Governor Lalong Signs Revised 2020 Budget into Law, over 27 Billion Chopped Off Due To COVID-19
Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has signed into law the revised 2020 Appropriation Bill into law.
The 2020 Budget was revised from N177,340,521,174.00 to N122, 848,822,913.00.
Governor Lalong while performing the ceremony at the new Government House little Rayfield Jos, said the revised budget became necessary because of the need to take care of the realities of COVID-19 which has greatly affected the economy of the State.
In a statement, Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham quoted Lalong as saying: “For us as a State, the impact has been huge as our earnings have drastically fallen even in the face of demands for funds to carry out statutory responsibilities and also respond to the challenges of the corona virus pandemic. That is why we engaged in various cost-cutting measures to enable us manage the lean resources efficiently and also try to fulfill our most basic responsibilities of providing services to our citizens”.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to working through this challenging period by effectively applying available resources to the most critical areas that will benefit the people and assist them bequeath a lasting legacy for the people of Plateau State.
He directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning as well as all MDAs to ensure its strict and effective implementation in line with extant financial regulations.
On funding the budget, Governor Lalong said a reputable revenue collection firm has been engaged to improve on revenue targets, especially the Internally Generated Revenue which is crucial to funding the 2020 budget.
He also explained that the Government will continue to strengthen the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA); the Efficiency Unit; Bureau for Public Procurement; Liquidity Management Committee; as well as the Project Monitoring and Result Delivery Unit (PMRDU) to maximise resources and eliminate wastages.
Commissioner for Budget and Planning Mr. Sylvester Wallangko explained that the revised budget consists of 42.8 Billion naira for capital expenditure and 79.9 billion naira for recurrent expenditure. He further said the revised budget is in deficit of Twenty seven billion, seven hundred and nine million, four hundred and twenty one naira (N21,709,429,246,00) which will be funded from loans from domestic and external sources.
Plateau State Ranks Eleventh in Nigeria With Number of Confirmed Coronavirus Cases
Plateau State is having a spike on the cases of coronavirus, as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) records 62 new confirmed cases in the State.
This bring the total number of confirmed cases to 762.
However, 349 patients have been discharged while 18 deaths were recorded.
Plateau ranks eleventh on the NCDC Chart with the States with highest infection rate in the country.
Lagos remains the epicentre with 13,626 confirmed cases, followed by FCT – 3,211 cases, and Oyo State with 2,219 confirmed cases.
Nigeria has recorded a total number of 37,801 confirmed cases, as at 21 July 2020 and 805 deaths.
Governor Lalong Eulogises Bishop Kukah’s Mother as She Is Buried
Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong has condoled with Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, over the death of his mother, Late Mama Hauwa Janet Kukah, who was buried in Ikulu, Kaduna State, on Friday.
Governor Lalong who is the Chairman, Northern Governor’s Forum, also represented the Chairman, Nigeria Governor’s Forum, Kayode Fayemi and the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, who sent their regrets for inability to attend.
In his remarks, Governor Lalong eulogised late Mama Janet Kukah, for her deep faith and loving nature, which he said created the right environment for many to benefit from her wealth of wisdom and generosity.
Lalong in his Official Twitter handle @PLSGov, further said Mrs Kukah gave her children proper upbringing, which propelled them to stand up for justice, peace and righteousness.
He said the death of Mama at 86 calls for celebration for a life well lived and the gift of her son to the world, as one who upholds the truth and fights for justice.
Governor Lalong Condoles House of Reps Member, Gagdi Over Death of Father
Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong has commiserated with Member representing Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi over the death of his father, Mallam Adamu Yusuf Gagdi.
Governor Lalong in a condolence message described the death of Mallam Adamu, a renowned and respectable Islamic scholar and the Imam of Gum-Gagdi Mosque, Kanam LGA of Plateau State, as a great loss to his immediate family, community, and Plateau State.
Lalong, in a statement by his Director Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham said: “ Late Mallam Adamu was a rallying point in his community as he used his position as an Islamic cleric to not only teach virtues of love, peace, tolerance and hard work, but also engaged in mentoring the youths to value humility above undue search for quick glory.”
The Governor said he particularly recognised his contributions towards fostering dialogue and understanding among people of different tribes, religions and socio-political persuasions which had contributed to to restoring peace on the Plateau.
He said the State shares the pain with members of his family, particularly the Rt. Hon. Gagdi and urged them to continue to honour his memory by ensuring his legacies are sustained in the service to humanity.
Mallam Adamu Yusuf Gagdi died on the 16th of July 2020.
Governor Lalong Marks 5 Years in Office, Promises To Implement Lasting Legacies
The Plateau State Government has pledged to implement lasting legacies that will benefit generations unborn by providing good leadership, support peaceful coexistence, deliver basic services and infrastructure to the people.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong who gave this assurance on Sunday during the Church service at the Government House Chapel, to mark the 2020 Democracy Day and his 5th year in office, thanked God and the people of Plateau State for the opportunity to serve them.
A statement signed by his Director Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, read in part: “Let me use this opportunity to appreciate God for giving me and my deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden the privilege to serve the people of Plateau State in the last five years. At the same time, we thank the people of the State for giving us their mandate during the 2015 and 2019 elections. We recognize that they had many choices among the many aspirants and candidates, but settled for our ticket and the APC. We cannot take this for granted as we are humbled by this responsibility bestowed upon us to work for the peace, progress and development of Plateau State.”
In a remark, the Chaplain of the Government House, Rev. Fr. David Ajang advised leaders in power to serve with integrity, justice and empathy especially now that the world is grappling with coronavirus.
Similarly, Chief Judge of the State, Justice Gyang Dakwak, said Nigerians should support strong democratic tenets that are founded on the rule of law, justice, accountability and good governance.
In a goodwill message, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Plateau State, Rev. Dr Soja Bewarang, said the initiative taken by Governor Lalong to restore peace to the State yielded positive results, and he further made case for first-generation schools in the State to be rehabilitated.
The APC Chairman in the State, Latep Dabang also commended the Governor for embarking on implementing people-oriented projects in the State as well as carrying out the vision of the party.
The church service which was observed under COVID-19 guidelines was attended by the wife of the Governor, Regina Lalong, Prof. Sonni Tyoden and his wife, and other top government officials.
Governor Lalong Advocates the Wellbeing of Children as Prime Factor to Being Heart Beat of the Society
Plateau State Government says children are to be properly groomed for leadership roles in future.
The State Governor and Chairman, Northern Governors Forum, Simon Bako Lalong who said this during the Children’s Day, on Wednesday, in Jos, described Nigerian children the “hope of Nigeria who deserve all the love and care available to prepare them for the future”, in order to contribute to the growth and development of the nation.
Lalong said: “Though this year’s Children’s Day is being marked in a low key manner owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the significance of the Children’s Day cannot be lost because they remain the heartbeat of our society and hold the key to our future. We must therefore continue to invest in their education, health and psychological development so as to prepare them for the task ahead.”
In a statement issued to journalists by the Director Press and Public Affairs, to the State Governor, Makut Macham, Lalong said it has become necessary to protect children from external factors that could mar their future, hence the decision taken by his Rescue Administration to make provision for a conducive learning environment where quality education and healthcare will be assured.
Furthermore, the governor explained that the Government had made provision for online, radio and television lessons to keep school children engaged with learning activities, as schooled were closed due to COVID-19.
Similarly, Governor Lalong said the same measure of care was considered in the repatriation of the Almajiri in the State back to their parents in order to safeguard them from abuse on the streets and ensure they obtain quality education in their abode.
EID-EL-FITR: GOVERNOR LALONG GREETS MUSLIMS, URGES MORE PRAYERS FOR PLATEAU STATE AND NIGERIA
Plateau State Governor and Chairman, Northern Governors Forum, Simon Bako Lalong, has rejoiced Muslims as they mark another Eid-el-Fitr under unusual conditions occasioned by the Corona virus pandemic.
Lalong who congratulated them for successfully undertaking and concluding the Ramadan fast – thereby fulfilling a very significant injunction of the Islamic Faith, said the period calls for solemn celebrations.
He said “While this year’s Eid-el-Fitr may be celebrated in solemnity and privacy of your homes, the occasion nonetheless presents the opportunity for our Muslim brothers and sisters to reflect on the spiritual benefits accruing from their fasting and prayers, and apply it to their lifestyle for a better society where there is love, peace and tranquility”.
Governor Lalong said the challenges of COVID-19 will remain with us for a long time to come and that is where we shall need lifestyles that are commensurate with the teachings of our faiths as people and Governments work together to assist one another to build a better society.
He appealed to Muslims to continue to cooperate with Government by observing all regulations put in place to curb the spread of Corona Virus by observing social distancing, use of face masks, constantly washing hands and applying sanitizers, avoiding large gatherings and staying at home – particularly now that Plateau State is witnessing community transmission in some areas.
The Governor also enjoined Muslims to reach out to less privileged members of the society and people of other faiths as a way of enhancing bonds of friendship and brotherhood that promotes tolerance, peace and solidarity.
While wishing all Nigerian Muslims Eid Mubarak, Lalong asked them to continue to intensify prayers for the peace and progress of Plateau State and for God to stop the Corona Virus pandemic which has interrupted lifestyles, freedoms and economic prosperity.
Dr. Makut Simon Macham, ANIPR,
Director of Press & Public Affairs to
the Governor of Plateau State &
Chairman, Northern Governors Forum.
23rd May 2020.
Northern Governors Condole Sokoto, Zamfara States and Chief of Army Staff
The Northern Governors Forum has condoled with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai, over the demise of his mother, Hajiya Hauwa Yusuf Buratai.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong in a condolence message described the death of Hajiya Hauwa Buratai as a great loss to her family, Borno State and the Nation in general.
In a statement by the Director Press and Public Affairs to the State Governor, Makut Macham,on Thursday, the Governor said “We share in this painful loss and deeply commiserate with the Chief of Army Staff who has devoted his career and energy to the fight against terrorism, banditary as well as other crimes that threaten Nigeria’s territorial integrity. We pray that the Almighty God will grant the soul of the departed matriarch eternal rest and comfort the family”.
In a related development, Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Simon Bako Lalong has sent condolences to the Government and people of Sokoto and Zamfara States over the death former civilian Governor of the old Sokoto State, Dr. Garba Nadama.
Governor Lalong expressed sadness over the death of Dr. Garba Nadama, who he said was not only a great historian, but remained a major source of inspiration and institutional capacity building for Governance in Nigeria.
Lalong said the nation will miss the great contributions of the former Governor who combined academics with politics in a refined manner that motivated others and enhanced good governance in the old Sokoto State during the second Republic.
While commiserating with the Governments of the two States, and the family of the deceased, Lalong prayed Almighty God to forgive the sins of the departed and comfort the family.
Use of Face Mask Must Be Obeyed Says Gov. Lalong as Plateau State Records another Covid-19
Plateau State has recorded another new case of coronavirus on Thursday.
This brings the total number to five confirmed cases, according to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Governor Simon Bako Lalong has called on the public to adhere to the enforcement of face mask in public places, in order to prevent community transmission of COVID-19.
Governor Lalong gave the charge on Thursday, in Jos, during his weekly announcement on the ease of lockdown in the State, which he said had been made permanent to commence every Thursday at midnight and ends every Sunday midnight as well.
Lalong said “This pattern will apply until further review.”
The State government has aligned with the presidential directive on the enforcement of the use of non-medical face mask in public places, as well as a nationwide curfew which starts by 8pm to end 6am daily.
In a statement made available to journalists by the Director Press and Public Affairs to the State Governor, Makut Macham, the Governor further reiterated the ban on border closure and inter-Local Government movement except for essential services.
He said:”the requirements for use of sanitizers, handwashing, sanitation and hygiene shall continue to apply.”
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Health Dr. Nimkong Ndam, declared the index case coronavirus free and ready to go home.
The patient was confirmed COVID-19 positive on 23 April, 2020, after test was conducted on her on 17th April, 2020.
The Consultant Physician, Department of Infectious Disease, at Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, Dr. Nathan Shehu, described the treatment as successful.
The Plateau State government also cautioned that the public should continue to observe all preventive and health guidelines to curb the spread of the disease, adding that all other general ban remains in place.
Case of Coronavirus
Plateau State has recorded one new confirmed case of coronavirus on Tuesday.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on Tuesday, published daily updates of the confirmed new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, revealed that the State now has a total of four confirmed cases of coronavirus . None has been discharged and no death was recorded
The State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong had urged citizens to observe all preventive and health guidelines. These are frequent washing of hands under running water, respiratory hygiene and social distancing.
The public were also encouraged to wear face mask and to inform the relevant security agencies of any intruder that comes into the State.
NCDC recorded 148 new cases of COVID in Nigeria, with the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus put at 2950, while 481 were discharged and 98 deaths was recorded.
At 57, Governor Lalong Praises God, Savours Goodwill and Craves Low Key Celebrations
Plateau State Governor and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Simon Bako Lalong says he is grateful to God for grace, favour, good health and divine wisdom as he marks 57 years, Tuesday, 5th May 2020.
Governor Lalong who says he has been inundated with messages of felicitations from far and near on the occasion of his birthday, gave special thanks to his family, friends, associates, the good people of Plateau State and Nigerians who have impacted his life in one way or the other over the years.
In a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, on Tuesday, the Governor however says in the spirit of the season where the world and Plateau State in particular is waging war against a vicious enemy-COVID-19, he craves the understanding of all his family, friends, associates and well wishers to mark the day low-key in solemnity and prayers for God to intervene and stop the pandemic.
“Although my birthday evokes special feelings, I have decided that this year’s celebration be marked low key. It will make me more happy to see that we work together to defeat Corona Virus by breaking community transmission and adopting measures that make us all safer” he says
He appealed to citizens of Plateau State to continue to support the fight against the Corona Virus pandemic by strictly observing guidelines relating to the lockdown and restriction of movement, social distancing, use of face masks, sanitizers and other hygiene measures as well as reporting any suspected case for prompt action.
Governor Lalong therefore asked his friends, well wishers and associates to channel resources to fighting COVID-19, rather than in celebrating his birthday, saying he appreciates the tremendous goodwill they have already conveyed to him directly and through other channels.
He also assured the people of Plateau State that he remains more committed than ever in consolidating peace and Infrastructural development and repositioning the economy of the State towards prosperity and diversification for the good of the people who have shown him immense support.
Northern Governors Condole Katsina, Nasarawa and Zamfara Governors
The Northern Governors Forum has condoled with Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State over the death of his mother-in-law, Hajiya Fatima Ibrahim Maude (Tagari), who died at the age of 72.
In a condolence message, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Lalong commiserated with Governor Masari and his second wife Hajiya Zakiyya over the demise of Hajiya Fatima.
In a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, on Tuesday, Lalong said the Forum was saddened by the loss of Hajiya Fatima Tagari, who made significant sacrifices to train her children and inculcate into them the virtues of godliness, piety and service.
They prayed Allah to forgive her sins and grant her soul eternal rest.
Similarly, the Northern Governors have commiserated with the Government and people of Nasarawa State over the death of a member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Suleiman Adamu.
The Forum’s Chairman Simon Bako Lalong in a condolence message described as sad, the demise of the law maker who devoted his life to driving quality legislations for good governance of Nasarawa State and the development of his constituency.
He commiserated with the family of the late legislator, Governor Abdullahi Sule, the Speaker Nasarawa House of Assembly and the entire people of the State for the loss, and asked them to take solace in the fact that the deceased lived a vibrant and active life serving people at the grassroots.
In a related development, the Northern Governors Forum has mourned the death of the Emir of Kaura Namoda Alhaji Muhammad Ahmad Asha.
Chairman of the Forum Simon Bako Lalong expressed shock over the death of the Emir who passed away at the age of 71, describing the sad event as a great loss to the Emirate and Zamfara State.
He condoled with Governor Bello Mohammed, the Zamfara Traditional Council and the Kaura Namoda Emirate over the demise of the late Emir, who made a lot of contributions towards peace as well as made intellectual contributions to the development of the country during his days as an accountant and auditor.
The Forum prayed to God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss and grant his soul eternal rest.
Northern Governors Meet, Resolve to Purchase Covid-19 Mobile Test Vans and Strengthen Border Closures
The Northern Governors Forum met on May 1st, 2020 to continue their discussions on tackling the Corona Virus Pandemic in the region.
The meeting which again held via teleconferencing was presided over by Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Lalong.
The Forum reviewed some of the issues they earlier raised such as the request for more COVID-19 Testing Centres in the North which are grossly inadequate.
They acknowledged some improvement through the intervention of the Federal Government, but said it was still a far cry going by its population and increase in COVID-19 cases.
They therefore decided to purchase mobile Testing Vans which they believe will facilitate testing in the rural areas.
The Forum also expressed deep appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his quick intervention in Kano State because of the spike in the number of COVID-19 infections recently.
On the issue of inter-State border closure, the Northern Governors expressed serious concern that despite their efforts, the borders are still being compromised and more illegal routes are being created which is giving rise to more inter-State transfer of COVID-19. They also noted that some of the trucks transporting goods are also used in smuggling people across States in violation of movement regulations.
They therefore decided to close all their borders from 6pm to 7am to all trucks carrying goods so as to enable proper scrutiny and examination the following day, which is difficult to achieve in the night when most of the infractions happen.
They also agreed to increase the use of vigilante groups, neighbourhood watch, and traditional rulers in enforcing the border closures.
On the profiling and return of Almajiris to their States of origin, the Governors noted that the exercise has commenced and is going on well except for some few logistic challenges, which are being addressed, between Governors of originating and receiving States.
They also agreed that Almajiris sent from one State to another should be profiled, tested and accompanied by State officials and their Alaramas (teachers) to facilitate the process of settling in.
They were also briefed on the post-COVID-19 Economic Blueprint for Northern Region by Chairman of the Committee Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State who said the document is being developed and will soon be presented to the Forum.
They also mandated the Governors of Kebbi, Katsina, Borno, and Plateau to engage the leadership of Security Agencies on the threat of banditry, terrorism and kidnapping on agriculture in the north as farmers are afraid to go their farms for fear of attacks.
The Northern Governors also commended the efforts of the Private Sector led Coalition Against Corona Virus (COCAVID) which has commenced the distribution of palliatives to States.
Press Release by:
Dr. Makut Simon Macham, ANIPR.
Director of Press & Public Affairs
to the Governor of Plateau State
& Chairman, Northern Governors Forum
1st May 2020.
Gov. Lalong Assures Workers Implementation of Minimum Wage Post COVID-19
Plateau State Government says workers will be paid their minimum wage post COVID-19, after the state has recovered from economic downturn due to the disease.
Governor Lalong, in a congratulatory message to mark this year’s Worker’s Day, on Friday, “described Nigerian workers as the engine room for progress and stability of Nigeria especially in these critical times.”
The Governor, in a statement signed by his Director Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, said the workers in Plateau conceded to the postponement of the increase in their minimum wage due to coronavirus pandemic without “hesitation or compulsion”.
He gave the assurance that the state government will keep to its side of the bargain by honouring the agreement after normalcy returns to the country.
Governor Lalong restated that his administration “will continue to keep faith with workers by paying their salaries and emoluments as and when due and building their capacity through training and retraining.”
He lauded the essential worker for their support in the fight against COVID-19, saying his gratitude goes to those who work in the water, energy, health, media, security sectors and other frontline workers who contribute to the fight against Coronavirus.
Lalong assured all Plateau State workers that their wellbeing will continue to be given priority while the process of recruiting new workers which has been suspended will resume anytime the State recovers from the economic impact of the Corona Virus pandemic that has depleted its resources and capacity to continue with the exercise.
While wishing the Workers a solemn May Day celebration, Lalong urged them to stay safe by fully observing all safety protocols and other measures put in place by Government to combat COVID-19.
Stigmatizing COVID-19 Patients Capable Of Causing ‘Devastating Effects’ And Hindering Tests From People Of Public Interest – Says Lalong
By Juliana Uzoka
Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong has urged the citizens to desist from stigmatizing and discriminating against people infected with coronavirus.
He said it is not a death sentence.
Governor Lalong who said this on Thursday, during a State broadcast to announce that the lockdown had been eased from midnight 30th April to midnight 3rd May, to enable residents re-stock food items and be ready for the next total lockdown, which will come up on 4th May, to align with presidential directive on national guidelines on lockdown.
He said the State had adopted a “pattern” of easing lockdown and allowing time for restocking every midnight Thursday to Midnight every Sunday.
Lalong “appealed to citizens to avoid stigmatizing people who are either quarantined, suspected or confirmed to have the disease.”
The State Governor further added that bad treatment to those with COVID-19 will lead to “psychological torture”, which he said could have “devastating effects” on their well being making it difficult for people to present themselves for tests in future.
“Scientific evidence suggests that there is a high survival rate among those infected,” he said.
Lalong further advised that now that there is an index case in the state, people should be more cautious to avoid community transmission and also be alert to blocking imported cases.
