Two months into the implementation of full autonomy for the Legislature and Judiciary in Plateau State, heads of the three Arms of Government have vowed to continue to work together in the interest of citizens of the State.
This is even as Governor Simon Bako Lalong has disclosed that Plateau has become a model for other States who have sent teams to understudy its operations in order to fine-tune their modalities for implementing autonomy in their States.
Governor Lalong was speaking when he received the report of the State Accounts Allocation Committee (SAAC) which provided the framework and final negotiations that led to the adoption of the modalities for implementing autonomy in Plateau State.
Governor Lalong said the implementation of full autonomy for all arms of government is a clear indication that his Rescue Administration believes in the growth and stability of institutions that are necessary for building democracy and allowing the people to benefit more from good governance.
He said “right from the onset, we were committed to implementing autonomy because we were never afraid. From the benefit of my experience as a lawyer, legislator and now Governor, I clearly understood that autonomy is a win-win situation for the arms of Government and the people. It will definitely increase accountability and transparency as well as frugal management of resources. Because we were sincere and honest, we had no difficulty in confronting tough hurdles towards reaching a compromise on various issues. Today, many States are coming to learn from us. At the moment, Niger, Adamawa and Nasarawa States have sent their people to come and study what we have done”.
Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Nuhu Abok Ayuba, expressed the appreciation of the House to Governor Lalong for his personal commitment and openness which made him to be the first Governor to implement full autonomy even when many States are yet to fully embrace and implement the idea. He said Governor Lalong has written his name in gold and will remain a shining example for democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria.
Chief Judge of Plateau State Justice Yakubu Gyang Dakwak also appreciated the efforts of the Governor who did not only adhere to legal requirements, but also facilitated political solutions to deal with grey areas that stood in the way of implementing the autonomy in a way to satisfy all the arms of Government.
He maintained that the implementation of Autonomy is by no means a divorce among the three arms of Government, but an arrangement to enhance effectiveness of the arms in serving the people. He emphasised that the concept of one Government is superior to that of independence, hence the need for more synergy in the new dispensation.
Secretary to the Government of the State, Prof. Danladi Atu, who chaired the Committee said the members who were drawn from the various arms worked assiduously to reach an amicable resolution and will continue to work together as the implementation continues, in order to eliminate any challenge that may arise.
The Governor will also sign the Funds Management Law which has been passed and is a key component of implementing autonomy as it will guide the management of all funds accruing to the various tiers of government.