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Plateau: Kinsmen Advice Lalong On Good Governance

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Kinsmen of Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, at a victory dinner advised him on how to break the jinx of failure associated with most two- term governors. Achor Abimaje reports

Charity they say begins at home. That is exactly what the All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders from  Shemdam, Qua’an-Pan and Mikang local government of Plateau state had done by being the first to organise a reception dinner for one of their own, Governor Simon Lalong and other elected representatives from the zone.

Indeed,  contrary to a popular assertion that a prophet has honour except in his home town,the stakeholders were able to prove the saying  wrong, as they organised a dinner/ reception for their own son,  Governor Simon Lalong and other elected representatives from the area.

Governor Simon Lalong is from Shendam local government of southern Plateau, while Qua’an-Pan and Mikang local government areas were carved out of Shendam council area.

The reception dinner had in attendance local government chairmen from the three councils,  traditional and religious  leaders, members of the state House and national assembly, the deputy governor, Prof. Sunny Tyoden, Chief John Dafan  the former  chief of staff, political bigwigs, illustrous sons, daughters  and party supporters from the area.

Other residents came in their hundreds, thronging Eliel Centre, the venue of the reception to witness the memorable occasion.

In his opening remarks, chairman of APC stakeholders forum in Shendam, Qua’an-Pan and Mikang local government areas, Sir Joseph Ari, recalled that in the build up to 2019 general elections, the stakeholders comprising of a wide assortment of leading political leaders, prominent business persons and leaders of all shades and opinions, drawn  from the three council areas came together as one people, with one aspiration and a unity of purpose to work tirelessly to ensure the victory of their brothers running under the platform of APC.

According to him, today the zone is the only one in the state that has successfully elected all candidates of their great party.

Ari also noted that their task and collective aspirations were made much easier by the achievements recorded by the leader of the rescue administration, their son and brother ,Governor Simon Lalong in the last four years, stressing that the giant strides not only gave hope to the people of the zone but the generality of the people of Plateau state who repaid his excellent performance by overwhelmingly voting for him and other candidates of the APC.

He challenged the elected representatives that they need not stress their expectations and the great burden of responsibility, which God has placed on their shoulders, while urging them to remain united and focused in their quest to deliver quality representation to the people so as to uplift them to the next level in terms of their economic, political and social well being.

The guest speaker who is the former Attorney general and commissioner for justice,  Prof. Clement James Dakas while speaking on the topic  titled  “Second Term Prospects and Challenges in Democratic Governance: The Lalong Administration in focus”, said the Mandate of Government according to  Section 14(2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution is : “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”

He urged Lalong to consolidate on his first term achievements, with the benefit of hindsight, avoiding the pitfalls of the first term,  to have a better understanding of the terrain as he is no longer under the shackles and intrigues of forces that may have threatened to undermine his second term bid while leveraging on chairmanship of the Northern Governors Forum.

Speaking on the second term challenges, the former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Jos asked whether second term  is a curse, as he perceived the tendency of second  term leaders to be less successful than their first terms, and plagued by major scandals, policy inertia, some sort of catastrophe or other major challenges like food is ready, It is our turn to eat, as well as the lame duck factor.

He added that the challenges the governor may likely face  include chairmanship of northern Governors Forum as both an opportunity and challenge,  2023 intrigues: risk of party factionalization and 2023 Intrigues.

He listed others challenges to include pressure from traditional rulers and religious leaders, adding that key consideration of the governor should be competence and Integrity.

Speaking on the way forward, Prof. Dakas urged  the governor to be courageous,  saying courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity for action in spite of  fears, adding that he should remain focus and  delegate responsibilities to trusted aides  and ensure he appoints people with good  quality as  cabinet members and aides – to create a healthy balance of competent technocrats and politicians.

He warned the governor to beware of political scavengers and sycophants  and avoid them like a plague.

Prof. Dakas further stressed “The bigger picture/reference point is never lose sight of why you run for office. The legacy question, the young rich man and the Greek God Zeus: To live forever is to live in the grateful hearts and on the grateful lips of those whose lives you have positively impacted.”

For his part,  Governor Lalong  said his administration would work to ensure that the benefits of democracy is felt in all nooks and crannies of the state .

He said,” My administration is determined to better the lives of citizens of Plateau. I want to assure this forum that I will work in line with the ideals  and  aspiration of Plateau people. “My appeal to the people of Plateau state is for them to correct our steps when you see that we are going off track, our doors will be permanently open for those willing to offer us advice and even constructive criticisms .”

The governor further stressed : “ My fellow elected representatives , our election came  with a measure of expectation and responsibility which we must achieve.

“Therefore I urge us to work as one to uplift the living standard of our people. It is only if at the end  of our tenure , we succeed in putting smiles on the faces of our people, we would be adjudged to have accomplished our mission.”

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