Governor Lalong said the following decisions were taken to combat COVID-19:
- In addition to restrictive movement in and out of the state, all borders will be closed, and Local Government Areas were also banned from moving from one to the other, except for those on essential services.
- Farmers were advised to farm within their localities and LGAs in order stop community transmission and strengthen contact tracing.
- Profiling and repatriation of Almajiri.
- Presidential order for all citizens to wear facemasks in public places starting from 4th
- Presidential directive for nationwide curfew to be observed from 8pm to 6am, starting from 4th May; people on essential duties were exempted.
Governor Lalong assured citizens that their sacrifices were appreciated, and in line with government’s commitment to reduce the hardship among the vulnerable, the distribution of palliatives to orphanages, people living with disabilities and the elderly had commenced on April 25th.
“While Government is doing everything possible to expand the number of beneficiaries, members of the public, especially those who have the means are strongly encouraged to also initiate personal interventions by reaching out to the needy within their communities,” he added.
However, he warned that rumour mongering and unconfirmed information being peddled about the distribution of palliative, was capable of destroying efforts made and advised the public to desist from such acts.
Northern Governors Console Adamawa Governor Fintiri Over Death of Mother
The Northern Governors Forum has expressed deep condolences to Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, over the death of his mother, Hajiya Fatimah Umar Badami, who died at the age of 68.
In a condolence message through its Chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, the Forum said it was devastated by the sad news of the departure of Hajiya Fatimah who was a great pillar to the Governor and members of his family.
In a statement signed by the Director Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Makut Macham on Tuesday, Governor Lalong said: “we sincerely commiserate with our brother and colleague, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri and the entire people of Adamawa State over this huge loss, especially at this difficult time when the Governor is working hard to fight the Corona Virus Pandemic. We assure him of our support and prayers and urge members of the family and people of the State to accept her death as the will of God and continue to pray for the repose of her soul”.
The Forum also encouraged Governor Fintiri to be comforted by the legacy of love, sacrifice and service that his mother demonstrated during her lifetime and the inspiration she gave to her immediate community as a devout Muslim.
They also prayed God to grant her soul eternal rest.
Community Spirit Encouraged In COVID-19 Lockdown
A former member of Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Vincent Venman, has given 700 widows and vulnerable women palliative, to cushion their hardship brought about by COVID-19 lockdown in the State.
The member who worked with the 7th Assembly gave each of the women N10,000 each with food items.
A resident, Daniel Kura, posted on his account that” N10,000 and a packet of maggi [was given] to each of the 700 widows and vulnerable women identified across Langtang South, Local Government Area of the State.”
COVID-19: Residents of Jos North Express Delight as Water Tankers Move into Their Community
Residents of Jos North Local Government Area, battling with lack of water supply, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, got a relief as water tanker was sent to the area to alleviate their suffering.
The Permanent Secretary, Plateau State Government, office of the Deputy Governor, Honourable Emmanuel Gowim and the Central Youth Council (CYC) made it possible for the residents of Jenta Anda in Jenta Adamu to be supplied with water, after years of water shortage.
A resident Eric Mangud who announced this on his face book account, said “Over the years, the community has been faced with the challenge of water supply.”
A well meaning Nigerian, Mrs. Deborah Ramadan was among those who brought the “succor” for water tankers to supply water to the community.
Obey the Coronavirus Preventive Guidelines or Risk Being ‘Arrested and Prosecuted’ Says Gov. Lalong
By Juliana Uzoka
The Plateau State Government has called on citizens to abide by the laid down guidelines on protection against COVID-19, as the State resumes total lockdown midnight Sunday 26th April 2020.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong in a statement signed by his Director Press and Public Relations, Makut Macham, on Sunday, warned that “violators will be arrested and prosecuted”.
Governor Lalong who had given a three days grace for citizens to re-stock their homes from the 23rd April to 26th April, said while the fight against coronavirus pandemic is intensified, the public should shun unverified information.
He further added that people should “seek reliable communication from relevant government channels”.
Lalong also enjoined citizens to cooperate with government against the fight against coronavirus pandemic.
He assured that government “is doing everything possible to contain the situation, particularly now that the State has an index case.”
“Corona Virus Cannot Revive Your Political Irrevelance”, APC Fires Back At Plateau PDP
The world is on the edge because of the catastrophic impact of the Corona Virus Pandemic, which is not only threatening the lives of people, but the economies of nations and dramatically changing livelihoods.
No doubt, these are precarious times that have put Governments across the world, including Nigeria on their toes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ensure treatment of those infected as well as find a cure.
Since the first index case was reported in Nigeria, the APC-led Rescue Administration in Plateau State under the leadership of Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong took proactive steps to ensure that the disease does not infiltrate the State, and in case of any eventuality, the State is able to respond quickly and robustly to deal with the situation.
For Governor Lalong, this emergency requires all hands to be on deck, as the virus does not discriminate against its victims irrespective of gender, tribe, religion, ethnicity, economic status, or even political affiliation.
That is why he has continuously engaged all stakeholders in fighting the pandemic and boosting the State’s preparedness. Typical of his all-inclusive Governance style, he has carried all stakeholders along and galvanized the support of all well-meaning citizens of Plateau State in the fight against COVID-19, not minding what divide they belong.
However, the good people of Plateau State, and indeed the APC-led Rescue Government has been inundated by the disgraceful and futile attempt of the moribund People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to not only distract the Governor from focusing on the fight against COVID-19, but also hoping to make cheap political capital from the pandemic. SAD!
Ordinarily, the Plateau APC would have ignored the shenanigans of the collapsed PDP that has been in the Intensive Care ever since the discerning people of Plateau unanimously rejected it in 2015 and 2019. Since then, the party has continued to attempt to re-invent itself through its old tricks of lies, propaganda, and deceit.
Most disgusting is the fact that they have been desperate in trying to use COVID-19 (a global health emergency) as their comeback strategy having lost their last bid to gain any relevance as the Supreme Court finally buried their lost ambition by affirming the mandate that the people of Plateau State entrusted in the Rescue Governor, Simon Bako Lalong.
The APC deems it inevitable to put the records straight and clear the doubts of the people of Plateau, Nigerians and the International Community who have followed with admiration the doggedness of Governor Lalong and the Rescue Administration in taming the COVID-19 monster from ravaging the State.
Perhaps the PDP has stayed for so long in the ICU and in so much slumber that it woke up in hallucination with an incoherent, disjointed, poorly written and empty “so-called” Press Statement issued by one of its factional Publicity Secretaries by name John T. Akans on Saturday 25th April 2020.
In the concoction, it spewed ignorance; outright falsehood; total disrespect for the health and safety of the people and Plateau State; outright disregarded to minimum moral standards; and even attempted to “claim and pretend” that they care.
They began with a monumental gaffe that they have “independently monitored” the response of the State Government to the Corona Virus Pandemic. How laughable can the PDP be when it is crystal clear to even a toddler that since the outbreak of the disease, they have been busy junketing and casting aspersions on virtually every step taken by the Government in combating the disease without offering a single suggestion, talk more of solution.
The PDP not only failed to convince itself on what it meant by the need for “proactive steps” to be taken by the Government, but equally betrayed its hidden agenda by citing States like Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, Oyo, Edo, Cross River and Benue which it claimed have “adequate” health facilities and personnel for COVID-19.
What a travesty! Quick questions to ask the Plateau PDP are: When did they carry out this analysis and came to this sumptuous conclusion? How did they go about this assessment despite the lockdown in Plateau State and the States they claim to have assessed? What were the criteria for the assessment? Who validated it? Why did they fail to specify the “fantastic” facilities in these States? Why did they not point out what Plateau State lacks for responding to COVID-19?
Let us now educated and shame the PDP who in 16 years damaged and left in ruins every sector in Plateau State before the coming of the Lalong Rescue Administration. For starters, the APC Government has been busy trying to revive the near-dead health facilities across the State since assuming office and it has largely succeeded. Were it not for the past destruction of the PDP, the State would have been far ahead in all facets including the health sector. Nevertheless, Governor Lalong has remained undaunted in rebuilding most health facilities, and even initiated World-Class Health Projects under the Lalong Legacy Projects located in the three senatorial districts of the State.
The PDP knows but refuses to acknowledge the fact that apart from taking many strategic decisions, Governor Lalong visited the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos University Hospital and Bingham University Teaching Hospital to ensure that the Isolation facilities are ready for the fight against COVID-19. During that visit, he directed the immediate purchase of more Ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment, medicines and other accessories for treatment of Corona Virus. All these have been delivered. In addition, he directed that health personnel should be trained and retrained on the Corona virus disease to make them battle-ready.
As the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Governor Lalong led his colleagues in demanding for Testing Centres in the North, which immediately paid off when the NCDC designated the NVRI Vom as a Testing Centre with capacity for over one thousand samples in a day. Indeed, the recent index case for Plateau was detected at the centre and more samples are being tested now. The PDP is blind to all these!
Talking about being proactive, has the PDP pondered to ask themselves, or at least those who can educate them on why Plateau State did not record any case months after the disease spread to more than 20 States? What could be more proactive than holding off for that long despite pressures of cross border transmission from neigbouring States who had recorded cases? If you cannot give credit to Governor Lalong, please do not be desperate to discredit him. After all, he is not looking for cheap praises, but doing his job according to the oath of office he took and the social contract he has with Plateau people.
If the PDP stopped at these unfounded allegations, it would have been mild. However, they have since deployed their antics of mobilizing the people through misinformation where they orchestrated and stage-managed a failed protest over palliatives in some streets of the Jos Metropolis.
Instead of them to cover their faces in shame over this failed attempt, they again made reference to the broadcast by Governor Lalong where he stated that the distribution of palliatives to the vulnerable and weak will commence on Saturday 25th April 2020.
Because they were afraid that the Governor’s directive would be carried out and nullify their campaign of calumny as well as thrash them to the dustbin of history, they quickly circulated messages via social and some mainstream media sympathetic to them to deceive the gullible on and organize their members to protest.
Unknown to them, the Palliative Committee headed by the Dependable and Loyal Deputy Governor Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden had commenced the distribution of the palliatives beginning with orphanages, people living with disabilities, orphans and the elderly on Saturday 25th April as directed by His Excellency the Governor.
When their hired protesters were intercepted and addressed by the Chairman of Jos North Local Government and the Commissioner of Police, they melted away with apologies, and now ready to face the anger of the protesters for deceiving them and taking them on a wild goose chase.
Apart from trying to pitch the people against the Government which has failed woefully, perhaps the PDP thinks that the palliatives will be administered in the character and style which is shabby, selective, embezzling and corrupt as they did with public resources during their years of infamy.
No way! Governor Lalong has never discriminated against anybody and will never do so, especially at difficult times like this. His directive is that every Plateau citizen that falls into the category of the vulnerable will get the palliatives whether he or she is in PDP, APC, or any other political party; religion; ethnic group or any other affiliation. This is the era of CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY, not business as usual of the PDP era.
Talking about transparency, we will not dignify the allegation of the APC for transparency in budget expended by the Government on fighting COVID-19.
Needless to say, the APC Rescue Administration is managing all funds prudently and transparently despite the fact that the PDP looted the treasury when it held sway and left little for governance. The people of Plateau State are assured and know that the Lalong administration remains prudent and accountable as the books are open for all to see. PDP should bear in mind that the National Bureau of Statistics last year declared Plateau State as the SECOND LEAST CORRUPT State in Nigeria in its annual report, thanks to the strategies put in place by Governor Lalong.
The donations towards COVID-19 have been open and announced on all media platforms. The UBA account where the monies are domiciled is in the public domain even though the PDP and all its members have not donated a dime to it. They are rather eager to generate and propagate lies of the Government spending fictitious 500 million naira on decontamination alone! Kai PDP, ku ji tsoron Allah!
Instead of dissipating energy in chasing shadows and attempting a failed misadventure of recuperation using COVID-19, the PDP should rather join in supporting the Rescue Administration in finding solutions to the pandemic. If they cannot do anything, they can at least assist in making the citizens particularly their members in understanding that this pandemic is no respecter of persons whatever their party, religion, tribe, economic status and other affinities.
Consequently, they can wisely use their time and talent to help members of the public see reasons why they should abide by Government’s directive for lockdowns, restriction of movement, border closure, adherence to hygiene, sanitation and social distancing which are key to defeating the disease. This will be more beneficial than the unpatriotic act of crying wolf where there is none and trying to make an honest, hardworking and people-oriented Government look bad.
We are facing an emergency that can consume all of us if we do not stand together to fight and defeat this monster that has ravaged even the most advanced countries in the world. Not everything is politics! In any case, elections have been fought, won, and lost even at the courts.
This is time to govern, and the people’s choice, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong, KSGG, is working hard to ensure that there is no further spread of the disease in the State. He is not only concerned by the health implications of COVID-19, but also working day and night to ensure the economic survival of the State after COVID-19. Let us not distract him please, for the sake of the good people of Plateau State. Let’s THINK and ACT Plateau, stay at home and stay safe!
Long live Plateau State.
Hon. Chindo S. Dafat
APC Publicity Secretary, Plateau State
26th April 2020.
Press Statement (Copied)
Northern Governors Condole Education Minister Adamu Adamu and Former Borno Governor Ali Modu Sheriff
Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong has commiserated with the Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu over the death of his mother, Hajiya Fatima Adamu Baaba who died at the age of 109.
In a condolence message signed by the Director Press and Public Affairs to Governor on Saturday, Governor Lalong described the death of Hajiya Fatima as a great loss to the Adamu family, the people of Bauchi State and Nigeria at large.
He said, though her death is painful, there is a lot to thank God for, particularly her many years of service, sacrifice and love to both her family and the community in general.
Lalong said, “Hajiya Fatima lived an exemplary life that created the right environment for her immediate children and others within the community to be raised with values that have enabled them to achieve greater heights. The Northern Governors Forum deeply commiserates with her six children including the Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu”.
Similarly, the Northern Governors Forum has expressed sadness over the news of the death of Alhaji Modu Sheriff, Galadima of Borno Emirate, and the father to former Governor of Borno State Ali Modu Sheriff.
The Chairman of the Forum Simon Bako Lalong in a condolence message extended heartfelt commiserations to the family of the Former Borno State Governor, their colleague Governor Babagana Zullum of Borno State, the Shehu of Borno and his Council as well as the entire people of the State over the loss of the octogenarian.
The Northern Governors said the testimony of the late traditional ruler who served his people with dignity, love and courage, which endeared him to them.
They also commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari whose daughter, Halima is daughter in-law to the Late Alhaji Modu Sheriff, the Galadima of Borno.
The Governors prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Plateau State to Commence Distribution of COVID-19 Palliative
By Juliana Uzoka
Plateau State Government says the disbursement of palliative to residents in the State will begin on Saturday, as the State eased the lockdown for three days, to begin again on Monday, 27th April.
The three days grace was granted by the State governor, Simon Bako Lalong, for residents to re-stock their homes starting from Midnight Thursday 23rd April, to Sunday 26th April.
Governor Lalong who disclosed this on Thursday, in a State Broadcast, said his Deputy, Sonni Tyoden who heads the palliative committee will ensure the distribution gets to “those truly in need”.
The Governor had mentioned in an earlier broadcast preceding previous lockdown that 61 households had been identified as beneficiaries for the State palliative.
He appealed to those who are comfortable to show understanding.
He however said he had given directive for civil servants and pensioners in the State to receive their salaries in the coming days.
“I have therefore directed the Commissioner of Finance to ensure that in the next few days, people start getting their alerts for April emoluments.
“In order to ensure our economic future, I have equally directed the State Economic Advisory Council, headed by Chief Ezekiel Gomos, to brainstorm and come up with practical and comprehensive strategies on the sustainability and continuation of the State Economy during and after COVID-19,” he said.
Plateau State recorded its first index case of coronavirus in the State on Thursday. The State governor said while efforts are on to curb the spread, residents should promptly report influx of people crossing into the State from the borders.
He said the disease is not a death sentence but advised that people should start wearing facemask to protect them from getting infected.
Furthermore, Governor Lalong said in the second phase of the lockdown which ended on Thursday, 769 violators were arrested and prosecuted in the mobile court, bringing the total number since the lockdown commenced to 1, 607.
He said the enforcement team has stepped up surveillance, contact tracing and investigation of suspected cases.
“As of today, we have investigated 231 cases and quarantined 221 people who came in from States with COVID-19 cases in our facilities in Heipang and Mangu. Thirty three (330 others have been discharged from self-isolation,” he said.
Governor Lalong said the total lockdown which will commence on Monday, will retain previous guidelines on essential workers permitted to work and the ban on business and movement.
Plateau Records First Index Case of Coronavirus
By Juliana Uzoka
Plateau State Government has announced the confirmation of the first index case of coronavirus in the State.
This was disclosed when the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) published its daily report on confirmed cases in the country on Thursday.
The Commissioner of Health, Dr. Ninkong Lar who said this in a statement in Jos, on Thursday, explained that the index case came into Jos from Kano, on the 17th of April but was quarantined in line with stipulated guidelines on prevention.
Dr. Lar said, “upon exhibiting symptoms, nasal and oropharyngeal swab was taken and sent to NVRI Vom Laboratory for COVID-19 testing,” the result came back positive unfortunately.
He said the patient is undergoing treatment in an isolation centre and is responding to treatment.
The State Surveillance Team has swung into action to begin contact tracing to track those exposed to the index case, adding that other public health measures will be put in place to curb the Spread.
Earlier, Governor Simon Bako Lalong urged citizens not to panic but rather to adopt preventive measure guidelines of good personal and respiratory hygiene, social distancing and further reiterated the need for people to stay at home.
Governor Lalong charged citizens “to be vigilant and report any suspicious case while assisting Government to enforce border closure,” which he said is an important approach in controlling the disease.
Plateau Advances For Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan
By Juliana Uzoka
Plateau State government has directed its Economic Advisory Council to setup an advanced committee to draw up strategic roadmap that will chart the way forward for its economic recovery post COVID-19.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong said the coronavirus has ravaged the global economy and Nigeria is not left out, hence the need to plan towards “its revival and recovery” for the State.
Lalong in a statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, on Wednesday in Jos, said the State Economic Advisory Council headed by Ezekiel Gomos will draw up a working document that will serve as a guide.
He said however, Gomos is expected to carry out this assignment with experts in the public and private sectors who will “come up with practical and comprehensive strategies on the sustainability and continuation of the State Economy under COVID-19.”
Governor Lalong directed the Council to”liaise and consult “widely with all Ministries, Department and Agencies, Local Government Councils; key private sector players in the State who work in the: manufacturing, agricultural, banking and finance, hospitality and entertainment, trade and commerce, ICT and mining sector.
Others included in the economic recovery team are stakeholders such as MSMEs, the formal sector, Trade Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Development partners, NGOs and CSOs; Labour unions and others.
Lalong said he expects the committee to expedite action and present the periodic policy and strategic recommendations to him on the State economy under COVID-19 and beyond.
Northern Governors Forum Has Banned Almajiri System in the North, Vies for COVID-19 Testing Centres in Member States
By Juliana Uzoka
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has unanimously banned the Almajiri system in the North.
The forum adopted the resolution when they held a teleconference meeting consisting of 17 members, the second in April, to discuss the region’s response to coronavirus pandemic, and to reassess the measures deployed by each State to tackle the threat.
Chairman of the Forum, Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong explained it has become necessary to return them to their parents or States of origin, because of the risk of contracting the coronavirus disease.
Governor Lalong in a statement signed by his Director Press and Public Affairs, Makut Simon Macham, said the State will take into custody the Almajiri children without families to go to.
“They vowed never to allow the system persist any longer because of the social challenges associated with it including the perpetuation of poverty, illiteracy, insecurity and social disorder,” Lalong said.
Furthermore, he said the member States of the Northern Governors Forum have “insisted” that at least one COVID-19 Testing Centre be established in all States in the region to enable them adequately detect and manage the disease effectively.
The NGF Chairman stated that subsequently, they also agreed to maintain their position on border closure which stipulates that States should adopt their own measures, but re-emphasized the need to restrict movement across States in order to stop inter-state spread of the coronavirus.
In addition, governor Lalong had announced that President Muhammadu Buahri gave the assurance that the region will benefit from the Federal Government’s support programmes “under the coronavirus response and under other incentives to farmers and States”.
This came after an appeal “for the region to access special funding, palliatives, testing centres and other forms of support to assist the region deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.
Governor Lalong said the Northern Governor’s Forum also engaged the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development , Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono, who outlined all Federal Government programmes for the country and the region to include: “provision of farm inputs and fertilizers, provision of rural roads, value chain addition, development of irrigation facilities, agro-mechanization and mobilization of agro-ranger.”
While the governors expressed determination to utilize the opportunities presented by the coronavirus to explore developmental projects.
They however where concerned that food insecurity looms due to the challenges of insecurity posed by bandits, Boko Haram, insurgents, kidnappers and other criminal elements that attack farmers and make it difficult for them to go to the farm.
