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.

Buhari's Visit To Plateau And The Lalong Narrative....

Buhari’s visit to Plateau and the Lalong narrative-

20th January 2019

By Yakubu Dati

Last Saturday’s visit to Plateau by President Muhammadu Buhari has emphasized the narrative brought about by Governor Simon Lalong on the Plateau.

At the Rwang Pam stadium venue of the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential rally, people did not care to know where the person standing next to them came from, they did not bother about their faith or ethnicity, all they cared about was that they were there for a common purpose; and in the process demonstrated that it was possible to achieve unity and the peaceful atmosphere for development.

This narrative which is a deliberate policy of the Governor Lalong administration, is a departure from an inglorious past, where nepotism and tribalism ruled the day and where antagonism was elevated to a state policy.

Part of the twist Governor Lalong’s intervention has brought to bear on the state is that Plateau can rise  above sentiments and be on the path towards sustainable development as is currently being witnessed with the many laudable projects springing up in almost every nook and cranny of the state.

Apart from projects initiated and completed by the state government under Governor Lalong which are too numerous to mention here, the governor has attracted lots of  federal projects through the cooperation with other tiers of government and the creation of an enabling environment for investment.

Some of the projects include the N-power project, the Anchor Burrowers Scheme, Mangu water project, Pankshin-Gindiri –Bogoro road, the Lamba- Garam road, the Mobile Police Squadron in Gashish and Shendam as well as the Nigerian Airforce Tactical Search and Rescue unit, kerrang, amongst others.

Unfortunately, there are those who want to cover their eyes to all these achievements simply because it does not serve their political interests to admit that the current administration has walked the talk about making development to thrive in an atmosphere of peace.

What the people of Plateau demonstrated at the presidential rally by turning out in their thousands to receive President Buhari is that the tribe living in denial are fast turning a new leaf.

The unprecedented massive turn out of Plateau people irrespective of party affiliation, the excitement and happiness written on the faces of the people, the zeal and gusto of the masses to catch a glimpse of the President and Governor Lalong speak volumes about how the people appreciate what the current administration has done for them.

This definitely is a vote of confidence passed on the administration of President Buhari and that of Governor Lalong by the people and is a demonstration of the people's endorsement of the bid to return them to office.

It has also removed whatever doubts anyone could have on the  prospects of Governor Lalong retuning to office.

Worthy of note in this regard, is the gale of defections of politicians of repute from other parties especially from the Peoples Democratic Paty, PDP, to the APC as witnessed shortly before and during the visit of the president to Plateau.

As it is, one can say as a matter of fact, that other parties have been emptied of their membership into the APC with nothing left in terms of quality and number that the opposition parties can hold on to.

Shortly before President Buhari’s visit, the APC welcomed Chief Chris Giwa who has been a strong pillar of support for the PDP in Jos South and other adjoining local governments.

Giwa’s size in the politics of Plateau North senatorial zone is huge given his widely acclaimed acts of philanthropy and the consequent amount of goodwill he enjoys across broad.

Little wonder that when Giwa moved to the APC, the whole of Jos South and adjoining local governments shook and the thousands that followed him was such that the PDP could no longer call a meeting there.

The PDP also lost Alhaji Auwalu, popularly known as Dankurma who's influence in Jos North is such that it was said he singlehandedly selected the PDP Chairmanship candidate.

In Plateau South senatorial district, the PDP also lost a great figure in the person of Senator Victor Lar, popularly known as ‘Mainasara.’

Lar had represented Langtang North/Langtang South, the Federal constituency of the current governorship candidate of the PDP in Plateau State, Jerry Useni for eight years. He then contested for the Senate and defeated the same Useni in the epic race for the Senate seat in 2011 which has been tagged the David versus Goliath fight.

Useni’s dream of going to the Senate was only made possible because Lar in 2015 opted to go for a higher office. But the people of the zone know that any day Lar pitches his tent against Useni in a political race, the latter usually takes cover to avoid a repeat of the humiliation he received in 2011.

Lar has moved to the APC with his numerous supporters leaving the PDP in Plateau South empty and without substance.

In Plateau Central, Senator Sati Gogwim, another wonder kid who enacted the David versus Goliath scenario by defeating then Senate Deputy President, Ibrahim Mantu, has joined the APC.

Simon Ngwan, a grassroot mobilizer who had been the bulwark of the PDP in the central zone, also moved to APC with his large followership among the voting populace who believe in him.

Notable decampees like Hon Kassam Ngap Jacob, a member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon Shehu Saleh Hassan, former member of the National Assembly and Hon Simon Barry, a former State Chairman of the ANPP amongst several others has grossly depopulated the ailing PDP.

As it is, no party in Plateau has the quality of persons that are in the APC at the moment. The party has transformed into a mass movement.

This has been made possible by the hard work, candour and camaraderie of Governor Laong, who has embraced all, irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliations.

Little wonder, Plateau is referred to as the home of APC.


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