By Inuwa Othman
I wish to start by congratulating Your Excellency, The executive governor of Plateau State, Right Hon. Simon Bako Lalong over your commendable achievements in the two years of your governance in Plateau State. So far in steering the ship of leadership to a peaceful and promising Plateau, you have succeeded in bringing about peace, unity and togetherness among the citizens of Plateau State irrespective of tribe, religion and place of residence. This is achieved through your strong, honest and committed desire to uplift Plateau State to the highest level.
Sir, the journey of your Rescue Team so far has been good despite all odds. I most sincerely commend your giant strides towards running an all-inclusive government that gives all and sundry a sense of belonging in the Plateau project. The numerous appointments you gave our sons and daughters in Jos North Local Government Area are unprecedented and highly commendable. The number of capital projects earmarked to be executed in our areas which has been totally and shamelessly abandoned by all previous administrations, proves to us that you are indeed a rescue governor and our votes are not wasted.
While I truly feel encouraged, I urge you Sir to keep the flag flying and not relent in your efforts of carrying all your citizens along in issues of governance and ensuring a better Plateau State.
But like Oliver Twist, I feel Sir, we should ask for more because for that, we would not be asking too much from a governor who has shown much interest in the welfare of his populace regardless of tribe, religion or political ideologies. I wish to draw your attention and call for your quick intervention into some key areas of development that require your urgent attention in Jos North Local Government Area. To be precise, our areas as follows:
Poor Condition of Public Schools:
Sir, despite all your efforts in ensuring good and effective educational system in the Plateau State, the state of our public schools, particularly in our areas, is still deplorable with dilapidated structures, lack of facilities and laboratory equipment for practical and most of the classrooms are virtually empty with no tables or chairs for the pupils/students to sit on. The chalk boards are worn out and the science laboratories are skeletal with no equipment needed for teaching practical aspects of science. Most of the schools lack libraries where the pupils/students can read and explore. In this age of Information Communication Technology (ICT), pupils/students in public schools are left with only the option of learning the theoretical aspect of computer education as the schools are not equipped with computers for the practicals. The use of teaching aids to facilitate learning cannot be overemphasised, yet public schools lack these vital tools, and even where available, they are not close to being adequate. Remember Sir, “knowledge is power” and every wise government should invest in the education of its youths so as to guarantee a better future for all.
Inadequate Facilities In Public Health Centres:
Sir, one aspect your administration needs to do more is the provision of health care services in Jos-North LGA. Most public health facilities in Jos North are ill-equipped and are mere consultation centres without adequate facilities or drugs for patients. This has led to the up crop of mushroom private health centres which are more or less “slaughter houses” that do more harm than good because they cannot afford the services of qualified health workers. Situations abound where auxiliary nurses always stand in for doctors and patients treated haphazardly without any diagnosis or investigation of medical history of patients.
Denial Of Indigene Rights
Your Excellency Sir, it will interest you to know that most of our young persons of Hausa Fulani extraction are still being denied indigene letter/certificate in Jos North Local government despite all your efforts to bring about unity and togetherness on the Plateau. This led to a situation where our young persons are continuously denied admission into Plateau State owned and Federal Institutions of learning stationed in Plateau State on the barbaric ground that they are considered non-indigenes of Plateau State. Even those who “miraculously” manage to get an indigene letter/certificate and are able to get admission are sometimes denied registration for same reason. Recently, a staff of a Federal Government Institution, University of Jos, denied some young, intelligent Hausa Fulani students who recently gained admission into the university from doing their registration because, according to him “there are no Hausa/Fulani” in Jos-North.
Need To Boost Economic Activities.
Your Excellency Sir, you are quite aware that economic activities have always been an integral part of every human existence. The people of Jos-North are mainly business men and traders and economic activities play a vital role in providing revenue for the government and a source of livelihood to millions of your citizens. You are aware Sir that the only market that serves as an economic turning point for the citizens on the Plateau was burnt and destroyed 16 years ago. Since then, the citizens are finding it very difficult to do businesses in and around Jos North Local Government and invariably Plateau State as a whole. We felt a great relief when it was published that Your Excellency has awarded contract for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the market about a year ago. To our greatest dismay however, we are yet to see any commitment towards this all important project.
Sir, I most respectfully urge you to redouble your efforts in carrying out this all important project as we are sure it will go a very long way in resuscitating the economic fortunes of our dear state.
Abandoned Road Projects:
Sir, I must confess that you have written your name in gold by awarding contracts for the repairs and reconstruction of some roads within the city of Jos. This is a giant stride which all your predecessors neglected and failed to do. We were so elated when you mobilised contractors to site and flagged off the construction activities. We were hopeful that in the nearest future, our nightmares would become a history.
Most unfortunately and to our greatest dismay Sir, we came to realise that immediately after commencement of the work, the works in certain areas have been abandoned as contractors have left the site after making the roads worse than they met them. The roads are left as death traps causing so much dust thereby posing serious health hazards to the citizens. More worrisome is that with the rainy season fast approaching, the roads will become almost un-motor-able.
I therefore wish to appeal to you Sir, that you direct the contractors to resume back to site and speedily complete the construction works so as to forestall any health hazard posed by the continuous and unbearable dust emanating from the abandoned sites.
Sir, your effort towards ensuring peace, development and security of lives and property is overwhelming and cannot be compared with that of all previous administrations. We most sincerely urge you Sir to redouble your efforts in that regard as without peace, security of lives and property, no meaningful development can ever be achieved.
In conclusion Sir, I wish to state that throughout my political life, I have never seen the people of Jos-North coming out to vote en-mass and ensuring their votes count like during the 2015 general elections which led to your emergence as the governor of Plateau State. I believe the people voted for you with so much hope that you are a leader they can believe in and trust. Sir, it is based on these that I decided to write to remind and draw your attention on the above important issues which I believe will go a long way in re-inventing love, trust and confidence of the people in you. While I wish you success in your strides, I hope you will look into this letter objectively and address the issues raised. Long live Jos North Local Government Area, Long Live Plateau State!
– Hon. Othman, writes from Gangare, Jos North, Plateau State.