Plateau PDP, APC trade tackles over performance
• We’ve Achieved A Lot — Lalong
After more than 100 days in office, Governor Simon Bako Lalong is yet to constitute a cabinet and that has got the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) writing it off as a non-performer with no projects to showcase. John Akans, publicity secretary of the PDP made this known in a chat with newsmen in Jos, claiming that while other governors were celebrating with projects the Governor of Plateau who was doing a second term could not even put together an executive team.
But Lalong in reacting during a chat on his first 100 Days in the office said he is taking it easy because he wants to do a good job in his second term. According to him, his government has engaged Boston Consulting Group (BCG), to do a development plan for the state, which they just concluded. He said from their recommendations the government will know what to focus and the direction to take. He said the selection of commissioners would depend on the report of BCG.
To boost revenue generation, Lalong said the government had engaged a consultant, Mrs. Ofueko Omoigui Okauru, former chair of the Federal Inland Revenue Service to recommend ways of improving the state’s revenue net.
While there are still occasional reports of killings in remote communities, Lalong admitted that what Plateau has to process after a period of crises, is fragile peace.
He said: “We are addressing volatile areas. You can see that we have already established Air Force Search and Rescue Unit at Kerang in Mangu LGA and I am already preparing to finish the establishment of another Mobile Police Squadron in Gashish, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area. You can see that we have already established a Mobile Police Squadron in Shendam town in Shendam local government area.”
He said as part of facilitating prosecution of criminals, the state has passed a new law and amended the state’s Penal Code and other relevant laws to facilitate quick and easy prosecution.
“Our Administration of Criminal Justice Law is one of the best in the North now and because of that, people have come to Plateau State to copy what we have amended. So, it won’t take time for you to prosecute. Police are doing their best in Plateau State, so you don’t need to carry a criminal to Abuja again.
“You know, in the past, people complain that they apprehend criminals here and they are taken to Abuja, they would never see them again and they would not know whether they were prosecuted or they are just released. But today, those criminals are in Plateau State. I know that they are here and they are undergoing prosecution. What I am thinking of doing next is to also enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Justice. You can see in the last few months, I have dwelt seriously on the Ministry of Justice, some of the things they wanted, they were complaining about, we have enhanced it and also the judiciary, I am building the High Court complex to make them comfortable. I am a lawyer. I cannot leave this place without a good judiciary, he said.”
On challenges of banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnapping, he assured of the report that will affect the entire Northern security apparatus, which shall be tabled at a security Summit. In some cases, he said you need dialogue to succeed because it is not always the best to respond with confrontation.
“I will ensure that the success of such engagement is extended to the North Central,” he promised.”