BY ACHOR ABIMAJE,jos
It has been so good for Plateau State workforce under Governor Simon Lalong: The governor owes nobody in the state’s workforce, even pensioners. Peace which once eluded the state has also returned, yet it is desired by watchers in the state that the governor should buckle up the more.
On May 29, 2017, the administration of Governor Simon Lalong will clock two years in office. Although not much is seen to have been achieved during this period, analyst believe that there is need for improvement and to consolidate on already what is on ground.
Among some of Lalong’s successes is that Plateau has witness a relative peace both in Jos metropolis and in the 17 local government council that make up the state.
He has succeeded in silencing the state civil service with payment of salaries and pensions including gratuity that have been cleared and paid up to date. Aside this, Lalong has some road construction projects and the resuscitation of ailing industries to his credit, such as the reviving of the moribund Highland Bottling Company limited.
The governor has the state’s house of assembly at his beck and call. Luckily for him, the elections in Edo and Ondo in which he was in charge for the APC primaries eventually threw him up as the President’s Man.
One of his failures is his inability to successfully conduct local government election in the state. On assumption of office he quickly dissolved elected council chairman and replaced them with hand-picked management committee. The opposition sees this development as deriving from fear of being disgraced at the pool. Governor Lalong tactically delays local government elections, citing all sorts of reasons.
Apart from that, he has not shown that he is dutifully assessing his appointees, evaluating their electoral value and their ability to deliver at the critical time; and whether there is need for him to make changes to strengthen governance in the state. He is one of the governors that has not reshuffled his cabinet since coming on board.
Also most of his political appointees if not all has one political ambition or the other. A lot of them are jostling to contest elections come 2019, a thread that observer of plateau politics view as very dangerous for the governor saying if all his aides will contest election, who are those that will do the ground work for him.
Another of his albatross is that all his political appointees allege being starved of fund by the governor. All their claims and approval are said not to attract cash from Lalong; as such very many of Lalong’s aides complain of being starved of fund by the accountant general of the state. This development according to them will definitely have a negative effect on the governor.