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Democracy Day Succor: Plateau Govt Pardons 7 Prison Inmates

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

Seven (7) inmate prisoners have been granted pardon for their good conduct by the Plateau State Government, with effect from their different dates of sentences.

Those pardoned are, Nanfa Gwantur, Ponzing Nanshe, Wasa Zachariah, Timkur Laven, Dauda Joshua. Their death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment, while Davou Dalyop Mancha and Cletus Augustine were granted “absolute pardon.”

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, announced this during his broadcast to the people of the state to mark the 2021 Democracy Day.

The governor made the declaration, while siting the powers conferred on him, in Section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, after due consolation with the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.

Even as he said, “We commemorate the 2021 Democracy Day, which marks 22 years of the return to democratic governance,” the governor equally appealed to all citizens of the state to put the interest of the peace and stability of the land above personal, religious and political sentiments, “so that we can build a society that promotes freedom, justice, tolerance and reconciliation.”

Governor Lalong reminded the people to bear in mind that “we have a role to play not only in sustaining the democratic culture, but also standing up for good governance and politics that seeks to serve rather than be served.”

He urged those who are in one position of authority or the other to serve with the fear of God and accountability of the people they serve.

Lalong then appealed to the citizens to abide by the guidelines for preventing the disease and also take personal responsibility for their health, as experts have indicated that, people may have to live with the virus for a while.

Furthermore, Lalong called on them to make themselves available for the vaccine, which is free and voluntary, adding that “At this time when contending with the Corona virus pandemic, there is need for us to work together in forging ahead, in order to overcome all the setbacks caused to both the people and the economy by the disease.

“That is why we should solicit for the cooperation of all citizens, irrespective of any difference in the journey towards building a greater plateau,” he said.

He assured PLASIEC and security agencies that government will give the needed support to ensure that, no one threatens the peace and unity of the state under the guise of local government election.

According to him, “Whoever chooses to resort to violence rather than approach the courts and legitimate structures to express their grievances before and after elections will not be tolerated.”

The governor added that, about 400 extension workers were recruited and deployed to the 17 local government areas of the state, while more than 5,000 farmers were successfully assisted to enroll into the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

He disclosed further that, Plateau State has gone far with plans to implement ranching in the state through their participation in the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP).

He revealed that, government has recruited over 412 doctors and other health professionals to provide health services at the various facilities across the state, in its efforts to upgrade facilities in many tertiary health institutions.

“We have also conducted vaccination, using the Oxford Astrazeneca Vaccines and, so far, 9,063 cases where recorded; out of these, 9,005 were treated and discharged, while 57 persons with related illnesses of the pandemic lost their lives.” he stressed.

On his Legacy Projects, Lalong said, 20 projects made up of 8 model primary schools, 6 model secondary schools and 6 model hospitals have reached advanced stages of completion, and also constructed 200 primary schools as well as rehabilitation of many others.

He noted that government has intervened in 19 out of the 28 inherited road projects and that work on 26 new road projects awarded by his administration are ongoing.

According to him, about 60,000 citizens of the state will benefit from the 20 million dollars COVID-19 Action Economic Stimulus Programme for Result (CARES) that will soon take off.

Speaking on revenue, the governor said it has grown from about N600 million to average of N1 billion currently, and has risen to over N3 billion monthly.

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