and every individual. So, we strongly believe that since the body language of the party is about change, whatever will benefit Nigerians is what the party and its office holders would support.
I therefore believe that whatever the parliamentarians bring forth, so long as it is good and for the interest of the common man, the governor as a committed party man will support and uphold it.
What is your take on the issue of independent candidature?
To be very fair to the National Assembly, the change is actually working in the sense that this is the time the National Assembly is performing marvelously well. When we look at the history of democracy in Nigeria and participation in politics, you know that there must be a platform before you seek office. And that is why because of lack of internal democracy at some level, you see that people would be moving from one political party to the other. But by the time there is that constitutional amendment that gives room for independent candidature, it would help a lot because if a politician is not satisfied with the conduct of his/her party, such politician doesn’t need to go to another party but stand on himself/herself as an independent candidate.
Nigerians are getting more aware democratically, and so if any independent candidate comes out and the person has good track record known to the people, and has the people’s goodwill, that candidate can get massive support to win an election in whatever capacity. So, I would support independent candidature in Nigeria.
Politicking for 2019 has already commenced and the PDP is strategising to win back the state. Do you think your party, the APC, stands the chance of winning again?
You know that human beings are of classes. There are people who sit down to watch and there are people who think and make things happen. 2019 is still a long time from now and no one can say whether he/she would be privileged to see that year or determine what happens. But, it is equally important to work towards your tomorrow, and every politician and businessman plans ahead. You won’t say because you don’t know whether or not you will reach tomorrow, you won’t plan for it.
So, even if some people sit somewhere and say the APC was an accident and all of that, they should equally know that everything comes as an act and action. If for example from 1999 to 2015, the PDP was winning all the way before they were defeated, even if people say it was an accident, it is vital to let them know, too, that accident doesn’t just happen like that. Sometimes, it could be divine. Other times, it is not programmed that it could happen that way until there is a mistake somewhere. If someone makes a mistake, another would capitalize on it; that was what happened between the PDP and the APC.
Nevertheless, the APC has come to stay on the Plateau. This is because when you look at the antecedents and what is playing out now, you would know that the APC has truly come to stay. Although some of the progress by the APC could be slow because of the inherited system, yet the party is making good progress in the state and the people have seen clearly how governance should be. Go and find out, during the rule of the PDP in the state, you hardly see a situation where people of diverse groups come to a town hall meeting to discuss how governance should be done.
The government those years never took the impulse of the people and then goes back to the drawing board in order to design governance the people would benefit from. But with what the APC has done right now, the people can see clearly and can thus decide which party to vote in 2019. But I can bet you that the APC is on the threshold of victory and history, particularly on the Plateau, and I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind in this regard.


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