They “resolved to engage relevant Federal Government Agencies, security and heads of security agencies to urgently address the problem,” he said.
COVID-19: Names Will Not Be Compiled By State Government for Palliative, “Poverty Is Glaring, You Don’t Question It” – Says NSIP
By Juliana Uzoka
Plateau State government says the beneficiaries of the N5000 National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) were given their outstanding of four months stipends of N20,000 as an intervention to help cushion the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown, across the 17 Local Government Areas in the State.
The programme which is funded by the Federal Government and World Bank started in 2016 as an intervention to mitigate poverty.
The State Focal Person of the NSIP, Dr. Sumaiya Hamza who spoke on Voice Out for a Better Plateau on Highland FM, Jos, on Tuesday said the targeting of beneficiaries was based on global standards and there is a social register where names of those eligible for the project were recorded.
Dr. Hamza explained that the cumulative sum was as a result of backlog payment that was not remitted since January; President Muhammadu Buhari gave a directive for States to effect the payments as soft landing for the registered households.
The NSIP official said the conditional cash transfer, N-POWER, School feeding and Government Enterprise and Private Programme are components of the NSIP designed to assist the very power and unemployed youth which are part of ongoing programmes being implemented by the State government.
Despite the lockdown people are still being paid she added. Furthermore, she urged those who are in great need and not captured in the NSIP to exercise some patience as the Federal Government is yet to disburse items to the State.
“Plateau state is part of the 36 States and FCT, so, we cannot be excluded,” she said, reacting to concerns raised on the delay by the Federal Government to make early supplies to States.
She said it is regrettable that some households had refused to be enumerated on the onset of the programme because they failed to believe it was a genuine initiative, adding those group might encounter challenges since they were not captured.
She allayed fears of non members of the NSIP, saying the COVID-19 disbursement will not require name compilation but will be need based in communities.
The State governor, Simon Bako Lalong had mentioned during his lockdown speech that civil servants and income earners will be exempted.
“Those who are eligible for the palliative should be those whose earnings depends on daily efforts who hustle and get, such as people whose businesses have stopped and they live on petty trading, like selling of spinach, selling of tomatoes, are people to be prioritized before coming to those who earn an income even while they sit at home,” she said.
She urged for understanding, so that those really in need will be considered first.
“Those to benefit are those without any means of livelihood and within their communities, they will be identified. They don’t roam the streets, they live in homes, [and] they will be identified” she reiterated.
Members of communities are like “watchdogs”, so there has to be someone who can vouch for beneficiaries, “poverty is glaring, you don’t question it” she said.
People objected to the selection process and wants government to consider everyone, citing general hardship on citizens.
Gov. Lalong Describes Kyari’s Demise as “Monumental Loss”
By Juliana Uzoka
Plateau State Governor and Chairman, Northern Governor’s Forum, Simon Bako Lalong has expressed deep shock over the death of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari.
Governor Lalong in a condolence message, commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased, President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians for what he described as a “monumental loss”.
Lalong in a statement on Saturday made available to journalists by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Simon Macham, said;” Mallam Abba Kyari was a deeply resourceful person who provided tremendous support to President Buhari and his Administration, and served Nigeria with patriotism, dignity, honesty and passion”.
Macham stated that the governor described late Chief of Staff to the president as” a man who had zeal for peace and progress of Nigeria,” adding that the Governor’s Forum and the State government had enjoyed his friendship and support.
Governor Lalong prayed God grants his soul eternal rest and give his family the fortitude to bear the loss, he said.
COVID-19 Lockdown: Plateau Acquires COVID-19 Testing Centre, Will Not Quarantine Hunger – Says Governor Lalong
By Juliana Uzoka Plateau State government has extended the lockdown in the state by a week, effective Wednesday midnight 15th April to Thursday, 23rd April 2020. The lockdown however will be relaxed for an initial four days, starting Thursday, today, ending 12 midnight on Sunday 19th April, to enable citizens to restock and attend to other personal needs. The State Governor, RT. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong who made the announcement in the State on Wednesday said, the lessons of the lockdown are evolving but that “One of the biggest lessons is the fact that we cannot quarantine hunger.” Governor Lalong explained that the restriction which was precautionary and not punitive was to ensure that the State remains coronavirus free. Lalong however, said about 837 defaulters of the ban on movement were apprehended by enforcement officials and prosecuted by the mobile courts. “those convicted were made to pay fines while others were subjected to community service. I wish to register my displeasure on the reported cases of assault on some enforcement officials carrying out legitimate duties. Such acts will not be tolerated and those found guilty will be punished,” he said. While reiterating the need to maintain pronouncements on guidelines on the lockdown, which affected businesses, entry and exit border closure and movement of people, Lalong however included on the exclusive list of those exempted as essential workers to include farmers because of the farming season which he said has approached, but charged them to observe the rules of COVID-19 on social distancing and hygiene guidelines. He said: “In addition to the exemption of essential worker earlier announced, producers of food such as bread, water and beverages are also exempted.” Furthermore, Governor Lalong disclosed that the State now has COVID-19 Testing Centre, it has a capacity to test 1000 samples daily and will also serve neighbouring States. https://twitter.com/PLSGov/status/1250392353984204802 https://twitter.com/PLSGov/status/1250392351257788416 “I am happy to announce that the Testing Centre for Plateau State earlier envisaged has finally come to fruition, as the Bio-Safety Level 3 Grade 1 Laboratory at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) Vom, has been equipped and certified by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to begin outright test for COVID-19,” he said. The major challenge posed by the lockdown as voiced by people was hunger, the State governor, said his deputy; Prof. Sonni Tyoden had been assigned to be in charge of the immediate disbursement of palliative to 6, 616 households in the state, while contribution from the federal government will be awaited. He said the palliative is to be distributed “to the most vulnerable and weak amongst us.” He also said those already benefiting from the National Social Investment Programme and salaried workers in the State will not be among the beneficiaries. Governor Lalong enjoined the citizens to continue to consider public interest and well-being of the State above personal interest. He thanked the citizens and all organizations, and also individuals who have contributed to poverty alleviation occasioned by coronavirus, the campaigners against COVID-19 in the state and enforcement officers involved in ensuring compliance of the lockdown. “These are difficult times for all of us and we must endure with resilience to come out strong. Our future is in our hands and how we abide by the advice health of experts and Government directives will determine our success,” governor Lalong said. ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY LALONG
COVID-19: Jos Residents Kick As State Government Promises Palliative Measures
By Marymagdalyn Francis Residents of Jos North, Plateau State are calling on the government to share equitably the palliative measures it has set aside to cushion the effect of the total lockdown in the State. Some inhabitant spoken to on Friday, when Christians marked the Lord’s Passion, on Good Friday, said although the stay at home order was for their good, a measure put in place to prevent outbreak of COVID-19, it was also the highest celebration of Christian worship, denied them, especially in the current perilous time when true worship could invoke God’s mercy. The general mood was that of despair and uncertainty as they said the future looks bleak while starvation stares them in the face, God, they said is their solace. An electrician, Elder Joseph, married with seven children expressed displeasure at the lack of preparedness by the State government to devise a proper means of disbursing its palliative, as he said, he gathered that some people were already included in an exclusive list to benefit from the money being shared. He said: “I hear that they are sharing N20,000 to people on a list. How about those not on the list, are they not Nigerians? He asked. While faulting the modalities employed for disbursement by the State government, he suggested that the State government should have people’s data from mobile communications network like MTN, Glo and others or BVN to track residents and pay money into their account. He further said, although the lockdown is a good initiative, a lot of people will suffer hardship as 80% of Nigerians rely on daily income to survive. A fashion designer, Blessing Okoh, said she will organize praise, Bible reading, prayer and worship God with her family, as the lockdown has made it impossible to attend Church service on Easter Sunday. She said she takes comfort in a God that cares, adding “I don’t feel fine but with God all things are possible.” “Am observing the coronavirus guidelines, and have also taught my children how to protect themselves. Since I believe in Christ, it will not come near us,” she said. However, for Mrs Juliet Ikembuchukwu, a business woman and mother of five, who was taking her child to the hospital, said lack of power supply for her children to watch movies made the stay at home order difficult for her family. Ikembuchukwu said although she tried to also stockpile, what she was able to buy could barely sustain her family comfortably for three days. Asked if she observes the guidelines on prevention of COVID-19, she said yes but does not like the idea of having to use facemask. https://twitter.com/NCDCgov/status/1248915757326569474 “My preparation is not adequate but am hopeful the lockdown will end soon’’, she said. She further decried the unusualness of not being able to attend Mass on Easter Sunday, saying going to Church brings her comfort. The level of compliance of the stay at home order was almost 100% as all businesses were closed, there were road blocks between short distances of each, occasionally, patrol cars with the law enforcement officers drive past, while the inhabitants look on. Those loitering in front of their homes run inside on sighting the security agents. Another resident, a housewife, Mrs Anne Ikejiaku said she feels deprived, as no arrangement was made for the poor to alleviate their suffering. Ikejiaku said as a Christian, the lockdown was imposed at a very wrong time, as Christains should have been allowed to celebrate Easter before the restriction was put in place, “the government failed to provide for us”, she added. The residents however were not the only ones affected, as one of the security officers dispatched to maintain compliance, said he had nothing to eat after he resumed at his duty post by 9 a.m and would be ordered to close by 6 p.m. Earlier, the State governor, RT. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong had assured residents that they will soon benefit from the palliative measures put in place to reduce the hardship they face, with the no movement and closure of businesses, as he flagged-off the fumigation of the State on Friday. Governor Lalong had not spelt out the mode of disbursement. The coming days and weeks will tell if government truly cares for all residents or only a select few they said.
Governor Lalong Calls on Christians to Pray For an End to Coronavirus Pandemic As the State Commences Fumigation Exercise
Plateau State government has called on Christians to call on God for His intervention in wiping out the coronavirus pandemic in the world. The State Governor, RT. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong who said this during the flagg-off of fumigation exercise of the entire State, at Terminus, Jos, on Friday, said the fumigation exercise was a preventive measure “aimed at ensuring the disease does not come into the State.” Governor Lalong in a statement contained on the Twitter account of the State government said although the state is yet to record any confirmed case of COVID-19, it will “remain vigilant and proactive.” The fumigation exercise will cover markets, streets, office premises and other public places, it stated. https://twitter.com/PLSGov/status/1248576870486093826 In addition to that, it urged residents to adhere strictly to the stay at home order for effective monitoring of inter-state transfer of the disease, discovery of suspected cases and contact tracing, adding that the state will get a testing centre soon to enable it identify cases faster. “Ordinarily, we should not be doing an event like this on a Good Friday, but the times warrant this and we continue to appeal for the patience and understanding of our citizens. “For our Christian brothers and sisters, let us use this Solemn Easter Friday to cry unto God within our homes to show us mercy and remove this pandemic,” it said. Quoting the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Jose Gomez, it said: “Our Churches may be closed, but Christ is not quarantined and his Gospel is not in chains. Even though we cannot worship together, each of us can seek God in the tabernacles of our hearts.” Likewise, it further urged the Muslim community to also raise prayers to God in their homes to save the country from catastrophe. The state government thanked the Religious, Traditional, Political, and Community leaders for their cooperation and understanding. The government appealed to citizens to cooperate with the law enforcement officers as it prepares to also “roll out palliative measures to assist the weak and vulnerable amongst us”. “On this special Good Friday, may the Lord answer our prayers and reveal the essence of His sacrifice for mankind,” it said. Read full speech here: Government of Plateau State
Coronavirus: Total Lockdown in Plateau As Government Fumigates State
Plateau State government has placed a one week total lockdown on the state, in order to fumigate and rid it of coronavirus outbreak. The State Governor, RT. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong who made this known in a statement on the progress report on the fight against the coronavirus on Monday, in Jos, said the directive will come into effect midnight, Thursday, 9th April to 15th April, 2020. The statement indicated that the lockdown will cover Jos-Bukuru Metropolis and all the 17 Local Government Areas of the state. “During this period, there will be no movement of any kind except for staff on essential duty. “These include: Security Agencies; Medical and Health workers; Power and Energy Staff; Fire Service; Media; Telecom Operators; Fuel Tankers.” It gave commendation to some organizations and individuals that contributed to the Plateau COVID-19 Endowment Fund. These are: Grand Cereals, Nasco Group of Companies, Zuma Steel West Africa, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, ASUU University of Jos Branch, Senator Hezekiah Dimka, Mees Palace, Godiya Hotel Heipang, Barr. Pius Akubo (SAN) and the UBA. The state government however stressed the need for a Diagnostic Centre, while noting that the state has Grade 3-4 Diagnostic centre. It added that the state government had reached out to the Nigeria Centre for disease control (NCDC) to give consideration for a centre in Jos. It said Governor Lalong took a facility tour of Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos University Teaching Hospital and Bingham University Teaching Hospital to assess the state of medical facilities and capacity to respond to COVID-19 pandemic. “After receiving complaints on insufficient respirators and other essentials, I immediately directed the purchase of some ventilators, which are being received at the moment. “We also purchased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Monitors, Infrared Thermometers, Oxygen, Concentrators and other essential drugs,” it said. The statement disclosed that governor Lalong had engaged a local manufacturer, Engr. Jerry Mallo to produce ventilators for use in the state, it also commended the efforts of Engrs. Nura Jibrin and William Gyang for repairing the broken ventilators at JUTH. “We are also taking steps to establish more COVID-19 Isolation Centres in Pankshin and Shendam to cover the other Senatorial districts in the state. “In line with the Federal Government directive, we propose to establish a 300-bed treatment Centre to be located at the Riyom General Hospital and the State NYSC Camp. It added that the State Emergency Operation Centre at the Epidemiology Centre, Jos, was activated and is now functional. “Information and Sensitization Committee had embarked on dialogue and interface with Local Government Chairmen, Traditional, Religious and Community leaders to get them on board in the fight against the disease. “Because of the enormity of the challenge we are facing, the State is liaising with the Federal Government with a view to implementing palliatives to deal with the pandemic. It stated that COVID-19 Taskforce had imposed crowd control of not more than 50 people, maintaining social distance of 2 meters and 5 meters apart for traders selling food items. All suspected 48 cases of coronavirus in the state turned out negative; 25 people were discharged from self isolation while eight are still being observed.
Plateau Government Orders Closure of Its Borders
The Plateau State government has ordered the closure of all border entry points into the state. The state governor, RT. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong who gave the directive on Wednesday, said the restriction will take effect from 6 a.m. 2nd April 2020. In a statement, the Commissioner of Information and Communication, Dan Manjang, said, added to that, total restriction on exit or entry into the state will also come into effect. It said the decision was made in order to safeguard the state from being ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic which had spread globally.
“This is to enable the state government intensify its efforts at fighting the coronavirus disease and preventing possible outbreak in the state,” it stated. The statement further urged the general public to adhere strictly to the order as security agencies have been mandated to enforce the directive to ensure total compliance. It added that the closure was in the general interest of public safety.
COVID-19: Plateau Calls for Full Compliance and Prosecution of Offenders
Plateau State government has warned that anyone found disobeying the sit at home order, except for essential services providers risks being prosecuted. The Commissioner of Information and Communication, Dan Manjang who disclosed this on Friday through the government’s official Twitter account, said there had been poor adherence to the precautionary measures put in place which now necessitates the engagement of security personnel to enforce the order. He said a directive had been issued by the state government for full compliance and arrests of defaulters. “Therefore, the Governor as the Chairman of the Task Force on Monitoring and Enforcement directed that beginning from today, Friday 27th March 2020, security agencies will embark on full enforcement of the measures earlier outlined to deal with the Coronavirus Disease. Consequently, members of the public are warned in their own interest to abide by the restriction order as security officials will arrest and prosecute anyone found violating the order.” The Executive Governor of the State had made a state broadcast on the partial lockdown of the state, granting freedom to only essential service providers, to operate their businesses while advising people on the need for social distancing and to report any symptom of fever, dry and persistent cough and breathlessness.
Plateau State Government Sets Stringent Rules to Prevent Outbreak of Coronavirus
Plateau State Governor, RT. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong has cautioned citizens in the state to adhere strictly to laid down rules unveiled to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state. Governor Lalong who handed down a 41 point directive on Tuesday in a state broadcast which was made available to journalists, said Nigeria is at a disadvantaged position economically and cannot absorb the negative consequences of an uncontrolled outbreak of coronavirus, adding that already, the Federal Budget was slashed by N1.5 trillion while the state has had over 51% of its budget reduced, in order to adjust to current economic realities. This he said will affect all sphere of governance in the state. The measure adopted by governor Lalong includes a stay at home order to public servants from grade level 12 and below, they are to work from home for the next 30 days starting from 25th March 2020.
Earlier, he had directed that all schools in the state be closed from the 21st of March, 2020. Furthermore, it stated that: “In view of the crowds associated with markets, government is directing all markets to close effective 25th March 2020. Only traders selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas are to remain open. In addition, all street trading, street hawking, and begging are prohibited. The weekly Sunday markets at Ahmadu Bello Way and environs are hereby banned. “Social joints, Nightclubs, drinking parlours are to also close effective 25th March 2020, while restaurants are advised to prepare take way for their customers to avoid crowding. “Motor parks are to capture and keep data including contacts of all inbound and outbound passengers as well as adhere strictly to social distancing and mass gathering prohibition order as well as hygiene regulations. Henceforth, all entry points into Plateau State by land and air will be subjected to preliminary tests.”
However, those offering essential services were exempted. These are: security, health, media, street cleaners and water supply and energy. In addition, all social events such as funerals and weddings were streamlined to accommodate not more than 50 people including family members; religious activities are to maintain social distancing and not to exceed 50 people in attendance. While cultural events and anniversaries were put off until further notice. The governor warned that the security agents deployed to enforce the ban would deal decisively with those who flout this order or act irresponsibly thereby sabotaging its efforts. The Public Health Emergency Operation Centre was also activated to boost information sharing and surveillance in the 17 Local Government Areas, it said. While the governor stated that massive awareness campaign had been deployed through all conventional and social media outlets, to sensitive the citizens, the weekly State Executive Council meetings was suspended indefinitely and all correspondence will be done through digital means, he said.
“To ensure total compliance, Government has set up a Taskforce on Enforcement and Monitoring, which will be personally chaired by me to coordinate, evaluate and review developments on the disease in the state. The Task Force will also give updates to citizens from time to time. “My dear citizens, just yesterday, I undertook an inspection visit to the isolation facilities in the state located at the University Teaching Hospital, Plateau Specialist Hospital, and Bingham University Teaching Hospital. “From what we have on ground, I am satisfied that we are reasonably prepared to respond to any eventuality. However, the few challenges observed are being addressed as I have directed the immediate purchase of additional ventilators and other consumables for the three Isolation Centres. “In addition to this, government is setting up additional isolation centres in the Old JUTH, Pankshine and Shendam General Hospitals,” the government house stated. Citizens are expected to adjust to the current realities and make sacrifices, because the partial lockdown could linger for some months, Lalong stated. Employments and salaries of both public and political office holders will be affected, the governor said. These measures were to reduce the imminent harsh economic realities. He called for prayers and caution while advising the citizens to remain calm, not to give in to panic and avoid fake news. The state governor further advised all persons and their contacts who recently returned from an oversea trip to self-isolate for 14 days, and if the need arises, anyone exhibiting symptoms of fever, cough and breathlessness, should call the COVID-19 state emergency phone numbers given below: 0703-286-4444 0803-542-2711 0806-548-6416 0803-577-9917 All the essential services granted permission to operate are to adopt safety measures by supplying hand sanitizers or soap and running water to their customers, at their entrances, the statement disclosed. TEXT OF BROADCAST BY HIS EXCELLENCY LALONG ON CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION
Four Chinese In Plateau State Corona Virus Free, Isolated Alongside 43 Others
The Plateau State government has disclosed that the four Chinese nationals that arrived the state tested negative to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Commissioner of Health in the state, Dr. Nimkong Larndam who stated this during a press briefing in Jos, said the Chinese had passed through various checkpoints before their arrival in the state and had shown no signs of having the viral disease. He however said they have been isolated alongside those who have had contact with them for a period of the mandatory 14 days, to observe and ascertain that they are free of the disease. Dr. Larndam explained that:” We have four Chinese miners who just returned from holidays in China, since they came from another country that that is heavily infected with the virus, they could be suspected to have the virus. But the Chinese were screened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, they were also screened in Abuja airport, and in those screenings, they were proved negative. “Even though the suspects were not positive, such people are supposed to be isolated for 14 days. So, we have isolated them between now and 11th March. Also read: Nigeria Confirms First Case of Corona Virus, 28 People Quarantined He further said it was necessary to quarantine all those in contact with them, these he said comprised mostly of the community where they reside in Wase, Wase Local Government Area of the state, where they were involved in mining activities. In his remark, the Commissioner of Information and Communication, Mr Dan Manjang said it was necessary to adopt precautionary measures as the coronavirus has incubation period which was why it was essential to quarantine them. Moreover, the commissioner assured that all 43 quarantined would be set free after it is ascertained when the investigation process ends that that are free of the virus. He urged people to go about their daily business as there was no need to panic and also no outbreak now. Mr Manjang added the state government had prepared two isolation centres: Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) and Plateau Specialist Hospital in case of an emergency. A surveillance medical team was activated at the Yakubu Gowon Airport to screen and monitor passengers that disembark from the aircraft, the information commissioner said. Source: The Nation
Give Peace a Chance, Bishop Appeals to the Fulani and Irigwe Communities
By Marymagdalyn Francis The people of Irigwe land and Fulani community of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, have both decided to give peace a chance despite the continued killings and disaffection the prolonged crisis in the community has caused them. The decision was reached during a joint consultative meeting of religious and ethnic community leaders, at the Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace Centre (DREP), in Jos, on the 4th of June.
