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Plateau PDP Governorship Aspirant Urges Unity To Protect Ancestral Lands

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Mr Samuel Jatau, an aspirant to the Plateau governorship seat, has urged residents of the North-Central State to unite and fight invaders seeking to seize their ancestral lands.

“`There have been too many killings on the Plateau; clearly, the invaders want to uproot the communities and take over their ancestral lands. We must unite and resist them,’’ Jatau said on Sunday in Jos.

The aspirant, in a speech at the inauguration of his campaign coordinators for the 17 local governments, particularly warned Plateau residents against viewing the attacks as targeted at a particular group.

He said that the invaders were interested in grabbing Plateau’s fertile lands, and urged the people to see the persistent attacks on rural communities as targeted at the entire state.

Quoting figures from the state government, Jatau regretted that many had been killed, while more than 20,000 people were currently in 15 IDPs camps in Riyom, Bassa, Mangu, Barkin-Ladi and Jos South Local Governments.

The aspirant, who unveiled a three-point agenda comprising security, stability and rapid economic growth, advised Plateau residents to be blind to tribal, religious and political differences and live as one indivisible front.

He urged the people to accept and treat each on merit, and avoid hate speech or other attitudes that could breed mutual distrust, suspicion and loss of confidence.

Jatau promised to build a Plateau that would be safe for all, adding that he would initiate measures that would enhance economic growth and boost the people’s living standards.

The aspirant alleged that Plateau had remained stagnant since the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over governance in 2015, and blamed that on lingering internal wrangling in the ruling party.

“Many states have gone far, but Plateau has been stagnant largely because of the fierce rivalry among factions of the APC.

“The factions are locked in a fight which has distracted the governor and made it difficult for him to concentrate and function. We cannot continue like this,’’ he said.

Jatau said that Plateau residents were hit by hunger, poverty and unemployment, and urged them to reject the APC and vote for a government that would address their concerns.

While promising to run a listening government, the aspirant said that he would hit the ground running by appointing people into offices in his first week in office.

“Some governors have spent close to one year before appointing commissioners. I think that is not right because it means that the governor did not prepare any blueprint for effective governance,’’ he said.

On the possible “purchase’’ of delegates by his rivals, Jatau urged the coordinators, most of who are delegates that would determine the fate of the aspirants, to collect money offered by his rivals.

“You should feel free to collect monies offered by my rivals and use it to work for me so that we can emerge victorious and actualise the dream of a better Plateau for all,’’ he said.

Earlier in his address, Mr Davou Nyango, Director-General of the campaign organisation, had urged the coordinators to remain focused and keep their eyes on the goal of winning the primary and general elections.

He said that the 17 coordinators were selected on personal merit, and urged them to educate Plateau voters on the qualities of Jatau and what he had to offer them.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jatau, an architect, who recently retired as director in the Plateau housing ministry, is among the eight aspirants seeking the PDP ticket ahead of the 2019 general elections.

His rivals include former FCT minister retired Gen. Jerry Useni, former Shendam Local Government Chairman, Kemi Nshe, Rep. Johnbull Shekarau, among others. (NAN)

 



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