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Stakeholders decry ‘lopsided appointments’ in Plateau


Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State

Some citizens of Plateau State have criticised the lopsided and biased appointments made so far by the State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong.Referring to the recent constitution of the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), where the chairman of the electoral body came from the same Plateau Southern Zone as the governor, some People’s Democratic Party (PDP) members say that they have been vindicated that the governor has been biased against the opposition in the state.

A chieftain of the PDP and a Plateau Central District Senatorial Candidate, who was narrowly defeated by the former Governor, Senator Joshua Dariye, Chief Alexander Molwus, on the same PDP platform, said governance and appointment depend on the leadership.

According to Molwus, government in power must make sure that appointments are evenly distributed so that the government is not accused of bias. He said that people are crying that Lalong’s government is skewed to favour some people he believes to have worked for the party.

Even during the leadership of the immediate past administration, he said there were hue and cries about awkward appointments to favour one side of the state. “Whether it is true or not, I don’t know. Jonah Jang and Lalong have not also agreed.

“So, as far as I am concerned, if appointments don’t capture all the ethnic nationalities in the state, there is bound to be crisis, whether the government is APC or PDP. How can you have peace when there is no sense of belonging? I cannot say Jang was biased. And in the case of Lalong, I have not bothered to find out if such bias exists. But all we are hearing is that appointments in the state are lopsided.”

However, another public affairs analyst, Comrade Musa Gogobiri, said the appointments in the state do not reflect the interest of the geo-political and ethnic nationalities.

“When you make state appointments to surround your local government, your village, your chiefdom, then, this is lopsided. It can be so described,” Gogobiri added.

According to him, Dame Paulen Tallen (who rejected her nomination as a non-career ambassador), Lalong himself, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sebastian Maimako, Chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), the State Auditor – General, Special Adviser to the governor on Finance, Permanent Secretary on Security, are all from the Southern Zone of the state. “What moral justification does APC have in accusing Jang of playing Berom agenda? There is no politics of fairness here.”

“The PDP in the state has afterall been vindicated on the lopsided and biased appointments at Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) by the APC government of Lalong. The PDP had raised the alarm that Lalong would appoint his brother, Mr. Fabian Ntung as chairman of PLASIEC to do his bidding in the March 2017 local government elections,” a taxi driver told The Guardian.

Truly, Fabian Ntung was named chairman of the eight – member committee of the electoral body.Even President Muhammadu Buhari has also been accused of lopsidedness in his federal appointments in Plateau. His accusers fingered the Sports Minister who hails from the Southern Zone as one; the two ambassadorial nominees from the state are also from the south. They are Dame Pauline Tallen, and Dr. Bawa Haruna Abdullahi Wase all from the southern zone.

But out of fairness, Tallen rejected her nomination as almost all the federal appointments in the state are just made from the Northern part of the state, the zone where the governor comes from.

But an APC man in the state, Mr. Musa Matthew, defended the governor, saying that he has not seen anything bad in the choice of who to appoint.According to him, Nigerians should look at the pedigrees of the appointees and not where they come from. “If they are performing and delivering, what do you want again? Your interest is taken care of.

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PLASIECSimon Bako Lalong
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