The meeting which was presided over by the Archbishop of Jos, His Grace, Ignatius Kaigama, reached the agreement that more needs to be done to promote peaceful coexistence as there are still acts of violence and criminality going on in the communities. The communiqué indicates that there are heightened killings of innocent lives and herds of cattle and destruction of farms, while houses and churches were not spared. It was observed that elders in the communities are partially to be blamed for their inflammatory comments which they said contributes in escalating the already pained situation. They were advised to embrace dialogue as the only way forward even when the crisis remains unabated; they should not relent as the result of their meetings would yield fruits some day.
“We urge our communities to be cautious of conflict merchants, who benefit from our division and hatred for one another by knocking our heads and inciting us to fight one another, while they watch from a distance as we continue to destroy ourselves. “We still wish to reiterate the urgent need for the formation of a joint vigilante of Irigwe and Fulani to secure our communities. “We observe with regret that the acts of barbarism are not only restricted to killings and destructions, but also the raping of women and young girls, either in the farms or other vulnerable places,” the communiqué reads. Earlier, Bishop Kaigama encouraged the warring parties to see each other as brothers and sisters, adding that sometimes peace is not an easy process but it should not deter them from making more efforts. The Bishop went further to state that should they adopt a defeatist approach, “it means that failure will be constant.” He said: “We shall keep struggling, talking and meeting, and the God who sees the heart of everyone will bring us a desired solution.” In attendance at the meeting were the Royal Highness of Irigwe, Brra Nggwe Rigwe, the Ardo Wada Waziri of the Miyetti Allah and some community leaders of Irigwe and Muslim communities, also representative of youth groups and civil socieites. The meeting is to be reconvened on August 30th, 2018, for a prayer session at DREP, with both the Christian, Miyetti Allah men, women organizations, youth groups and civil society organizations are expected to be in attendance.
Abashe Set To Sack Gov. Lalong in 2019 Elections
By Marymagdalyn Francis The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Plateau State, now have another gubernatorial aspirant, Sam Abashe, as a formidable contender for the incumbent, to reposition Plateau as Home of Peace and Tourism. Mr Abashe who had served in the military for 21years and also been on the peace keeping mission with the United Nations, for 15 years, had in his entourage, the physically challenged, as he rode in Keke (Tricycle), waiving at people who cheered him on, to the PDP office, where he declared his intentions on Friday, to salvage what is left of breakdown of peace and economic stability of the state, in the coming 2019 elections. Abashe who came from a family of astute politicians, as both parents were in politics, said he will bring to bear his experience garnered over the years, with a team of technocrats, professionals and party members to implement good governance structure in the state, chiefly, security challenges with economic development. He said before all else, security issues would be addressed and warring communities reconciled, so as to promote healthy communal living and create an enabling ground to drive economic growth and attract investors to the state. Abashe said the state is blessed with abundant mineral resources and arable land, therefore, Plateau State has no business being impoverished. “Plateau is sitting on 75% of solid minerals, why are we still poor? He asked? “And we have arable land.” He said he will ensure that the core of security, infrastructure and human capital development are prioritised. The aspirant said vying for an elective office demands readiness, as he has his blue print ready.
“We intend to share our projects into three phases: Quick impact, the mid-term and the long-term; the moment we hit the ground running, you start to feel the impact on the society. “We don’t want government to take us by surprise, we want to take governance by surprise because we are ready,” he said.
He also urged the citizens to support his candidature in order to ensure that the collective interests of all are protected. The Chairman of the party, Damishi Sango said Abashe has spoken convincingly but that the decision resides with the people. “We are touched because of the people that have come with you, the disabled people. They can have a representation in the National Assembly. As a party, we’ll pray for you.” Sango who was represented by his deputy, Amos Gomdi, urged him to follow up with his delegate as the party can only assure him of free and fair elections.
Hiking Expedition: Wayfarers Of Jos And Naija Adventurers Of Abuja On Tour Of Shere Hills Jos, With Adrenaline Pumping, The Adventurers Climbed The Famous
By Juliana Uzoka Watch video: Share to promote tourism in Nigeria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFzGraKa820
Stakeholders Call for Proactive Measures to Tackle Looming Crisis in the Yobe Basin
By Juliana Uzoka The six riparian states in Nigeria, of the Hadejia – Jama’are Komadugu Basin has come together to underscore the need to mobilise funds to resuscitate the Trust Fund, in order to mitigate the numerous challenges the moribund nature of the Basin has caused the country. The Executive Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong who declared the two days summit of Governors of the six Riparian States of the Hadejia–Jama’are Komadugu Yobe Basin-Trust Fund, open yesterday, at the Government House, in Jos, said in view of the role water plays in daily life consumption and socio-economic growth of the country, makes it imperative that stakeholders develop appropriate water charter and strategy that meets internationally acceptable standard in the management of the basin. Lalong urged the members of the six Riparian States to critically pay attention to the issue of flooding which had besieged the Dilimi river in Jos, which he said “forms the major tributary of the Basin Catchment Area.” The Governor further listed other challenges confronting the basin. He said: “Other common threats of harmful floods, collapse of irrigation schemes, loss of fisheries and wetlands, as well as the resultant effects of distorted flows of rivers which confront all the Riparian States of the Basins, should also be given serious attention. “Of equal importance is the issue of Trans-Boundary Waters to mitigate occurrences of resource use conflicts amongst Riparian States in light of diminishing water resources within the basin and the contributing tributaries to Lake – Chad Basin from the Nigeria side.” The governor further enjoin his counterparts to emulate his administration’s Blue Print to implement Intergrated Water Resources Management ( IWRM) Principles and domesticate some recently adopted National Water Policies, Strategies and Regulations. The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Ibrahim Musa, said the Trust Fund which was created in 2006 to address the issue of declining water reserve, is yet to meet the objectives for which it was established, saying the consequences has been further impoverishment and insecurity of people living around the river basin, which he estimates at 15 million. The Minister explained that the initial efforts made by the riparian states, in collaboration with the federal government did yield some result, but called for more action as there was a near neglect of the project. Engr. Adamu said: “for the past four years, the Trust Fund has been unable to forge ahead in addressing the challenges of the Basin, due to a number of circumstances.” These he said includes inability to raise additional funds; absence of board of trustees since 2012; and a shortfall in counterpart funding for the implementation of a strategic action plan for a bank assisted project for the Basin. He further appealed for a unified approach towards solution based strategy that would address the challenges confronting the riparian states, so as to actualise the improvement of water resources management in the Basin. The Executive Secretary of the Trust Fund, Dr. Hassan Iliya said there is a need for each state to make a contribution of N122 million towards the running of the secretariat of the Trust Fund. The governors of Plateau, Bauchi and Kano were present, while the governors of Jigawa, Yobe and Borno sent representatives. A communiqué is expected after the plenary session.
There is no other way to prove that peace has returned to Plateau than through Carnival, which also fosters unity, says Gov. Lalong
By Juliana Uzoka Tourists and participants of the just concluded Jos Carnival will have good reason to look forward to the next one, as the event was not marred by crisis or any incident; an indication that peace has been restored on the Plateau. The Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, who flagged off the grand finale, of the week long Jos Carnival, at Miango junction, Jos, said there was no better way to celebrate the return of peace on the Plateau which had eluded the state for several years. Lalong who is from Shendam, joined thousands of the residents, comprising mostly youths, visitors from other states and tourists to mark the event, showed solidarity by dancing his way through about 8 kilometre distance to the Polo field, where participants converged. The Governor said his action was to encourage the youth, to let them know they are achievers; he cited the many instances where individuals from Plateau excelled in the entertainment industry and in sports. Lalong had this to say to his critics on the perceived indolence of the youths in the state: “The latest winner of the Big Brother Nigeria is coming all the way from Plateau.” He went further to list the names of stars that Plateau has produced in the entertainment industry and in sports: Psquare, Tuface, MI, Ice Prince, Kanem Pam, Karem, Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa and several others. He said events like the carnival is an avenue to fish out more talents. View more photos “Through culture, we all trekked, that is to tell you that peace can bring anything good to your state and violence will bring anything bad to your state. I am appealing to the youths, what we are doing is for you: through you, we can fish out talents, through this, you can be good sportsmen, he said.” The Governor captures the spirit of the event when he said: “no more killings. It is a period for dancing, a period for enjoyment.” Gov. Lalong promised the carnival would be an annual event, so that the tourism potential of the state could be better harnessed.
Joining his kinsman in the celebrations, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, advocates for more robust marketing of the carnival, which he said should be synonymous with the aspiration of the state, to “become part of the peace heritage of the people of Plateau. The youths’ minister who is from Tarok, exhibited so much energy, as he danced to the beating of the drums; trekked the 8 km distance along with the carnival contingent. “We must de-emphasis recklessness in leadership. We must bridge the gap between the leaders and the led. Our people must feel our presence, our people must be able to engage us, and they feel happier when they see us. It is not about money, but about relevance, he said.”
Expressing joy at the successful celebration of the carnival, Management Committee Chairman, Riyom Local Government Council (LGA), Mafeng Gwolsen, said he is optimistic that the carnival would open up investment opportunities for the state. For those who missed out on the carnival, he wants them to look forward to the future celebrations because: “This carnival today is going to showcase a lot of investment when you come to the issues of tourism. And it is going to tell the world that actually, you can come and do any kind of business in Plateau because, Plateau is peaceful, loving and a place you will find all sorts of enjoyment if you want to.”
The week-long event started off with a range of activities: the Children Fiesta, Music Fiesta, Biking, Mountaineering and lastly, the Carnival Street Parade.
The carnival was made more colourful by the several cultural dance troops that graced the event from over 40 ethnic groups in the state; each wearing their traditional attire.
In Photos: Children celebrate Jos Carnival
By Juliana Uzoka
Plateau State, Home of Peace and Tourism Welcomes You to Jos Carnival, Come and Get Immersed In Its Serenity and Splendour
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67rtmIkUbMw&feature=youtu.be Contributed by: Walbe Orgak In the spirit of celebrating the return of peace on Plateau, the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, has set the stage for the most awesome exhibition of culture, food and exotic nature of Plateau, through the forthcoming 2017 Carnival extravaganza Tagged: Glamour and Limitless Possibilities.
Speaking to BC NEWS, the Committee Chairman of the Carnival, Mr. Ejila Solomon, said the carnival came about in order to get Plateau out of obscurity, to take its pride of place by inviting the world to share in its sheer grandeur. Learn more about Plateau State: Though situated in the tropical zone, a higher altitude means that plateau state has a near temperate climate with an average temperature of between 18 and 22oC. Harmattan winds cause the coldest weather between December and February. The warmest temperatures usually occur in the dry season months of March and April. Jos Plateau is an area made up of young granite which was intruded through an area of older granite rock, making to be about 160 million years old. This creates the unusual scenery of the Jos Plateau. There are numerous hillocks with gentle slopes emerging from the ground like mushrooms scattered with huge boulders. Also, volcanic activity 50 million years ago created numerous volcanoes and vast basaltic plateau created from lava flows. This also produces regions of mainly narrow and deep valleys and pediments (surfaces made smooth by erosion) from the middle of rounded hills with sheer rock faces. The phases of volcanic activities involved in the formation of the Plateau have made it one of the mineral rich states in the country. Tin is still mined and processed on the plateau. The drainage pattern of the Jos Plateau is redial and is said to be the hydrological centre of Nigeria as many rivers flow away from the Jos Plateau to other areas. By Eche et al. (2015) Ejila said the natural aesthetics of the state, the unusual and humongous rock formations which dominates the vast land mass, is the bedrock of most houses, aside the envious lush vegetation and welcoming disposition of the inhabitants of the state, is worth showcasing. He said people should expect to see glamour, beauty and ecstasy; that in its self encapsulate the entire message of the carnival. Adding, people should also expect much more because: Jos is the centre of entertainment in Nigeria. Ejila further mentioned some tourists do not come to a place because of its beauty or because of its people; they actually go there to sample food, and that is one aspect that can never be taken away from Plateau people, he disclosed. “There are a lot of dishes that you will not be able to exhaust sampling, so that is one aspect that people should watch out for. So we will be displaying or showcasing the varieties of foods and some peculiar fruits that are only grown on the Plateau, we are also showcasing dance, cultural dresses and display of artefacts,” he said. The Carnival Committee Chairman said there should be good attendance; as people from all walks of life from all over Nigeria and Africa, United Kingdom, the Americas, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and the world over are welcomed; “26 embassies have responded positively, therefore, we are expecting not less than twenty thousand people that will come and witness the carnival,” he said. Ejila pointed out that the Caribbean style of carnival was adopted because “we share some kind of ancestral linkage and our way of doing things are similar, so ours is tailored towards the Brazilian style of carnival. More so, we have some costumes that have been made to interpret and at the same time pass the message that we actually intend to pass across, using our own costumes.”
To add colour to the event, apart from the costumes that would be provided to the participants, there are designated vendors’ point where costumes can be sold to any person that wants to purchase them, he said. The line up of activities leading to the carnival will commence on the 12th of April with children fiesta, followed by mountaineering on the 15th, and music fiesta is scheduled to take place on the 16th, “where Ice Prince, one of our own will come from Lagos and Deflow from USA will come and perform; then on the 17th is the street Carnival day,” he further explained. “We have designated some Mascot and Ushers who will serve as guide to tourists and participants”, Ejila added. He said : “Ours is a celebration of people. People should come have fun and enjoy themselves, because Plateau is highly hospitable, the people, the environment; “a friend once told me some years back that if the world where to be Nigeria, Plateau would have been Switzerland. And so this is the most peaceful state that you can find in Nigeria, and the most hospitable and a very friendly weather. For more information on the Carnival, follow on: Twitter: @officialjoscarn Instagram: official jos carnival Facebook: official jos carnival
ACN International Engages Media Practitioners on the Objectivity of Reporting Religious Conflicts
By Juliana Uzoka The quest to have a balanced and accurate information on the crisis that continues to ravage some parts of the Northern region in Nigeria, has led an international charity organisation, Aid to Church in Need (ACN), to converge on Plateau for a fact finding mission. The charity organization which operates on three pillars: Knowledge of the country, Information and Help, has a core mandate to assist the suffering church, anywhere around the world, and also provide accurate information which feed other religious bodies in Europe.
ACN International, led by the Head of Press International, Maria Lozano Berdie, met recently with Catholic Media Practitioners, at the Sacred Heart Pastoral Centre, Jos, and had an interactive session with journalists, on the ethno-religious crisis that continues to engulf parts of Northern Nigeria, with focus on Plateau State; while x-raying how international media report such crisis. There is a negative impression that killings take place all over Nigeria, nowhere is safe as Boko Haram operates around the country, says Lozano Berdie, the news that filters in often indicates that Christians are being killed regularly; she enquired if that was the real situation. The Arch Bishop of Jos Diocese, His Grace, Ignatius Kaigama, who doubles as the President Catholic Bishop Conference, and President Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa, confirms that there had been killings of both Christians and Muslims; but despite the difficult times brought about by religious upheaval, “our faith encourages us to reach out,” he said. “We must not limit our horizon to the issues of persecution; that is why we established the dialogue centre…to reach out by concrete gesture [of peace],” Bishop Kaigama said. He further advised that journalists should learn not to heat up the polity by their sensational stories; rather they should practice “peace journalism.”
Furthermore, the historical perspective on the genesis of the crisis on Plateau was narrated by the Director General, Industrial Training Fund, and former General Manager, Plateau Radio and Television Corporation (PRTVC), Sir Joseph Ari. According to Ari, the influx of people from Kaduna after the 1992 Kaduna crisis, spiralled into the state, which brought in its wake destruction of lives and properties, and most visible being the ethno-religious crisis which caused the burning down of the Jos main market. The market was adduced to be the largest in West Africa; the crisis had persisted in the state until the administration of Governor Simon Bako Lalong, who had to be proactive in gathering security reports and nipping any aggression before it magnifies into full blown crisis. There were difficult conflicts in the past which left in its wake massive destruction of lives and properties. some of which were: Maitatsine, Dogonahawa and several others, the latest being the Fulani herdsmen, he said.
The Director-General stressed that it was not difficult to maintain peace, as some conflicts were triggered by “political conglomeration.” “We had an arrangement as to how we would maintain the peace, we appointed among the youths, Muslims and Christians, we would select the youths, Muslim 50 and 50 Christians. There was rotational leadership between the two religions in securing the community I lived in. Whoever entered the environment, we knew. You were duty bound to report to the Mai Angwa (That is the local chief in the community),” he said. In elucidating on media coverage on event of any uprising, the Ari said the foreign media were perceived as being biased in their reportage because, “ some of the reporters in their reportage did not bother to go down and investigate. “In Plateau, there was a lot of disservice done to the Plateau person by the international media. Because the stories that were making the rounds were not true reflections of what was happening on the Plateau. They only reflected a side of what happened. To them, that side was seen as what really happened, because somebody had not the reach to get his story across, another person had the reach and the contacts; And I think from the international media too, there was no fairness. “The local media never had the reach, owing to their low signals; they could not go beyond the state. And it gave a very bad name to the Plateau person, but that was not truly what was the case,” he said. A member of ACN wanted to know if there was any connection between the Boko Haram insurgents, Fulani Herdsmen and Diash in the Middle East. The Catholic journalists said there may be isolated cases of collaboration, as individuals were known to have gone for training. However, the West African leaders whose boundaries were usually attacked came together to form intelligence network: The Lake Chad Commission and Lake Chad taskforce, the journalists responded. Also, in relating instances of attacks orchestrated by the local Fulani herdsman, the National Vice President and National Coordinator North, Catholic Media Practitioners, Patrick Osu, narrated how a 41 year old farmer, Jummai Danladi, was hacked by a Fulani herdsman, when she went to fetch firewood from the forest in her community, Katakaryi, in Bassa Local government, Plateau state. According to medical report, from Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) Hospital, in Jos North, she died a few hours after she was brought in, due to knife stabs she sustained in her stomach. The case was brought in by Sergent David Daniel, from the Nigerian Police Force, in Jos, Plateau State. The Catholic media furthermore pointed to the fact that the reason there may not be balanced report was because most foreign media engage 80% Muslims and 20% Christians which makes it inevitable to accept reports tilted towards interest. However, reporters who work for local media were also berated for being easily influenced by gratification which influences their reportage; the correspondents are influenced by money, it is he who gives what gets the story, the journalists agreed. Nevertheless, the Catholic Media Practitioners said they have also reached out to their Muslim counterpart, as both are concerned about the recurring crisis and plan to take the talks to national level.
HON. DAYYABU GARGA CONQUEROR OF POVERTY
By Sarki Zailani It is no longer news that the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Dayyabu Garga has conquered Poverty amidst his rural dwellers and the state in general. He has become a force to reckon with as a rare leader, in this generation where society has become uninteresting because of selfish drive and personal aggrandizement. For Dayyabu Garga, service to humanity and mankind is his mission on earth as he believes in re-sharping society for the better as he appreciates God’s kindness to him. He thus vowed to bring smiles on the faces of the down – trodden and the needy on his humanitarian Pilgrimage. Hon. Dayyabu Garga sponsored about 50 students to key tertiary institutions in Bauchi; he also sponsored free Medical Outreach to Kanam people and renovated a primary school at Lugur, of Garga District. Water is a necessity in life and seeing how his people were suffering, he dug borehole at Dada and Garga respectively. He also sponsored two students to graduation at the Prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and one other at Bayero University, Kano. As a public servant, he successfully superintended the emergence of three Paramount Rulers without rancor or bad blood in Plateau State. The Paramount Rulers are: Afizere, Ogomo, Pengama and the recently coroneted Long Gamai of Gamai Nation. As Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, he superintended the reinstatement of some Chiefdoms and village areas in the state. Hon. Dayyabu Garga’s quest to empower the young men and women educationally, and his passion to rid society of ignorance and complacency has registered several Students to write WAEC, NECO and JAMB. In recent time, fifty (50) youths were sponsored by him for skill acquisition to be self – reliant. It is right to qualify Dayyabu as a conqueror of poverty, and if a lot of people emulate his attributes, society shall be better for it.
