by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Plateau State Government has sworn-in 19 Advisers out of which 4 are Honorary Advisers with 2 Deputy Chiefs of Staffs, by the State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, with a charge on them to “add impetus to governance and the delivery of quality services to the people.”
While swearing-in the advisers, the governor said they played various roles at different times in not only ensuring that the Rescue Administration came into office, but also making sure it succeeds in building a peaceful and all-inclusive Plateau.
He urged them, thus: “That is why you must consider these appointments as a great privilege for you to serve the people of Plateau State by advancing the programmes and policies of the Rescue Administration.
“You must bring to the table fresh ideas and vigour that will advance the cause of the people, who gave us their mandate to execute. As Special Advisers, government will be looking up to you for quality, honest and unbiased counsel at all times,” he said, adding, “You should be able to operate above personal and parochial interests because you have been called upon to serve the public and not yourselves or associates.”
He admonished them to at all times endeavour to work in synergy with other appointees and civil servants within the MDAs in executing various programmes and projects of government, and urged them to see their appointments as not a licence for competition, show-of-power, or influence-peddling, but for service.
The governor said, already, there is an increase in the tempo of political activities within the State and elsewhere, which have given rise to voices that are desperately working to castigate government and downplay its excellent records of performance.
“You have to speak up at every given opportunity to project the true narratives of how our administration broke the jinx of governance by inheriting and completing many projects abandoned by the past government, which was of a different political party, and should also showcase the many programs and projects initiated and executed by this government, which have touched lives positively,” he urged.
He appealed to all political actors in the State and outside to exercise restraint and show decorum in their utterances. Rather than overheat the polity and engage in damaging propaganda, they should sell their aspirations and ambitions to the people in a civilized and respectful manner as the people know those, who love them, and those, who have worked hard to give them peace and progress.
On the impasse at the Plateau House of Assembly, the governor said, “I call on the good people of Plateau State to disregard all the misinformation and campaign of calumny targeted at the government and my person, over the recent events in the State House of Assembly.
“For us, this is the beauty of democracy and the dividends of autonomy, which everyone knows that I fought for over many years, and also became the first governor in Nigeria to implement.”
He said, because the legislature is an independent and autonomous arm of government, they must be allowed to resolve their challenges and grow as an institution. After all, the third arm of government – the Judiciary – is there for anyone, who feels aggrieved over happenings in the House, to approach it for remedy.
According to him, there is, therefore, no need for media propaganda, insults, threats and blackmail, which unfortunately has been championed by some interested parties to gain political relevance.
The governor also inaugurated four Honorary Special Advisers, two Deputy Chiefs of Staff as well as the Board of the Plateau Solid Minerals Development Company Ltd.
Responding on behalf of the appointees, Hon. Diket Plang, who is Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Affairs, said they will do their best to serve the State and ensure the success of the APC Rescue Administration, which has done a lot to change the trajectory of development and peace in the State.
Those swear-in and their portfolios include, Hon. Diket Plang – Public Affairs, Arch. Pam Dung Gyang – Political Affairs, Justice Philomena Lot (Rtd) – Judicial Affairs, Chief Burki Gofwan – Physically Challenged Affairs, Barr. Jonathan Mawiyau – Legal Affairs, Mrs. Felicia Yakzum – Women Affairs, Hon. Joe Bukar – Legislative Affairs, Hon. Danladi Mann – Sports Affairs, Hon. Talatu Apini – Humanitarian Affairs, Barr. Bashir Musa Sati – Inter-Party Affairs, Barr. Kwamkur Samuel Vondip – Job Creation and Entrepreneurship, and Rev. Dr. David Laje – Religious Affairs (Christian).
Others are, Hon. Sani Mudi – Religious Affairs (Muslim), Maj-Gen. Paul Guar (Rtd) – Inter-Community Relations, and Engr. Ishaku Awatai – Minerals Development.
Those of Honorary Special Advisers include, Nde Ezekiel Gomos – Economic Affairs/ Chairman of State Economic Advisory Team, Prof. Ochapa Onazi – Agriculture, Chief Michael Maqual – Youth Affairs, and Maj-Gen. A.C. Agundu (Rtd) – Intelligence.Also, the Deputy Chiefs of Staff in the Governor’s Office were equally sworn-in. These are, Salihu Kwando – Deputy Chief of Staff (General Admin) and Ibrahim Saleh Maitala – Deputy Chief of Staff (Political Affairs), respectively.