Plateau: Lalong Calls for ‘Deliberate’ Action to Bridge Housing Deficit in the Country
By Juliana Uzoka The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), has issued cheques of N1million each to 120 civil servants in Plateau State, to enable them renovate their houses. This gesture is part of the contributory housing scheme, which requires that 2.5% deductions is made directly from salaries of public workers to enable them qualify for building, purchasing or renovating existing homes or houses. Executive Director, FMBN, Ayo Bola Abiola, disclosed on Wednesday during the first official presentation of cheques to beneficiaries of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Home Renovation loan, that Plateau State government was awarded N130m, which equals 10% of the overall N1.3 b disbursed to 1690 beneficiaries across the country. Abiola said the state government has shown seriousness towards bridging housing deficit in the state, hence their commitment to contributing to the housing loan. “The funds is sourced from 2.5 of the basic salary of Nigerian workers, earning the minimum wage who are18 years and above. “The overall objective is to provide cheap source of loanable funds to nurture and sustain the mortgage industry, and eventually facilitate home ownership for the low and medium income group in the country,” he said. The Executive Director however, appealed to the state government to wade into difficulties which makes the housing loan difficult to implement. He said some of the challenges include: “lack of access to land; inadequate funding from the housing sector; inaccessibility of mortgage loans due to lack of proper titles to landed properties; low income of prospective borrowers which affects affordability; cumbersome procedure from obtaining governors consent to land, to land transaction which is also very costly.” FMBN Executive Director states that housing remains one of the three basic necessities of human beings which could lead to increase in productivity, good health and general wellbeing. He further appealed to Governor Simon Lalong to prevail on the local government to resume contribution to national housing fund so that they can also benefit from what the bank is doing. The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong who presented N1m cheques to 10 recipients – at the flag-off, said there is a huge housing need in the country. Lalong urged government to “deliberately” encourage the scheme through mobilising resources and explore credible alternatives , that will accelerate housing deleivery to the medium and low income earners. The Governor said in line with his administration’s Rescue Mission, he had engaged nine (9) companies to build twenty two thousand, five hundred housing units in the state. “We are not stopping here, because we shall as part of our initiative to stimulate housing and encourage the delivery of low cost housing, be providing the critical infrastructure of light, water and roads which usually constitute a large chunk of the cost of housing delivery, to the sites earmarked for these Housing Estates,” he said. The beneficiaries at the event are: Madam Christy Rajan Mr Jan Nasara John Barr. Nanli Nanchip Zamyil Mailafia Jim Steven Kangan Nyam Ishaku Ovie Victoria Shallom Lucy Davis Malong Fidelis
Dayyabu Yusuf Garga: A Deep Rooted Humanitarian
By Sarki Zailani The commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the Plateau State Government, Honorable Dayyabu Yusuf Garga (Walin Garga), has been described as a deep rooted humanitarian who cares for the Health and Welfare of his people. The Director/CEO EDEN-COM PASSION AND HEALTH MISSION INTERNATIONAL (ECHIM) Dr. Longbab Dinfa, described Hon. Dayyabu Garga as God sent who has come to touch the lives of the people through selfless service that has impacted much on the society at large. In a report of Free Medical and Surgical Services rendered by the Commissioner and conducted by Eden Compassion and Health Mission International, the virtues of the Honorable Commissioner and the services rendered were captured thus: “On behalf of the Team of Eden-Compassion and Health Missions Int’l, I wish to appreciate you and your family for partnering with our organization to bring health to the people especially during this dwindling state of our economy; you were able to sink millions of naira into this programme to touch lives of your people in Kanam L.G.A. “I would like to mention here that you have demonstrated a show of love and concern as valued by African tradition and as enshrined in the holy scriptures … when I was in the hospital you visited me… you went beyond visit in your own case. “You are a compassionate Commissioner that has done what is tantamount to giving a sojourner the much needed cup of water in the desert. “You have really exhibited not just the role of a sponsor, but that of a father who is desirous of nursing his own people by putting smiles on their faces through this elaborate programme; just like Late MKO Abiola would say: ‘I count my riches based on the number of people I put smiles on their faces.’ “Despite the financial constraint, you were able to sink millions of naira into this programme so that the rich and the poor, the young and the old, male and females, the able and the disabled, the depress, the afflicted, the blind, the cripple and all the inhabitants of all villages in your constituency to have access to this free medical and surgical services including eye surgery and treatment. You have practically sown bountifully and surely the law of harvest will catch up with you as the saying goes ‘Health is Wealth’. “You have demonstrated outstanding qualities of a leader; Leadership position is a function, it is not a replacement, it is an assignment, you are a real leader who understands and identify with the challenges (plight) and battles (problems) of your people as concerns health. Words can’t quantify your effort through the provision of these qualitative and quantitative medical services that you offer to the people of our dear community (Kanam). “Our appreciation wouldn’t be complete if I fail to elaborate on what you have done for humanity through your philanthropist gesture: 225 surgeries conducted which includes:
- C/S – 4 women
- Ganglion excision and
- Cataract surgery – 98 persons
“Many who had lost hope of seeing with one eye or the other, they now see clearly because of this programme. What a testimony! “Many, who couldn’t read with their natural eye, can now read confidently. What an advantage! Four women had C/S with bouncing babies through this program and so on and on. “You are a compassionate father; Great philanthropist and a gentle iconoclast, indeed. “We wish to partner with you more and more in the following areas if opportunity avails itself.
- Offer of free medical and surgical services to your community
- Medical supplies (drugs and equipment) to PHCs in your community
- Training/capacity building of health staff of your constituency
- Health talks on vital hepatitis to your people in the LGA
- Data management etc.
“Once again, we are indeed grateful for the opportunity given to us as an organization to offer this life saving programme, to the people of Kanam and its environs. “May the Almighty who build the universe without pillars and build the bridge without bricks uphold and always, grant your heart desire as you touch the lives of the less privilege at the grassroots. “Lasting courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spins of others are often stiffened. By Billy Graham,” Dr Dinfa said. Overall report of the programe includes:
- Medical Consultation = 1578 persons consulted and free drugs.
- Eye Consultation = 700 persons
- Eye Surgery = 98 persons
- General Surgery = 127 persons
- CEASEREAN = 4
- Laboratory investigations = 675 persons
Total Consulted + Lab Test = 2953 Total Operated = 229 Grand Total number of people treated. = 3178
Plateau: Gov. Lalong Calls for Diligence in Service and Restraint from Corruption from the Newly Appointed Public Officers
By Juliana Uzoka The Plateau State Government has called on the newly appointed public office holders in the civil service sector, in the state, to enshrine good service delivery and eschew corrupt practices. Executive governor of the state, Simon Bako Lalong said this on Monday during the swearing in of new permanent secretaries and members of some commissions and boards of the state, at the government house in Jos. Lalong said that it is the duty of the public office holders to carry out diligently, “specific duties in office, as enshrined in the instrument of their establishment and letters of appointment.” The governor further stressed that the performance of those entrusted with public office is a true reflection of their character; and enjoined them to therefore, project the integrity of the government and their party, the All Progressive Congress, APC. “This opportunity is not an opportunity for primitive accumulation of wealth; it is not a period for corrupt enrichment but a period of service. It has been said that the true test of a man is when he has power, influence or money; now you have the opportunity of both power and influence; It is my hope that you will use it wisely to serve humanity,” he said. Governor Lalong expressed concern that despite the country’s endowment in human capital development, there was still a culture of ineptitude, which had marred the progress of the country. He warned that he would not hesitate to deploy the “carrot and stick approach”, to ensure “quality service delivery across all sectors.” The names of the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries to fill in existing vacancies in the Plateau State Civil Service are:
- Ezekiel Pam
- Mrs Martina Joseph Azi
- Gabriel Mafulul
- Patrick Gamde
- Mrs Hassana Ayika
Plateau: Lalong Flags Off RELEGLON to Reposition Education
By Yunusa Abdullahi Umar, Jos Plateau State government has called for support and increase in the literacy level of the citizens in the state. The Executive Governor, Simon Bako Lalong in his speech during the flag-off, of Read, Learn and Grow Literacy Organization of Nigeria (RELEGLON), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), commended the founders on the establishment of the NGO for contributing in fighting the dwindling reading culture in the society. Lalong who was represented by the Commissioner of Secondary Education, Alex Mairiga, stated this on Thursday at the ceremony which took place at National Museum, Jos-North Local Government Area of Plateau State. According to him, the world has become a global village and this is why nations of the world are working in competitiveness to attain a high degree of educational, scientific and technological breakthrough. Lalong urged the Read, Learn and Grow Literacy NGO not to only target school drop-outs but also those in schools too in order to increase reading culture. He expresses his administration’s readiness to reposition the educational sector with an improvement in quality of teachers and facilities in the schools. He added that the government is trying to address the challenges which have bedevilled the critical areas for vocational and technical education, and working tirelessly to promote literacy in the state and the country at large. Earlier, the Chairperson and Founder of the NGO, Dr. Ijeoma Ayuba, in her welcome address said Nigeria’s literacy culture ought to be standardized as that of the Britain. Ayuba explained that out of 900 million illiterate people in the world, developing countries, especially in Africa represent a huge percentage compared to others. Ayuba emphasized that recently, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu disclosed that 13 million children dropped out of school due to lack of proper funding. Adding that, “here lies a big challenge facing literacy level in Nigeria”. She stressed that Nigeria is estimated to have a population of over 180million people, as at today, both of adolescent and young adults account for 69.9% of the total population of adults and youths, based on the 6 geo-political zones of the country. The chairperson noted that RELEGLON came on board to promote literacy level within these zones and to change the weak educational system which is incapable of supporting quality education, development of young people particularly considering the three geo-political zones such as: North East 30%, North West 31%, and North Central with 42%, majorly affected by literacy.
Movie Producers Do Not Comply With Regulations, Says NFVCB DG
By Juliana Uzoka The National Film and Video Censors Board (nfvcb) has decried the depth of violations by movie producers in the industry, which has led to massive loss of revenue for the body and contravention of the African value system. Director-General nfvcb, Patricia Bala disclosed on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of a two day workshop on International Conference on Film Censorship(ICFC 2017), that there is need for review of the guidelines which had been used for about fifteen years; including formulating new set of rules to tackle the social media productions.
The nfvcb DG who may have erroneously awarded clearance to a company she said came with over two thousand films last year disclosed that: “one company came in and wanted to open a platform for the distribution of movies on the net, they came with over two thousand films and they wanted to launch it immediately. So we did that and it improved our revenue.” Bala said due to the era of digitalization, google was invited to explain how they will use information derived from the launch of Television from analogue to digital; enhance monitoring and censorship of what is viewed online; the resource person failed to show up due to personal challenges. However, the Director-General said some of the overall objectives of the conference includes to:
- Develop a template to and reform the criteria for movie censorship/classification in Nigeria.
- Project and deepen the core values, norms and believe systems of the society through movie censorship and clarification.
- Gain new perspectives and understand[ing] of comparative practices in order to build capacity [for] the young and vulnerable from harmful consequences of unwholesome and dysfunctional movies.
Bala further expressed concern at the inability of the body to properly arrest and prosecute violators. “Our challenge now is that when we tell [movie producers] that this one does not meet up with the standard, go and remove this, remove that, sometimes, they do remove them, but when they get the letter of approval, they go back and insert it, and send it into the market. Other times, they don’t even bother to come; they just send it into the market. The rate of compliance is very low and worrisome,” she said. Earlier, the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, represented by the Commissioner of Information and Communication, Mohammed Nazif, said the government has a role to play in ensuring that decorum is maintained in the sector. “The government of Plateau State has a stake in it considering the number of private video viewing centers, and we wish that the level of films they are showing can be controlled. “It touches on the integrity of the state, it corrupts the mind of the young ones in our society, rather than growing up concentrating on their learning, you find them watching something that you yourself will not be proud of; with the advent of android and other types of phone. “When you go to the main market, you will notice where blue films are being shown. People are paying N30 just to watch it. Instead of children going to school, you find them there. We have a role to play as a government, that is why we show a great concern on film censorship,” he said. Furthermore, he said government will look into how the nfvcb will contribute meaningfully to the IGR of the state, for now, they do not contribute, he said. However, the National Film and Video Censors Board said it will continue to promote and preserve artistic freedom but will refuse materials which fall below its classification category.
Entire World Will Be Coming To Plateau Not Any Other Place to Watch Culture – Gov. Lalong
By Juliana Uzoka The carnival train will be taking off on the Plateau for the first time in history, as the need to boost economic development and tourism potentials of the state comes to fore. Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong who unveiled the Carnival Logo and Mascot, for the 2017, Jos Carnival, in Jos, on Tuesday said it is high time Plateau takes its rightful place in leading tourism in the country because of her rich culture, and also attract investments from all over the world, with more emphasis on the development of agriculture in the state, due to the vast lands and fertile ground which mother nature bequeathed to the state. Gov. Lalong said Plateau had always come top in cultural events in the country, and leading in entertainment and sports. He said: “Very soon, the entire world will be coming to Plateau, not any other place to watch culture.” The Governor declared that the upcoming carnival slated for April, 2017 is an opportunity to also let the world know that lasting peace has returned to the state after it had been embroiled in crisis for over a decade He said his administration will keep in focus their policy thrusts which are: peace, security and good governance, in order to enhance the socio economic potentials of the state. “Tourism remains for us undoubtedly, one key advantage area for us as a state. Hence our interest in this sector, so through the potential, we can achieve development in an atmosphere of peace and security,” he said. The governor who expressed satisfaction with the performance of the cultural groups, promised the group would be visiting two countries as part of his desire to further encourage them to attain their maximum potentials: because “we need a standard cultural group,” he said. Gov. Lalong thanked the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism for spearheading the event. In explaining the significance of the unveiled Logo, he said: “It has the map of Plateau State on it with the rocks, signifying the Rocky Terrain of the State; other visible landmarks on the logo are the waterfalls, which shows the high altitude of the state, and the gift of nature to us; while the drum on the logo depicts the cultural resources that abound in the state.” He further said: “As a government, we are poised to continually create a conducive atmosphere for all citizens in the state, to practice their trade and vocation without hindrance. This we will continue to do as we pursue all aspects of our policy thrust, and open up the space for the prosperity of our citizens in all sectors of the economy. With enduring peace and security, we will overcome all other hurdles that might stand in our way.” The Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Hospitality in the state, Hon. Peter Mwankon, said that the Federal Government’s call to shift attention from oil and explore other sources of revenue generation necessitated the drive to pursue vigorously, the cultural sector, as a revenue base. He added that most importantly, the carnival will help in retelling the Plateau Story positively. Hon. Mwankon said he hopes that the carnival will help restore the confidence of investors after being bedevilled by crisis for about fifteen years. The commissioner urged the “private sector and business community to take advantage of this maiden edition of Jos Carinival, powered by the State Government to promote their businesses.” Also, a professor at the University of Jos, John Ella suggested that the state government adopts holistic measures that would ensure the sustainability of the carnival. He described carnival as the biggest earner in the whole world that brings people and cultures and businesses together for the purpose of unity. The Professor said Plateau carnival will surpass that of cross river state, and suggested that the state government would have to be proactive in putting an enabling structure in place to show seriousness in achieving the objectives. Some of the requests he put further includes: making a major policy pronouncement on tourism through legislation; conduct an executive monitoring on all tourism sites; set up a tourism body to review and generate a plan of action and further suggests that the state government should embrace other stakeholders into the tourism body, and make the carnival an annual event. The carnival has the theme: “Glamour and Limitless Possibilities.”
Afizere Tribe Accuses Berom of Land Dispute and Incursion in Plateau
Yunusa Abdullahi Umar, Jos A rejoinder on behalf of Afizere Cultural and Development Association (ACCDA), has accused the Berom Educational and Cultural Organization (BECO) of land grabbing and land disputes, incursion in Plateau state and also illegal installation of traditional heads of Berom title outside their districts . Spokesman of ACCDA, Prof. Atu made this disclosure at the Jarawa Town Hall Conference, in Lamingo, Jos North Local Government Area. He warned the Berom to stay clear of landed properties belonging to Afizere, because the Izere nation is compelled by the prevailing circumstances to set the records straight by reacting to the full text of press conference by Berom. According to him, former governor of the state, Jonah Jang sidelined the Afizere tribe from benefitting from the legally constituted traditional institutions in Jos- North and Jos- East Local Government Areas, as well as denying their sons and daughters political appointments. He explained that the Afizere are the owners of Old Airport, Rayfield, Dadin Kowa , Anglo Jos , Gigiring , Dong ,Tudun Wada and Gyese House which was grabbed by the Jang regime. He further added that records show that the Afizere received compensation from the government in 1927 to 1948, but the last group of farmland settlements were now encroached on when Jang came into power and arrogated it to Du district which used to be under Foron district of Barkin Ladi LGA. Prof. Danladi said, with references from authenticated historical documents, will clarify more on the territorial boundaries with Berom and Anaguta; report signed on 30th June,1914 by Mr S.E.M Stobart ,then the Assistant District officer titled: Assessment Report on Anaguta and Jarawa tribes of Bukuru District, Naraguta division. It read: “The Anaguta Tribe and that portion of the Jarawa (Afizere ) which inhabits the town of Jos reside among the hills overlooking the Government station and Hausa settlements of Naraguta and Jos respectively, which they form in the fertile basin formed by the Delimi river. They are bounded on the East, North -East and South East by the Burrum (Kibyen “Berom” and on the west are the Rukuba tribe.” He disclosed further that the Berom started making incursions into Afizere territorial land as it was obvious that the tribe had not lived in the same domain with them prior to pacification. Atu stressed that on the basis of good neighborliness and peaceful inter-tribal relationship; that time, there was much hunger in their territorial areas, shortly after one generation, and the demise of their parents they migrated to occupy these said lands. Prof. Atu complained that after the demise of their parents, the children of Berom extraction started laying claims to their ancestral farmlands, to the extent that it resulted to litigations and crisis which gradually started pushing them away. “The Bukuru town itself was founded about 200 years ago, partly by the people from Gabon hill, which is situated between Ngel and Miango and was probably the first occupied site on the Plateau. Berom encroached into Miango, Afizere and Anaguta lands in Jos North and South respectively. “We therefore challenge BECO to produce any evidence of litigation between the Afizere and the Berom on the judgment that was entered into with the Plateau State government; only the Anaguta are presently in court challenging it, except if the Berom are now telling the world that the Anaguta went to court on their behalf or they are representing them,” he said.
Youths in Plateau Benefits from FG’s N-Power Project, As Residents Demand Infrastructural Development
By Yunusa Abdullahi Umar, Jos The Plateau State government says there is a marked increase in the number of youths it has engaged in skills and vocational training in the state, to reduce unemployment rate in the labour market. The Jos North Local Government Council Secretary, Hon. Shehu Usman disclosed this during an interview with some session of journalists at the council secreriat of Jos North Local Government Area. Shehu said that about 900 graduates in Jos North who qualified for the N-Power project of the Federal Government, have also been given their primary assignment places, and many of them already receiving their monthly allowances. Hon. Usman cautioned against youths engaging in other social vices that are capable of ruining their future, and tasked them to be useful to themselves and their immediate community. He pledged government’s commitment to transform the state capital into an enviable position where youth restiveness would be addressed. Usman also commended Governor Simon Bako Lalong led government for their initiative on the road construction in Angwan Rogo , West of Mines and its environs. The secretary revealed that for decades the people of Angwan Rogo community have been crying to the government that they were abandoned and neglected by the past government, “but you can see now they are celebrating the restoration of hope,” with the ongoing road project. He explained that the reason for the developmental stride being recorded in Jos is as a result of all inclusive government; to allow even development across tribes, religion and communities. He stressed further that the ongoing road constructions in Jos North was in line with Lalong’s electioneering campaign promises to the state. “We are working very hard towards sustaining total peace in Jos North because people now enjoy permanent restoration of hope, we are celebrating the development across the councils,” he added.
Plateau: Commissioner Cautions That Ignorance of Environmental Law Will Not Be Tolerated
Yunusa Abdullahi Umar, Jos The Plateau State Commissioner of Environment and Solid Minerals, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, has called on residents in the state to inculcate the culture of cleanliness, while advising travellers to beware of sanitation laws. Abbas who briefed the newsmen on Saturday, at the office of Plateau Environmental Protection Sanitation Agency (PEPSA), after monitoring the exercise held in Jos North LGA, said it is unfortunate that people are forced to keep their environment clean, bearing in mind the tenet that cleanliness is next to Godliness. He explained that environment is a friend to all in many facet of people’s habitat, therefore must be guarded and kept clean at all times. The commissioner pledged to sustain sanitation exercise in order to maintain proper hygiene in the state. Also speaking, the General Manager PEPSA, Mr. Christopher Longnas, said the exercise which received massive turnout was as a result of regular publicity by the media. Longnas further commended media social responsibilities towards ensuring that the agency is being promoted to another level in their reportage. He stressed that: “We place banners in some major areas of the state. The areas such as Bauchi road, Zaria road in Jos North LGA; others include Mararraban Jama’a and Vom junction of Jos South LGA, just to mention a few. “We informed people and passengers coming into the state to be fully enlightened on the restriction of movement based on law guiding sanitation in the country, and we sanctioned 25 defaulters using the 7th Magistrate Court in strategic areas,” he said.
ADP Calls For Support, Vows to Enhance Political Participation in Nigeria
Yunusa Abdullahi Umar, jos The Action Democratic Party (ADP), a newly established political platform in the country, has called for support to achieve its mandate geared at balancing some of the challenges in Nigeria’s political terrain. The newly elected chairman of the Jos Jarawa ward, Hon. Iliya Arin Itse disclosed this to journalists during the inauguration of the new ward EXCOs of ADP, in Jos North LGA of Plateau State. Aring Itse said they are calling on people to support the party because it gives members equal opportunity to exercise their political careers. Itse expressed hope that ADP shall enhance political participation and will focus on the right direction, to defeat opposition party in upcoming general elections in 2019. While explaining the mission statement of the party, chairman ADP Jos North Local Government Area, Hon. Elijah Azi Tagok, pointed out that the party is focused to revive the current economic challenges in the country. He added that ADP will transform the destiny of Nigeria, give employment to 80% of the youths, and charged the EXCOs to stand firm and work very hard see to an end of recession in the country.
PEPSA Advocates Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness, Vows to Sanction Defaulters
Yunusa Abdullahi Umar jos Plateau Environmental Protection and Sanitation Agency (PEPSA) has warned residents to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in gutters and other public places, saying defaulters will face stiff penalties. The General Manager, PEPSA, Mr. Christopher Longnas stated that government has made a law which restricts unnecessary dumping of refuse, and authorized the agency to prosecute and enforce sanction on every violator. Longnas disclosed this while in an interview with our correspondent at PEPSA office in Jos, on Wednesday. Longnas stressed that the monthly environmental sanitation is only going to give emphasis in ensuring that workers who are serving in the various government ministries and other private employees do participate in the exercise of keeping the state clean. He added that the agency will ensure that the gutters are cleared to prevent blockade during the rainy season; likewise, to promote health and well-being of the people. He commended the security agencies for several efforts put towards keeping people abreast on the sanitary habit. Adding the agency is having 9 mobile courts on ground to enforce compliance. “We have served notice to various communities and therefore we will start the prosecution with immediate effect, because the government of the day has expressed concern on the sanitation problem. “We are not taking anybody to an open court but shall prosecute defaulters in their respective homes. “We shall be starting the prosecution with clergymen so that they can preach to people to do the right thing, as religious leaders, they supposed show good example,” he emphasized. The General Manager said the agency is facing financial challenges and said work will go on despite the recession; he pledges to change the attitudinal behaviour of people on issues concerning environmental health maintenance.
CCR Protests Outrageous Billing System in Plateau
Yunusa Abdullahi Umar, Jos The Coalition Of Concern Residents (CCR) in Plateau State, a nongovernmental organization under the aegis of Peace and Development, have protested outrageous, indiscriminate and estimated billing system in tariff of electricity, with fake calibrated meters. The Chairman CCR, Barr. Sam Tokz said, customers under Jos Distribution Company are protesting estimated billing methodology, and are charged above their consumption rates despite poor power supply. He questioned JEDC Plc for replacement of old calibrated meters with new un-calibrated meters, without proper sensitization and knowledge on how customers can use them. Tokz berated the company for retrieval of the old meters which were bought by the customers, alleging that if there was no refunds, it is illegal and corrupt aggrandizement. He demanded for equal tariff with other states such as Distribution Companies in Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna state which charge N15, N18, and N19 per unit tariff for residential customers .
Tokz lamented that the JEDC Plc in Plateau State charged 29.93kb, which resulted in customers complaint of unprofessional conduct of some of the staff of the company. They faulted the JOS Distribution PLC Company over uncalibrated, sub- standard meters and indiscriminate charges, following a public outcry on some sensitive issues with stakeholders. He urged JEDC plc to take its Corporate Social Responsibility as a priority to its Plateau State customers, and retrain some staff on customer’s relationship. Tokz suggested that there should be effective communication through continuous enlightenment, hold meetings and consultations with all stakeholders. Addressing the protesters on behalf of the management, Head of Planning and Maintenance, Engr. Mansur Na’kande apologized to the aggrieved group for not receiving them on time . He admitted that some of the issues raised in their protest are true, and are now noted by the management. Na’Kande assured of the company’s commitment to implement the outlined agreement reached with them, by making sure that customers enjoy free meters which is their corporate responsibility. The JEDC plc stressed that the meeting was organized to address some of the challenges that may likely occur, and also regulate the importation of fake products into the country. Head Information, JEDC, Dr Friday Elijah, disclosed that some of the meters came in batches where company had distributed 60,000 in the store, with 10,000 to Bauchi, Benue, Gombe and Plateau state. He promised to partner with the appropriate body towards ensuring that citizens benefited from the smooth distribution.
AMDN Urges FG to Reopen Boarder for Importation of Cars
Yunusa Abdullahi Umar The Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria (AMDN), Plateau State chapter has called on the federal government to reopen border for the continuous importation of cars, saying millions of people are losing their jobs over the ban. Chairman of AMDN, Alhaji Yahaya Muhammad Kega who made the disclosure in Jos, on Wednesday, in an interview with BC News lamented that federal government policy to ban the international buying and selling of cars was worrisome. Kega explained that last year, there was announcement by the federal government banning the importation of vehicles through the land borders, that affects their dealership as they were importing from Cotonou and some other part of the world. The Chairman noted that the ban has affected millions of Nigerians who were engaged in the car business, and are now looking for a new job to feed their families.
He added that AMDN as a union was not carried along during the meeting arrangement, towards banning the importation of vehicles. He maintained that car dealers were not ready for the entire process, as such guidelines have destabilized both the dealers, buyers and the commuters who were benefiting from such business. “We used to have a cordial relationship with government as a union… and they approved our registration for operation of the union both at state and national levels. “We are saying that government should have called us as a recognized body because since they issued us licence of operation; our recognition should also be considered, to see areas that will benefit the general public,” he said. He further said government needs to contemplate on areas of interest. “Our appeal to government is that they should see the areas of improving the standard of motor business based on centralized authority. “We are now waiting for government to reverse this policy, because the northern part of Nigeria is presently lacking port authority which is supposed to be created as part of the plan to balance vehicle importation,” he added. The union emphasized that the ban has caused a lot of problems in their business, and urged government to summon them for a meeting to have a proper dialogue. Also speaking, a stake holder of the association, Usman Shehu of Harka motors, expressed displeasure with the ban that stopped motor importation into the country. He said the action has caused setback to their business by the announcement of government to break the international motor transaction with other countries of the world. He said the car dealers seriously need the attention of government to strengthen the ease with which planning to boost the economy of Nigeria is considered. “We didn’t see any success [of government policy on cross border car business] that led to development in the business. BC News reports that the dealers can no longer purchase any vehicles for their car stand because the land border was closed for importation.
Plateau: Govt. To Issue License and Loan to End Illegal Mining – Abbas
By Yunusa Abdullahi Umar The Plateau State Commissioner of Environment and Solid Minerals, Alh. Abdullahi Abbas has said that government will soon issue license to illegal miners through creation of cooperative society, in order to improve the mining industry in the state. Abdullahi Abbas who disclosed this during an interview session with BC News in his office on Wednesday, in Jos, also stated the government’s readiness in the promotion of mining activities. Abbas explained that illegal miners will soon be grouped by government in form of cooperative societies, and each cooperative group will receive license and loan. He added that the illegal miners are going to benefit from the disbursement of loan from state government, which will unravel the condition of illegality in the state and the country at large. He emphasized that with the stakeholders meeting which held between the ministry and other stakeholders on the Plateau, the case over miners illegal operations would soon be put under control. He maintains that arrangement has been concluded to visit three of the affected local government areas and they include: Jos North, Jos South and Jos East LGA respectively to end the menace. The commissioner further advised youths to stop engaging in illegal mining, rather they should look for meaningful activities to engage themselves in.
Why APC Leaders Must Rule By Law – George Daika
By Yunusa Umar, Jos According to an injunction issued to journalists at the PDP secretariat on Friday in view of the directive given to INEC not to conduct a Re-Run election in Langtang South, pending the hearing of motion on notice, fixed for 16th February, 2017, was brought to bear when a former member of house of representative, from Mikang, Shendam and Quanpan in Southern Zone constituency, Hon. George Daika expressed concern over the controversy the elections has generated, in an interview with journalists in Jos on: Why APC leaders must rule by Law. Excerpt: BC NEWS: Sir, you are one of the PDP chieftain and a former law maker; you all gathered here at the PDP state secretariat to discuss issues bothering on the by-election scheduled in Langtang South constituency. What is your take on the progress of PDP as a party on the Plateau ? DAIKA: well, regarding the meeting, it is a usual routine that has to do with the caucus in the sake of the party and other committees. Successfully we were able to adopt and endorse unanimously, His Excellency Sir Fidelis Tapgun as the chairman of the elders forum, with a lady Barr. as his secretary. We did it unanimously based on the understanding and qualities we have seen in them and the need for them to further strengthen the party. On the issue of INEC, well, the injunction is being given by the court. I didn’t go there but I was told that the judge addressed both parties and told INEC clearly that they shouldn’t conduct the Re-Run election and if they do, then I will see the recklessness in INEC, which means they don’t seem to obey the rule of law, and it is something that is very common with the present administration of people who came with change agenda but don’t seem to adhere to any other norms and values guiding our nation, which is quite sad, but must accept the belief that INEC might not accept to conduct the election. I heard that the governor [Simon Lalong], during a campaign in Langtang South, Mabudi, directed INEC to go ahead and conduct election or else he will declare an APC candidate a winner, which sounds so funny, myopic and childish and I don’t expect that from a leader. I want to at this point call on the entire PDP members, our teeming supporters and well wishers to be calm and law abiding, whatever happens, even to the contrary they should not react and should remain peaceful. I also call on the security agencies to be mindful of constitutional provisions and the legal backing. BC NEWS: Sir, with the consensus of PDP stalwart which took place in the meeting, what should the people of Plateau State expect from the PDP being the opposition? DAIKA: First and Foremost, the people of Plateau State and other Nigerians are yearning, by calling on PDP to come back to power because they are really tired and they are in abject poverty. This present administration has further impoverished people that they find it difficult to get food to eat, even a square meal a day and death toll rises all over, and also unemployment rate is very high. Government is meant to serve the people, to provide people with all the necessary facilities and amenities such as infrastructures. So people are really tired and are just praying for 2019, which to me might be too far but too close because it is up to the people to decide by ballot, either they still prefer PDP or APC, but am sure with the unity of purpose with what is happening in PDP today, we are making a very good impact on the lives of the people and we are making progress which at the end of the day PDP might emerge victorious BC NEWS: What are your plans and preparation towards the forth coming local government election in the state even before 2019? DAIKA: We are waiting for government to set up the time table, if the PLASIEC is ready then we will start mobilization. I can see clearly that Plateau people have had enough from APC, and by God’s grace, with the good work PDP will still emerge winner of the coming LG election.
Langtang South: INEC says elections will go on despite court order
By Juliana Uzoka The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Plateau State chapter, has decried what it describes as flagrant abuse of power by the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), by encouraging Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), to conduct an election that is pending before a court of law. A chieftain of the state chapter of the party and member elders forum, Prof. Dakum Shuown, who spoke to journalists on Friday during the election of executives for the party’s elders forum, said that there will be no democracy in the country if rule of law was not obeyed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juNvsx2me3I&feature=youtu.be Prof. Shuown expressed consternation that a government that was supposed to be responsible for law and order in the state, was encouraging abuse of the rule of law. He accused Governor Simon Lalong of being undemocratic and quoting the governor saying: “away with the court’s decision”, regarding the controversial elections embroiled in court case. On enquiry by BC NEWS, concerning the botched House of Representatives elections in Langtang South, a Deputy Director in charge of publicity, PLASIEC, Osaretin Imahiyereobo, said there was no court injunction, and as such the elections will go on. Mr Imahiyereobo said the presiding judge, Justice D.V Agishi made only verbal comments which was not binding on their decision to carry on with the elections; he said besides, since the court adjoined the motion for hearing to 16th of February, 2017, there was no way, a stay of action would be effective. A reliable source wishing to remain anonymous claimed that the ruling party was banking on the delayed process of court proceedings: after elections have been conducted and won by APC, they occupy the contested office, of Langtang South constituency, before the next national primaries comes up again, then there will not be any case to answer to, the source said. The PDP state chapter Publicity Secretary, Hon. John Akans, said the party would oppose any outcome of the elections scheduled today by INEC, in Langtang South.
He said: “Once a matter is before the court of law all actions most stay. Especially when there is an application for injunction, parties must restrain themselves for taking any action that is inimical to the unfinished proceedings. The Publicity Secretary further said all relevant security agencies including INEC have been served with the court order, and none should claim ignorance. Earlier, the PDP state party chairman, Damishi Sango presided over the elders committee executive election; Sir Fidelis Tapgun, emerged as the Chairman of the PDP state party elders forum, while a former top management staff of PRTV, Barr. Justina Vrengle was elected Secretary of the forum.
Federal High Court in Jos Stalls INEC Re-Run Election in Langtang South Constituency
Yakubu Ventim, Jos In the Federal High Court of Nigeria sitting in Jos Judicial Division, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) , has been stopped from conducting re-run election into Langtang South seat of the State House of Assembly, this Saturday 11th February, 2017 . In a suit No :FHC/J/M/16/2017 motion, the judge charged counsel to INEC to ensure that no election takes place on Saturday, until the determination of suit brought by PDP challenging them . Justice Dorcas Agishi while delivering her ruling on the application brought by the People Democratic Party, PDP, she warned INEC not to go ahead with the conduct of the election on Saturday, which will be amounting to contempt of court order. According to her, the court has adjourned to 16th of February, 2017 for continuation of hearing to enable the two counsels harmonize their differences, as the PDP counsel will proceed with their response in accordance to law. The Judge said, as INEC entered appearance for the suit, she warned INEC that any attempt to conduct the election is a contempt of court order . “You would recalled that the plateau State Electoral commission quashed the Election of Hon Vincent Venman Bulus over criminal involvement and money laundering by EFCC Two years ago”,he explained. The appellant counsel, F. O Shaibu applauded the court for the ruling, stressing that the judiciary is transparent in its actions. He has earlier filed an application for the stay of execution, seeking the court ‘s order of injunction, restraining the respondent from conducting rerun election into the seat of member representing Langtang south constituency, in the Plateau State House of Assembly, pending the determination of the appellant to the court of appeal. The grounds of the application motion of injunction to stop APC from conducting election in Langtang South seat; the appellant dissatisfied by the decision of the court has appealed to the court of appeal. “If you go ahead you know what the court is capable of doing,” he said. The affidavits was supported with 10 paragraphs and the notice of appeal was hereto annexed as Exhibit: “PDP 1 “ the counsel further said. Shaibu told the court that if the respondent is not restrained from conducting the election, and it goes ahead to do so, the appeal of the appellant shall be rendered nugatory. He said, the res in the appeal is the conduct of election with the appellant participating, but if the election is concluded without it and it succeeds on appeal, the success will be empty and money can’t compensate it. The counsel, Barr Shaibu argues that section 6,6 order 26 rule 2(1) 32 rules of this honourable court shows that the court should entertain the suit filed by the plaintiff on a matter of urgency such as this. Hon Bulus was accused of defrauding the daughter of the former Governor of Plateau State, Sen. Jonah David Jang, which affected the primary of PDP in Langtang south member of PLHA. However, it was also gathered that INEC excluded PDP candidate from the election, owing to the ruling by the Federal High Court, disqualifying Hon. Vincent Bulus from participating in the forthcoming re-run which was scheduled for this Saturday.
PDP Accuses Plateau State INEC of Aiding APC to Disregard Court Orders and Fix an Election in Langtang South
By Marymagdalyn Francis The Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the state has gone against court orders to impose an unconstitutional election process slated for the 11th February, in Langtang South constituency. The PDP Chairman, Damishi Sango is accusing Governor Simon Lalong of conniving with the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), to subvert the rule of law and fix an election when the court is yet to determine the case brought before it; adding that INEC had also filed a counter affidavit to stop the case, but no decision has been reached by the court. In a statement made available by the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Sir John Akans on Wednesday, PDP accused INEC of committing anti electoral conduct through its political leaning to the APC. The party said INEC was trying to cause civil unrest in the state by engaging in electoral gross misconduct and its flagrant disregard for the rule of law. It advised the public to beware of the impending crisis in the state, and warned that the elections slated for Saturday must be shelved until the determination of the court verdict on their appeal. “This action is an abuse to our judicial system and also an invitation to anarchy, because it will be against the interest of the people. “Were a matter is before the appeal court which notice of appeal have been filed and a motion for injunction pending, the determination of the appeal have been filed as well, and that same motion has not been heard. ”Can INEC now go ahead and conduct an election in this case? Or can INEC now be a court of its own? It asked. The PDP further pointed out the INEC which is a body set up by law cannot be a law unto itself; warning that the abuse of office by INEC is an illegality that the people of Langtang South, where the elections is planned to be conducted, should reject. “We want to call on INEC not to allowed itself to be used by APC to cause un-rest on the plateau, particularly langtang south,” the statement further read.
Lalong commissions over 16 VIO vehicles to boost revenue generation
By Yunusa Umar,Jos The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has commissioned about 15 Ford vans and two potholes pitchers Howo operational vehicles, to aid the work of the department of Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO). Lalong made the commissioning of the operational vehicles at the headquarters of VIO office along Old airport road Jos, Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, on Wednesday in Jos . Lalong pledged the rescue administration readiness to improve the wellbeing of Plateau citizens, by providing them with qualitative lives for effective good governance. He assured that under his government, no time will be wasted or delayed in the construction of new roads, among the contracts awarded by his administration. Lalong reassured citizens of the state that he would provide conducive atmosphere in the area of road and traffic management. He charged the ministry to strengthen the available laws to commence the process of revenue collection on vehicles, and ensure that there would be improvement on vehicles taxes; and also called on the commuters to cooperate with the VIO . He further said commissioning of road blocks would help in addressing security challenges and improve traffic road law in the state. He assured of implementing laws to regulate the movement of vehicles on the highways in the state, to check the activities of corrupt officials. The governor enjoined the state commissioner for Work and Transport, Hon. Pam Dungs, to ensure that the vehicles were strictly for public use and should not be converted into private use. Dungs expressed gratitude for the commissioning of the operational vehicles, which he said would further the agenda of the rescue mission. He said the mandate of the VIO is to help toward improving revenue generation in the state, and to release funds towards operation potholes within Jos and Bukuru metropolis. The Commissioner promised to ensure good maintenance of the newly purchased vehicles, revenue generation and pitching of potholes within the state capital.
Govt urges youths to shun idleness and embrace farming -Head of Service
By Yunusa Umar, Jos The Head of Civil Service, Plateau State Izam Atang Azi has urged Nigerian youths to commit themselves into agricultural activities as government is ready to provide an enabling environment to enhance agricultural production in the state. Izam Atang Azi disclosed this recently while fielding questions from journalists at the cabinet office, J.D Gwomwalk secretariat Jos, Jos North Local Government Area, saying when youths key into agriculture, they can find it easier to access fertilizer from government at a subsidized rate. Azi stressed that agriculture is a way of employment that can provide the youths with requisite opportunities because of the fertile nature of land in the country. He noted that Jos East LGA of Plateau State is endowed with fertile soil which is capable of yielding high produce, for local consumption and export. He added that the government of Simon Bako Lalong has expressed readiness to revamp the infrastructural facilities in the area, such as the reconstruction of Forbur to Mejuju and Angware road for inter-agricultural activities to take place in a proper shape. He further enjoined the people of Jos East LGA to support and pray for the success of the rescue administration of Simon Bako Lalong, to gain more dividend of democracy to achieve their yearning and aspirations, and thanked the governor for pledging to develop the community. Earlier, the Head of Service reiterated commitment of governor Lalong, noting that when he came into power newly, he promised prompt payments of salary of workers in the state, adding he wants to ensure all arrears of 7months are cleared. Mr Azi stated that the government after paying the outstanding workers salary and pension of retired civil servants has yielded a positive change in the lives of the beneficiaries, and promised to sustain welfare of workers serving in the state government. He appealed to state civil servants to continue to be patient with the policy strategy of the government; and also commended them for putting efforts in their respective duties despite the hardship caused by recession they went through in the previous months. “I want to advice the workers to erase the notion that the civil servants are known for being lazy,” he said, and urged them to rededicate their minds toward hard-work. “All efforts are being put in place to ensure that we don’t have ghost workers in the state civil service,” he further said. The state Head of Service also explained that measures are put in place to do physical verification of every worker to be screened. “We did BVN merging…there are no number of staff that are putting above their grade level or lower than their grade levels,” he said.
Plateau: NPS seek collaboration with govt., NGOs, others to cater for inmates
By Yunusa Umar, Jos The Plateau State Command of the Nigeria Prison service, NPS, Ailewon Noel has raised alarm over the rising numbers of condemned prisoners in the command, and is seeking collaboration with the state government to address the menace. Speaking on behalf of the comptroller, the state command Public Relations Officer, PRO, Assistant Superintendent of Prison, Asp, Luka Ayedoo at the state headquarters on Monday in Jos north local government Area noted that the comptroller is seeking partnership with the private sector, NGO and six states governors towards the improvement and betterment of those condemned prisoners in their custody. The comptroller stressed that it is part of the reformation to keep the prisoners in custody of government. Adding, some would be trained and re-united with their families to reduce number of crimes in the society. He appealed to the governors of Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Borno, Nasarawa, Yobe, Bauchi and FCT which is now swelling with high increase of condemned prisoners. According to him, the command has been prompt with the payment of salary, promotion arrears of the departments; some of them were recently decorated with their new ranks and no department is complaining over non payment, he said. He decried the numerous challenges bedevilling the command, were many of the discharged inmates are being stigmatised by their immediate families and friends in the society. Noel lamented that the Plateau State command cannot contain the swelling number of condemned prisoners any longer, due to the negligence attributed to the affected states within the control of the state command. He expressed worry about the current situation where inmates are being trained to be self reliant and be productive to the state and the community at large. “We have Lakushi farm and other projects, we also embark[ed] on cultivation exercise and entrepreneurship training, such as the metal work, tailoring, including small medium entrepreneurship education to the inmates,” he said. He disclosed that these are programmes that were employed by the department to ensure productiveness of the inmate who return back to the society nationwide. The command organized religious activities to both Christian and Muslim inmates, that was put together by heads their denomination towards encouraging them to contribute to national development, he added. Noel reiterated that education of the inmates has been one of the major target aimed at reducing the rate of crime in the state. The NPS said it has employed all the strategic policy into her custodian program plan for the inmates, to promote enlightenment campaign which education is one of the beneficial aims to reduce the rate of illiteracy.
Supervisory councillor advocates for revamping hospitality sector in Bassa LGA
By Yunusa Umar, Jos The Supervisory Councillor for Work, Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, Hon. Danjuma Abere has advocated for Public Private Partnership towards revamping the hospitality, and small, medium scale business in the council. Danjuma stated this during commissioning of relaxation centre for the youth held at Kabong, Jos North local Government Area. He explained that although the government is witnessing recession, there was need to create a conducive atmosphere for the private sector to grow, and encouraged each them to venture into the world of business. The main reason for this initiative was to ensure that job opportunities are created to reduce youth restiveness; for them to shun other social vices, he noted. “I know probably I have more than two kitchens here, where I will employ women to work inside the restaurant in preparing food for customers,” he said. Hon Danjuma commended the governor Simon lalong led administration for hard work to restore peaceful coexistence among the citizens of the state. He emphasized that the council has constructed many boreholes within the districts and renovation of Pengana Palace to meet up the world standard. Danjuma encouraged the peace loving people of Bassa LGA to put aside their differences, and embrace oneness for the progress of the council.
Law maker condemnes appointments of mgt. chairmen, describes the move as undemocratic
By Yunusa Umar, Jos The chairman House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Member representing Jos North, Former Deputy Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan has described the appointment of APC management committee chairmen in 17 Local Government as undemocratic. Baba Hassan stated this during an interview with journalists in his office, at the Plateau State House of Assembly complex, he spoke on issues bordering on the role legislators play as the third tier of government in the country. Hassan said: “ we are doing our best to ensure that all the laws are in place to conduct hitch free local government elections, which is at the committee level with various committees working hard to pass the 2017 budget into Law.” Hassan noted that the absence of elected officials hampers democracy and has brought about setback in the system; “and I have submitted my findings before the honourable house which will be made public,” he said. The former deputy speaker said that the Rescue leader, Governor Simon Bako lalong has givven them the matching order that all council chairmen should stay at the headquarters, because recent findings reveal that most LGA chairmen have abandoned their office and perching in the state capital. According to him, his committee is now working to ensure that all local government laws are in place, including that of Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC, whose bill is underway.
PSIRS DEBUNKS PRIVATE FIRM REVENUE GENERATION CLAIMS
By Yunusa Umar, JoS The Acting Executive Chairman, Plateau State Revenue Service, Mr. Dashe Arlat has debunked claims by a private firm organization in the generation of revenue collection process in the state. Arlat stated this during a press briefing held recently at revenue house headquarters, Bank road, Jos. He stated that a private firm cannot and will not generate revenue. Adding revenue is generated by a staff of the internal service through assessment, using the demand notice from the revenue office. He said “We need consultancy in the area of technology because in Nigeria there are no companies or ownership of technology, that is why the state has consulted a private firm technology to improve on our technical knowhow. “The state had engaged the services of a consultancy with the technology software that will make collection easy, assessment easy, and moving around with some gadget to make life easy for people; such will guarantee tax payers the opportunity to paying tax through internet service delivery system. A consultant cannot carry out any assessment on people whether payee or direct assessment. “The technology account for every details of collection that can be easily monitored which we can see and can apply at anytime.” He added. In a statement, the chairman pledged to make use of 500 temporary workers to judiciously generate 17,000.000.000.00 towards efficient implementation to financing the 2017 budget. He explained that the state government has plan to employ inward strategies to achieve its mandate of service, leveraging on the automation processes which makes it mandatory for payment of tax be made through banks ,POP, machines and the internet via tax payers ‘Tax Identification Number (TIN) . Mr Arlat stressed that staff of the revenue collection service were deployed to engage tax payers in a new approach tagged: “Know Your Taxpayers (KYT), aimed to encourage face to face interaction, assessment, collection and a follow up exercise to individual organizations and to stimulate compliance. According to him, the service placed emphasis on tax education and sensitization which intensified more awareness campaign across the state, using different medium of communication to create and elicit voluntary tax compliance. He further reiterated the commitment of Lalong administration in strengthening the service task of adhoc staff to widen the scope of income generation in the state. Dashe Arlat noted that training of staff will result in huge progress by capturing the population data of taxpayers, from informal sector with much work still needed to be done in that area. The PSIRS boss said the consultation with stakeholders, partnering with local government management and ministries, departments and agencies is gradually yielding positive result. He maintained that Plateau State bill on more state revenue generation has been passed on the floor of the State House of Assembly; and the bill will soon be ready for use in the state. He calls for the continuous support and cooperation from the general public as they go out to perform their duty of revenue collection, to help provide government with much needed resources which will bring development nearer to people.
Court begins trial of Plateau based online reporter
By Yunusa Umar,Jos A chief magistrate court sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital will on Friday 10th Feb. 2017, commence hearing into a case brought before it by the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Peter Ogunyanwo against a Jos based correspondent of the Eagle Online newspaper, Moses Gbande. The police commissioner is accusing Moses Gbande, personally, and not the Eagle online for publishing falsehood information capable of inciting the public. When the case was first mentioned to the. Chief Magistrate court, JMDB on the 10th of January, 2017, the persecuting lawyer of the state CIID, Bar. Ochayi said the allegations against the accused is criminal in nature and punishable under penal code laws of northern Nigeria. The Eagle online, it was gathered had on the 24th December, 2016 published that gunmen killed an ex-commissioner in Plateau, and also that LG boss kidnapped which the story did not go down well with the police. But It was gathered that, the Eagle Online had subsequently published reactions of the police in the issues of 27th and 28the December respectively to capture true view of the police position over the incident. The disturbing scenario being expressed in the public domain is why should the Commissioner of Police take up the reporter personally, even as other online media reported similar story before that of the Eagle online. For instance, Naija Motherland and Daily Nigeria reported thus; Outrageous: Gunmen Kill Commissioner, Kidnap Council Chairman In Plateau, www.dailynigerianews.naijamotherland.com/ Similarly, premium times reported that; Gunmen shoot commissioner dead, “kidnap” council chairman www.premiumtimesng.com/…/21... 23 Dec 2016. The story also reads in part … Gunmen shoot commissioner dead, “kidnap” council chairman … serving transition council chairman of Langtang South Local Government Area, Nicholas … amongst others.
NAAD to Inaugurate Plateau Chapter Excos, Curb Price hike on Foodstuffs
By Yunusa Abdullahi, Jos The Plateau State chapter of National Association of Agricultural product Dealers, Hamman Yusuf has expressed the association’s readiness to ensure that management team of the association will soon be inaugurated for the smooth take off . Speaking during the stakeholders meeting with the management team at the headquarters, federal secretariat Jos, Hamman said that after inauguration, the state chapter will commence enforcement on multiple taxation and levies along Nigeria high ways to reduce price hike on foodstuffs transportation. He reiterated that the gesture was to benefit the common man found on the streets. According to him, the program will take care of double taxation levies along Nigeria high ways; including the association’s willingness to partner with the military and other agencies in achieving the set goals. Hamman maintains that the present hike in prices of foodstuffs in the country during this period calls for the removal of multiple taxation in movement of goods from loading, up to final destination in order to reduce high rate of inflation. He said the present situation reveals the location of the first pay at the point of loading to various states, this is expected to exempt traders from further payments when they travel through other states. Hamman lamented that plateau state government still collects revenue on highways despite warnings from federal agency in charge. The chairman charged members to endure all manner of change to rescue the state and stop those milking the state and feeding fat on the collection. “we are committed to ensure that uniform will be distributed to all our members including the media team, to function properly, ” he explained.
NSCDC Commandant General Flags-Off Free Screening, Security Training Tips to NUJ Plateau
By Umar Sufi, Jos The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps ( NSCDC), office of the Commandant General, Alh. Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu has flagged-off free public security /safety training series to Plateau State council of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) . Represented by the Commandant NSCDC, Plateau state, Comdr. Solomon Olasupo, while declaring the occasion open at the conference hall of NUJ, Plateau state council, Jos, he said the Plateau state command has resolved to make security education as an integral part of the media partnership programme (MPP), adding that journalists should be involved in the process of educating the public on the danger of coverage. The NSCDC in collaboration with NUJ have partnered to train journalists on security concept , media /security operation, health tips, tips on media video recordings, photo journalism and conflict coverage . The event was kick-start with screening of journalists and general public on high blood pressure, followed by a lecture on creating awareness to avert disaster and various forms of threat to lives and properties, which 10 million Nigerians were exposed to within the first quarter. According to him, the command commenced the training of 100 pupils of primary schools on the risk of war and the consequences attached to crisis period. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the occasion, former commissioner, first Governor of Plateau State police commissioner, Joseph Gwom Walk, Hon. Gideon Barde thanked the NSCDC Commandant General for organizing the workshop to educate and enlighten journalists on the importance of health and training. He commended the leadership of NUJ, for the initiative which he maintained that security is a natural law for every man. “We feel more insecure nowadays unlike in the 70’s when the security of lives and properties was not a priority of government, then, our houses were always open 24 hours without any trace of criminally minded individuals loitering around to catch and steal, kidnap and kill.” Barde revealed that journalists whose preoccupation is to gather information and process it into news, whether published or aired on radio are being harassed by security agents across the globe. He described the profession as the second most hazardous job in the world, including the soldiers, and called on world leaders to recognize and respect the contribution of the media in nation building. The former commissioner for information appeals that all security apparatus should not be harassing members of the media, rather, they should forward complain to a proper authority or leadership umbrella. He urged journalists to be very sensitive while conducting themselves in the area of covering of news items. The council Chairman, Mr Yakubu Taddy, who expressed appreciation for the training stressed that journalists used to be secured before the security situation in the country became worst. He cautioned journalists to key into insurance scheme for their safety to avoid colloquial damage to the society . The NUJ Chairman warned security apparatus to stop harassing journalists for doing their work; rather, they should ensure accountability and transparency as government officials.
Traditional Ruler Appeals to security agencies to Curb Attacks by Gunmen
By Juliana Uzoka The Emir of Kanem, His Royal Highness, Mammadu Mu’azu Mohammed, has expressed fears of his safety after gunmen attacked the Nigeria Police station at Dangi, Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State on Monday. The Emir paid a visit to the Commissioner of Police, CP. Adekunle J. Oladunjoye on Wednesday, he was in the company of the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Babayo Gagdi and the Chairman Kanam LGC, Dangi, Isa Hashim to also sympathise with the police command on the death of their officer, Sgt. Zunpan Donatus, who was killed by unknown gunmen at the Dangi station. A source revealed that the Emir felt unsafe after the police station at Dangi was raided which resulted in the death of a police officer. The gunmen stole seven AK47, and released seven prisoners. On enquiry, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), ASP Tyopev Mathias Terna informed BC NEWS reporter that one of the AK47 has been found in the bush, while five of the released inmates have also been caught and brought back to the prison. The PRO said the police command had directed five of its officers to be on guard, but that the attack was as a result of the reckless attitude of four of the officers who abandoned their duty post, to go look for food to eat in the early hours of the morning. He confirmed that the officers were detained and being interrogated about the crime to ascertain their culpability. It would be recalled that the late Saf Ron Kulere, a first class traditional ruler, of Bokkos in Plateau State, Lazarus Agaie, was killed by gunmen after visiting his farm in Sha District of the area. The 76-year-old monarch who had been on the throne for 42 years, was killed along with his orderly, Sunday Wuyah, a police inspector, his wife, and son, Shagari.
Law Makers Urge Indigenes and Traditional Rulers to Have Confidence in Lalong’s Administration
By Rejoice Bienchit Dafam, Jos The success and gains so far recorded by the Governor Simon Lalong led administration has been attributed to the selfless sacrifice, trust and prayers of Plateau people. Majority Leader of the Plateau House of Assembly and member representing Shendam constituency Henry Rinkwap, stated this when he embarked on a thank you tour to the twenty ward that make up the constituency. A House of Assembly correspondent reports that the tour which is at the instance of the governor had all political appointees from the locality: APC stakeholders, officials and elders as well as chairman and management committee members in attendance. Biyank Ajekame ward is the first point of call to kick-start the thank you tour of the twenty wards that make up the shendam constituency. Addressing the jubilating gathering in all the ward visited, Henry yilkwap noted that he, the Governor and other political appointees from all the locality remain indebted to the people for the trust and confidence they have in the government. Yilkwap assured the people of government’s resolve in meeting their yearnings and aspiration, through people orientated projects and programmes. The law maker equally extended the governor’s appreciation to the constituents for maintaining and sustaining the existing peace in the area. He added that Government on its part will keep to its word by providing good governance, fair to all, and have an all inclusive representation; Yilkwap equally sold for continuous prayers from the people. Meanwhile law maker flanked by the management committee chairman of Shandam Local Government Area, Alex Nantuwan and political appointees from the local Government area, party state ward and supporters from the local government had earlier paid traditional homage in all the places visited . The traditional rulers while appreciating the visit urge government to keep to its word in the provision of social amenities saying they have every reason to support the government through prayers and advice considering the achievement it has recorded so far particularly in the area of peace building and workers welfare, The traditional institution added, going by how the drums where rolled out to receive the august visitors in all the twenty ward visited to show government appreciation is a glad demonstration of the people readiness to support the government to succeed in it activities. The APC Chairman southern zone Paul attah, legislative liaison to the Governor, Job Bukar, the Vice Chairman APC Elders Forum, shandam, Cletus Hermnan described the outing as satisfactory. Management Committee Chairman Shandam Local Government Area, Alex Nantwan and the Chairman Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board, Mattew Sule, assured of complementing government’s effort to the provision of critical social amenities such as health and educational facilities. Monitored: Peace FM 90.5
over 300 widows in Plateau gets support for the yuletide season
Yakubu Busari, Jos: A charity organisation, Rock of Ages Empowerment Foundation, has empowered 300 widows for the Christmas and new year celebrations, across the seventeen Local Government Areas of Plateau State. The coordinator for the State, Lady Florence Hassana Abadom, disclosed this while presenting the items for 2016 Christmas Joy, in Jos North. Hassana-Abadom,urged widows to persevere in the face of the enormous difficulties confronting them. “[For] the challenges you face today as a widow bringing up your children spiritually, physically and educationally; I urge you to endure and persevere, it will yield the desired result as God will exchange your sweat with sweetness of fruits of your labour,” she said. Abadom encouraged the widows to have hope, and also to understand that the hardships, frustrations, disappointments, rejections and other issues related to widowhood are surmountable. She challenged some spirited individuals to consider the plight of widows in this period of economic recession and come to their aid. Some of the items shared includes: 20 bags of rice, 5 bags of beans, clothes, shoes and cash donation across the LGAs in the state. The guest speaker, Evangelist Nafisa Yahaya Kwande reminded those at the Headquarters of the international ministry, Jos; of a Muslim woman who shared her testimony on how she met the Lord, and how she was transform from darkness into God miraculous light of favour. Kwande called on the widows to remain prayerful and courageous, and they shall overcome the storm of this world. In a remark, a member, Amb. Yemi Mathew lamented on need to reverse the culture of Africans, where women were placed on disadvantaged positions, thereby increasing their level of frustrations and hardships, when the breadwinner dies. He appealed to Christians who are wealthy to as a matter of concern, take the plight of widows with all seriousness and also admonished them to invest in bringing their children in way of the lord.
APC Stalwart Urges Politicians to see that Plateau Unity is Sacrosanct
Yakubu Busari, Jos An All progressive Congress (APC) stalwart has urged politicians to see that unity of Plateau state is sacrosanct and is key to the development of the state . The politician, Hon (chief) Amos Adamu Yat alias Maijama’a ikon Allah Bokkos gave this assurance in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday, at Bukuru Lowcost, in Jos South local Government Area of plateau state. Hon. Adamu-Yat said the major area of achievement so far recorded by Lalong’s government is in the area of securing of lives and property of citizenry in the past one an half year. “Governor Simon Lalong has to intensity more efforts to restore more confidence in all the nook and crannies of the state to ensure that people promote mutual understanding.” He emphasized that the era of regarding Plateau as a civil service state is gone; he urged everybody to contribute towards the diversification of an agricultural economy. Adamu-Yat encouraged Lalong to improve on the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); as well as harness the potentials of other sectors, by creating more employment opportunity to the jobless teeming youths in the state. The APC stalwart charged Lalong to intensify efforts to ensure that the APC administration does not have the same problems the PDP experienced in the past; he advised that the foundation remains solid and unshakable. He called on people living on the Plateau to appreciate God for blessing the state with various types of food crops, saying that the weather is conducive to grow more types food crops. Adamu-Yat advocates low price of fertilizer and urged government to make farming implement available through mechanized system in the state. The stalwart also encouraged youths in the state to venture more into agriculture, because of its potentials as a good income generation base.
Constitution provides room for cross carpeting in Nigeria politics, Speaker Dogara says
Yakubu Busari,Jos The Speaker House of Representative, Rt Hon. Yakubu Dogara has said, Sen Joshua Dariye and Deputy speaker, Rt Hon. Yusuf Babayo Gagdi have the right to cross carpet to APC, owning to the lingering crisis rocking PDP in the country. He disclosed this after a grand reception organized to welcome the decampees at the Rwang Pam stadium on Wednesday, in Jos North LGA. Dogara described the return of Dariye and his unflinching support to the party, as great thing that had happened to the APC family. He commended Gov. Simon Lalong for setting pace in the offset of the salaries of civil servants across the country. “Plateau is prospering in the hands of APC government, I’m proud to receive Dariye into APC family,” he said. The Speaker further said: ” cross carpeting is part of our constitution, so Dariye and Gagdi leaving PDP to APC is a legal issue, because the crises in PDP has led many to cross carpet to another party .” Dogara noted that the APC inherited the mess which they have accepted, and are willing to transform the economy by putting more efforts to generate money for security and safety of lives. According to him, there is over 90 billion in agriculture and transport sector; revenue that accrues from these sectors can drive the economy. In his remarks, Governor Simon Lalong thanked the president for having the interest of the state at heart; the president took steps in ensuring that the hardships in the state was ameliorated. “I thank you all because Mr.President has not disappointed us, we are gradually surmounting our problems. “I met a huge backlog of arrears of pensioners , salaries of civil servants, we promised paying all these salaries before December,” he added.
Gov Lalong presents capital budget of 132.7 bn to the State Assembly
Yakubu Busari The Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, on Tuesday, presented N132.7 bn appropriations bill for the 2017 budget at the floor of the state assembly . Governor Lalong presented Proposed Capital Expenditure Estimate of Sixty Four Billion, Two Hundred and Seventy Nine Million, Six Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand, Seven Naira (N64,279,689,007.00) only, for the 2017 financial year. The governor who made the presentation before the state house at the plenary said, the estimate which represents 48.44 percent of total budget estimate, is also less than the 2016 approved estimate with N9,091,385,953.00 or 12.39 percent. Tagged: “Budget of Rescue and confidence building”, the Governor explains that the administrative sector will gulp the sum of Thirteen Billion, Six Hundred and Sixty One Million, One Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twenty Eight Naira (N13,661,129,728.00) representing 21.25%. He said the economic sector has an allocation of Thirty Billion, Three Hundred and Twenty Three Million, One Hundred and Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira (N30,323,108,738.00) representing 47.17%. The governor gave the estimate for the social sector as Nineteen Billion, Five Hundred and Eighty Two Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty One Naira (N19,582,452,541.00) representing 30.47%. Also, the law and justice sector has, Seven Hundred and Twelve Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand Naira only (N712,998,000.00) representing 1.11%”. He said his administration is determined to funding the activities of Education which is very vital to economic growth, hence the sum of Eleven Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifteen Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Six Thousand and One Naira (N11,915,666,001.00), representing 18.54% of the capital estimate in the 2017 fiscal year. Out of this amount, the sum of One Billion Naira (N1,000,000,000.00) is earmarked for the completion of renovation work of Fifteen Secondary Schools (5 in each of the Three Senatorial Zones), the governor said. The governor further revealed that the renovation of Technical College, Bukuru, is allocated the sum of Twenty Five Million Naira (N25,000,000.00). The three Science Schools under renovation at Kuru, Mangu and Shendam; are allocated the sum of Three Hundred Million Naira (N300,000,000.00) for their completion, while Five Hundred Million Naira (N500,000,000.00) is for equipping the renovated schools. He expressed regrets that the year 2016 had been economically very challenging due to the general economic recession in the country, occasioned by a drastic fall in National Income from various revenue sources. He said: “The attendant effect of this is a drop in the allocation accruing to the state from the Federal Government, which has been left at the mercy of Money Banks for the servicing of debts that are owed by the State. ” Despite these daunting challenges, we have remained focused in delivering on the promises made to our citizenry, and today in keeping with the constitutional duty of office, laying before you the proposed estimates of the State for the 2017 Fiscal Year. “I recognize and commend your individual and collective sense of patriotism, commitment and selfless disposition for service to your constituents, despite the non-availability of financial resources. “These include your speedy passage of bills that led to our establishment of Plateau State Medium Enterprise Development Agency (PLASMEDA), Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA), Plateau State Primary Health Care Development Agency (PLPHCDA), The Public Procurement Law, The Tax Harmonization Bill and most recently passed the 2016 Supplementary Budget, amongst others. “These efforts have confirmed your commitment to working in nexus with the Executive and be a part of history in our collective pursuits of giving the best to the generality of our citizens,” governor Lalong said.
Plateau state chapter of SWAN elects new exco, as Yilmen emerges Chairman
Yakubu Busari,Jos Mr Thadeous Yilmen of the Plateau Radio Television Cooperation (PRTVC ) has re-emerged the chairman of Plateau state chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria unopposed. He was elected in 2013 after defeating Mr Ibrahim Lot of the Nigerian Standard to claimed the victory and has contributed to growth of SWAN in the state . These new exco are to pilot the affairs of the association for the next three years, they are include: Agabus Pwanagba of the Authority newspaper ,Docas Gonne of Federal Radio Cooperation of Nigeria (FRCN), and Andre Dennis Bisyit of the Nigerian Standard Newspaper . In his acceptance speech, Mr Thadeous Yilmen pledged his commitment to the state exco ” we shall give accountability and transparency to the tenure of another three years,” he said. Yilmen urged the members of SWAN to observe 5 minutes silent to the soul of the father of Jerry Udoh, who died last night, yet Udoh witnessed the colourful swearing in ceremony of the exco . He solicited the understanding of members and the exco to enable the SWAN achieve meaningful development within the shortest period of time . The zonal Vice Chairman of zone D, Dan-Musa Mohammed revealed that: “today mark a turning point of fruitful experience to all, come together to celebrate the victory of our own in the sports industry.” He advised the new exco to see everyone as members of one family, and to ensure that they move the activities of SWAN in Plateau state to an enviable height by inviting more members to join them.
Lalong set to stimulate growth in ailing industries and revamp JIB, others
Yakubu Wuyep, Jos
The President, Plateau Vanguard for Progressive Change (PVPC), Hon. James Arin has eulogized governor Simon Bako Lalong for presenting 2017 budget to focus on revamping ailing industries, to produce goods and services to the people and a sustainable development of the state. This commendation was contained in a press statement made available to the media by Senate President, James Arin and his Secretary, Philip Eplong, at the Senate’s Chamber in Jos, on Monday. The president also commended the Governor of Plateau State for presenting blueprint for developing infrastructural in rural areas, into cosmopolitan settings. He tasked politicians in Plateau state to sort their political differences and cooperate with one another, in order to work collectively towards the development and progress of the state. Hon Arin stressed the administration is committed to the settlement of outstanding civil servants arrears, salaries and the pensioners; he as well appealed that the state government should consider the plight of no work ,no pay workers of local governments in the state. He appreciated the governor for the remarkable achievement his administration recorded within the two years in office; “the construction of road network and other developmental projects across the state is highly commendable,” he said. According to him, the governor should put more efforts in maintaining the existing peace by creating jobs to the teeming of unemployed women and youths in the state. The PVPC president called on the religious leaders, to give the governor all the needed support; to encourage him achieve his objective of transforming the state to an industrial economy. He lauded plateau state for undertaken a balance of N117,713,702.95 paid for the conclusion of the construction of the main roads to the Plateau State University ,Bokkos; a balance of N78,486,453.49 paid for the construction of Kalong bridge and sum of N120 million for water treatment chemical of the state water board. Arin applauded the administration for its intentions to revive Jos International Brewery (JIB) plc; and the ability of the state government to purchase and distribute improved seedlings of tomatoes and Irish potatoes to farmers at subsidized rates.
LG staff to expect five months salaries… IGR dips due to defaulters
By Yakubu Wuyep, Jos
The Plateau State chapter, Nigerian Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) is to start getting its five months alerts, as outstanding arrears and salaries in the yuletide season of December 2016.
The commissioner for Information and Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon Nazif Mohammed, Daiyabu Garga both confirmed this during the monthly briefing at the conference hall of Yakubu Gowon state secretariat, on Monday.
The Commissioners, in a statement assured the LGA’s staff of government readiness to pay them all their outstanding salaries, which was earlier promised to them, saying Government has completed the monthly paper work with the office of Accountant General.
They said, this administration recorded low Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), between the months of November and December, 2016 fiscal year.
The statement stressed that the revenue profile which was drastically dropped below 600 to 800 million naira, in the last few months was due to high level of defaulters who failed to remit their revenue to the state account.
Plateau Cake bakers cry out they are losing business to other states as ‘Jos Bakes’ Kicks off
By Isaac Garba, Jos Plateau Bakers Forum has rallied support from among its members to stem the tide of what they perceive as flight of cake patronage from Jos to neighbouring states in Nigeria. Residents in Jos city were given a big treat today as they converged on Baxter’s Garden by J.D Gomwalk Secretariat Jos, to flag off ‘Jos Bakes’. The event which was put up as a campaign for bakers within the Tin City to retain their customers, as well as showcase varieties of cakes, pastries and other confectioneries, drew large crowd that never knew such number of bakers exist on the Plateau. Organizer of the event, Mr Bala Emmanuel, a banker who resigned in 1998 to take up baking as a profession after 9 years with the banking sector, told BC NEWS that: “I thought it wise that it is better we have one voice because we found out that people go to Abuja, Lagos and other places to make their cakes; I even had a friend who said she was ordering her Christmas cakes from Abuja.” The thought of how to increase patronage and create awareness of cake bakers within the state, he said inspired him to birth the project. Mr Emmanuel further said that the forum equally catered for caterers who wish to develop new ideas to advance on their trade, as well as making it an avenue for networking. “The forum is basically for people who would want to add to their knowledge … some are here to make a name.” Even with the present economic challenges around the country, people were still seen trooping in and a cake lover, Mr Lamba Peter spoke to BC NEWS saying he had always wanted varieties and the event met his expectations.’ “It’s impressing. The organization was well done and the varieties are so awesome. Before today, I was always looking for varieties and today I am satisfied, as you can see I have a big bunch in my hands”, he said. A caterer and member of Plateau Bakers Forum, Mr. Gabriel said although the business has its challenges, more awareness would go a long way in improving sales. “Like any other sector, you have your season and it’s all good and sometimes there is nothing” he said. A participant, Mrs Ogecha Mamudu, said she initially took the business as a part time work; she also has a poultry farm. For her, it’s been a great experience; on average she makes a profit of N50, 000 per month. It was a colorful event as cake lovers and bakers were entertained with bits of varieties of cakes and confectioneries, music and the serene environment. It was a mix of professional bakers, cake lovers and aspiring bakers; making it a delightful day, as questions were asked, ideas shared and new friends were made.
Plateau Govt threatens to close down schools over OPV immunization
By Yakubu Busari,Jos
The Plateau State Government has threatened to close down schools that cannot comply with the directive of allowing children to be vaccinated with the routine Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV).
Executive Secretary, Plateau State Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr Livenus Mipkwa, who gave this warning on behalf of the government, said any public or private schools that refused to allow their pupils to be immunized against polios and measles would be shutdown.
He lamented that due to some harmful traditional practices in Jos North and Jos South, children are not allowed to be immunized against polio measles .
Dr Mipkwa said, most of those who denied their children access to immunization are foreigners who settled on Plateau, and are still maintaining their culture due their traditional and religious beliefs.
He disclosed that the state has immunized over 156,726 children, representing 120 % of polio free immunization vaccine in 17 LGAs, against the child killer in partnership with UNICEF; and strengthening immunization governance in Nigeria.
Explaining to our correspondent during an exclusive interview at the Plateau Specialist Hospital in Jos, Mipkwa said the state has officially launched European Union support to immunization governance in Nigeria (EU-sign) project in Plateau state.
According to him, the state embarked on wider mobilization through the traditional fathers to enlighten the rural populace on the danger associated with polio and measles across the LGAs .
The Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Gyang Buba Jacob, who is the head of the team, represented by Emir of Kanam Local Government Area, HRH, Mohammadu Babagida Mua’azu, expressed confidence on the responses of the people.
The Executive boss decried short of man power and inadequate funds as the major setback to the smooth running of the program in the state, adding that many of the staff are undergoing retirement and there is lack of replacement.
He revealed that the first 4 round of OPV coverage in the state has achieved 100% and “we have introduced new program of maternal new week training to pregnant women to avoid death during child birth.”
Dr livenus Mipkwa added that since he came on board, so many facilities were lacking. The board purchased 46 solar deep freezers, to be disbursed across the primary health care centre in the state.
“we also received 100 drugs equipments from UNICEF for immunization of children and we urge our staff to commence e-payment, which would be introduced in January, 2017”, he explained.
The state immunization officer, Sani Yohana Jugu said the flag-off of OPV in the state recorded a huge success, especially in the Plateau North were 430 children were vaccinated.
He complained that some parents are resisting allowing their children to be immunized, adding that the affected communities would be educated on the dangers of polio and measles in children.
Eid el Maulud, a celebration of good neigbourliness
By Isaac Garba Muslim faithful around the world are in a festive mood as they get ready to celebrate Eid-el Maulud, the birth of Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him. The atmosphere seemed charged in anticipation of the celebration; Muslims were seen all around the markets in Jos making final arrangements towards the celebration. Mallam Ibrahim Usman, an Islamic scholar told BC NEWS that the significance of the celebration of Id-El Maulud is to commemorate the birth of Prophet Mohammed, explaining that the birth of the prophet was followed by a mysterious radiance of light all over the world; a sign that a true prophet of Allah is born. Mallam Ibrahim added: “Id-El Maulud marks the day Allah sent his prophet to bring light into a dark world”. The scholar laid emphasis that a true follower of the teachings of prophet Mohammed must embrace peace and show love. Another faithful, Sagir Mohammed, a trader at the Jos-Abuja market told BCnews that he is expecting a very peaceful Id-El Maulud, compared to the previous one. He said eventhough the prices of goods are on the high side, people have tried “and as you can see the patronage is not too bad”. On further investigation BCNEWS spoke to other traders who attributed the hike in price of commodities to the increase in fuel price. Adams Adams a butcher said that he is enthusiastic and looking forward to the celebration. “we are happily preparing for Id El Maulud as you can see, we brought plenty of meat. if you were here in the morning you would have seen it; costumers have tried their best in buying even though things are very costly”, he said. When quizzed about the reason to the high price of goods Adams said that last year, a kilo of beef sold for 900 to 1000 naira, today a kilo is selling for 1200 Naira. “We used to pay 5000naira to bring a cow from the village, now we pay 15000 naira to bring a cow; fuel was 65 naira per litre now it is 140 to 150 naira a litre.” He asked if fuel is not the obvious problem. “So fuel is the problem”, he said. They all spoke up on the need for Muslims to engage in activities that will promote peace, saying that any one that does not show love to his neighbour in these hard times is not celebrating the true essence of Id-El Maulud.
GOVERNOR LALONG FELICITATES WITH THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY…ENJOINS NIGERIANS TO SEEK FOR PEACE AND UNITY
Ahead of the Sallah celebration, Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong has felicitated with the entire Muslim Ummah in the state, Nigeria and the world at large. In a statement signed by the Director Press and Public Affairs, to the Governor, Emmanuel Nanli, Lalong urged the Muslim Ummah to reflect on the significance of religious obligations, by putting to use the spiritual lessons learnt during the period of the Ramadan fast, in consolidating on the peace the state is enjoying. He stressed that the virtues of sacrificial love for humanity in giving alms to the poor and needy, will reflect the gratitude of the Muslim faithful to Allah, for their fulfilment of one of the pillars of Islam. Governor Lalong enjoined the Muslim Ummah, to use the occasion to of Eid –el Fitri to sustain their prayers for the peace and unity of Nigeria, adding that government of Plateau State, has put machinery in place to ensure security of lives and property of Nigerians, during the celebration and beyond. The Governor while wishing the Muslims a peaceful and memorable Sallah celebration, urged all citizens to maintain law and order during and after the celebration. Similarly, the Plateau State Government felicitates with Muslim Ummah as the Ramadan fast is being concluded, which will result in the Sallah celebration tomorrow. A statement signed by Plateau State Commissioner of Information and Communication, Mohammed Naziv, urges the Muslim Ummah to use the celebration for sober reflection, putting behind things that divide them, while focusing on the things that unite them as a people, and continue to support governor Simon Bako Lalong’s government for the good of all. According to the statement, citizens should remain vigilant and proactive, during the Sallah celebration, and to report any suspicious movement and objects in their communities to security agents.
Grassroots football match plays the field to promote agriculture
Governor Lalong threatens sack, tasks civil servants on punctuality to justify pay
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has expressed satisfaction with the level of work at the Joseph Gomwalk Secretariat. The Governor made this known shortly after inspecting work at the Ministries of Education, Information, Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, as well as the Ministry of Finance. Governor Lalong noted that this was part of his earlier commitment to pay unscheduled visit to the secretariat after completion of the project. The Governor explained that his mission was to ascertain the level and quality of work and as well, confirm the attitude of civil servants towards their work. “I have been bombarded severally in the last four months about arrears of salaries. I have worked very hard and arrears of salaries are ready; before those arrears are paid, we must also confirm that people are coming to work. We cannot spend all the money in the secretariat, rushing to complete [work] and people are not coming to work.” The governor warned that it will not be business as usual, as defaulters would not be spared. “This time, it is a serious business, if you don’t come to work, you won’t earn your salary. And I have already put a measure to ensure that only genuine workers are paid. If you don’t come to work and I come back on an unscheduled visit, you’ll leave because it is not my money, it is the money of the Plateau people; they can’t pay you and you don’t come to work.” On the issue of leakages in salary administration, the governor said measures are in place to address the issue of ghost workers. “About the number of ghost workers, they’ll remain available to me and I will publish it so people will know who ghost workers are and who ghost workers are not.” On his part, the governor promised to ensure that electricity and water supply which the staff complained of are made available.
Grazing reserves bill “is ranching…protected by government” not land snatching – Gov. Lalong
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, has debunked allegations that the State Government is in support of a grazing bill before the National Assembly with the objective to forcibly make landowners to part with their lands for grazing purposes. The Governor said what the government is aware of was the Federal Government’s Ranching Policies, of Modern Livestock Production in the state. Governor Lalong who made this clarification to journalists in government house, Rayfield, said the allegations against the state government on adoption of the grazing bill was misleading, stressing that the state government has no power over what happens to privately sponsored bill before the National Assembly. He said the State Government is willing to appoint representatives of the state in the National Assembly on how to squash the bill. The Governor said:”We are not even aware of the bill, nobody has sent a copy to me to tell me there is a bill (proposed bill by an individual): but am saying that [Plateau State] government is not part of that bill. The governor questioned how he could possibly be part of something that he was not privy to, adding that until he is in the know, before he would be able to decide whether to be part of it or to reject it. He added: “But in respect to grazing policy, it’s about improvement of livestock production, and I mentioned it in my broadcast, I briefed and elaborated on it before the broadcast. It is simply livestock intervention by government for livestock production. “Livestock production is not restricted to cattle; it also includes sheep; it also includes goat; it also includes even pigeon and fishery. You know there was already a shift from oil to agriculture, so every piece of our policy that is going to empower our people, especially the youth, the state must key into it.” Governor Lalong said he had delegated religious leaders in the state to begin the first phase of consultation on policy, with appropriate authorities in Abuja and that their report was ready. He said: “The people will now look at it; you do consultations if they agree to it they go on, but to tell me that they will not bring it to Plateau was quite shocking to me. But the same National Assembly member have already passed the budget to include that in the budget for this year and money has been disbursed to some states in respect to empowerment through agriculture, by way of livestock production. “It is not grazing per se; it is ranching to be protected by government, with security. Government will develop the land and allocate the land to people who are desirous of engaging in the business.” The State Governor said the ranching policy is voluntary for interested communities and individuals. He further said that no one would seize anyone’s land for ranching as was being widely speculated in some quarters.
Maiden Draught CompetitionTournament takes off in Jos, members vie for its inclusion into the National Sports Festival
By Princely Macnice
The maiden Draught Competition of RT Hon.Peter Ajang Azi began today with the ground opening at the Azi Nyako Youth Center of plateau state. The tournament is expected to draw competitors from Jos-North and Jos-South Local Government Council of the state; the objective of the game is to foster peace among factions in the state. Fixtures for the maiden draught competition were seen on the increase as participants turned out in their numbers from various areas of the state to register their quarters for the tournament. The Honorable Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Danladi Mann in his opening speech to mark the beginning of the tournament, said that this was the first of its kind on the plateau and in Nigeria sporting outing. He further said that the draught tournament should be included amongst the association in the Sports Council and applauded the speaker on this initiative. The Commissioner observed that the rescue team on the change mantra of the present administration has provided the enabling environment: He added that the newly 77% completed FIFA rated Stadium on the plateau, is designed to attract benefits to the sporting communities on the plateau and environs. He stressed also on gender balance and challenged the women to participate in sporting events as well while expressing gratitude to the organizers, sponsors and the players as well. During the opening ceremony of the draught competition, Hon; Ishaya Gadu said that the honorable speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, RT Hon. Peter Ajang Azi has a vision for organizing the tournament which will correct the negative impression on the game, player all over the country and at large; stating that the tournament would prove the game as that of the intellectual display. He further said that the tournament is for the promotion of grassroots sports development in plateau state, also to gain recognition and prominence in the state and the Nation at large and by this, to facilitate its inclusion in the National Sports Festival. One of the youth leadership of the Angwan Rukuba axis of the plateau state, Mr. Ijai Buba, said that since he is on the side of peace and reconciliation group – the essence of the competition is to unify clubs players in the draught sports. SWAN Secretary, Plateau State Chapter, Mr. Agabus said the game would serve as a bait to open the game, “as it is for those who think before they act in any area of life”, he said. The NUJ Secretary Mr. Basil Longpuan, also in his speech added: “this gesture will not only promote sports development but at the same time would turn around public participation in the future of the game.”
Unijos Appoints new Vice-Chancellor, matriculates 7000 students
By Princely Macnice The 12th governing council of the University of Jos has approved the appointment of Professor Sebastian Seddi Maimako, Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Jos, as the new Vice Chancellor of the institution. The decision was taken during the council’s recommendation of its selection boards, in its special meeting held on Friday 22nd April 2016. Prof. Maimako appointment as the new Vice Chancellor would take effect from the 23rd June, 2016; he took over the mantle of leadership from Professor Heyward Mafuyai whose tenure ends on the 22nd June, 2016. The appointment is for a single term of five (5) years. Other appointments in various departments of the university were also made. The new registrar, Mr Moses Monday Danjem’s appointment takes effect on the 24th June, 2016. The University has also matriculated about 7000 students into various degree programmes of the institution, with a charge on them to adhere strictly with the rules and regulations of the university. The Vice Chancellor of the University,Professor Heyward Mafuyai made this known during the 2015/2016 ceremony of the university.