Rejoinder: “The Deepening Leadership Crisis in Nigeria, The Case of Plateau State” ||By VOLA12 min read
A jaundiced, incoherent and ignorant material has been circulating in the social media under the headline “THE DEEPENING LEADERSHIP CRISIS IN NIGERIA” purportedly released by one Dr. Christopher Piwuna Goson, said to be a consultant psychiatrist with the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
In the said write up, he called on Plateau State Governor Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong, KSGG to resign from his office for what he described as lack of capacity.
Ordinarily, this junk would have been ignored and dismissed as the ranting of an attention seeker and rabble rouser. However, a careful look at the write up shows that it could be the handiwork of political mercenary who is on a mission to self-destruction and eager to drag the gullible with him.
Therefore, this reply is not to join issues with the writer and his sponsors but to save the public from being misled by the concoction which is filled with lies, innuendos, inaccuracies and unwarranted attacks on Governor Simon Bako Lalong by someone who is assumed to be educated and discerning.
To say that the said character is a medical practitioner and labour leader is shocking, not least by the fact that he is said to be a “Consultant” in the field of psychiatry. If indeed he is what he claims, then one would definitely imagine that he needs to urgently see a psychiatrist for proper evaluation before he jumps over the cliff.
If not a mental case, how would someone who confessed in his opening paragraph by admitting that he is “…not an expert in politics or political science, nor …. belonging to any political party”, suddenly wake up with a thesis and declaration that a Governor who was massively elected in 2015 and 2019 by the good people of Plateau State should resign.
Maybe this critic and his co-travellers have been in another planet and did not know that Governor Lalong till date remains the longest serving Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly and the only politician in the history of the State to defeat the candidate of a ruling party. If only he knew, he would not jump into an arena he knows little or nothing about. It is obvious who should be schooled about issues related to politics, evaluation, performance and resignation.
Let us now run through the rigmarole by the petitioner and try to educate him on some of his baseless propositions with the hope he will come back to his senses after undergoing psychiatric evaluation and treatment which is strongly advised.
Funding Governor Lalong’s Election
To begin his verbose rant, the writer started by claiming that he led the fundraising for the election of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong among his family members and friends which brought him to office. Just how much he collected was not stated as he pretended to go humble after going public with unsubstantiated claims and attempting to take glory for bringing Governor Lalong to office.
While the Governor remains grateful for the people of Plateau State and all well-meaning individuals and groups who did so much (without shouting on the top of the roof like him) to the success of his elections, he does not need to be disrespected by shenanigans such as the Piwuna character who is out to seek cheap popularity and draw political sympathy by disparaging the Governor. Could he be desperately trying to gain visibility for future elections? After all, it is on record that one “Piwuna” contested for senatorial seat and lost woefully.
We hope this name is a mere coincidence and not associated with this writer as it will amount to political suicide for any right thinking politician to be in league with this character who is clearly a neophyte that knows little about governance. In any case, 2023 is not far away and hopefully, the critic should get ready to test his popularity. Governor (Alert) Lalong will be more than willing to return his “claimed” gesture a thousand fold.
By the way, what has he achieved in his years of labour unionism and medical practice? Has he carried out any project for his community? How many has he personally empowered having held leadership positions in ASUU and NMA? Has he dug a well, not to talk of borehole in his village? While productive medical consultants are busy engaged in creating jobs through private practice and consultancy, the lazy writer rather finds cover in unionism to make noise and feed on dues of members while attacking busy personalities just to grab cheap attention. It is really true that empty drums make the loudest noise.
Again, the readers of this junk are still bewildered by the sheer mischief and crude attempt by this character to discredit the success of the Lalong Rescue Administration in restoring peace and stability to Plateau State. Someone should do us a favour to wake this sleepy psychiatrist up from his slumber and let him know that using insecurity as a point of mischief against Governor Lalong will not work even long after he leaves office.
The world has attested to and recognized the achievements of Governor Lalong in returning Plateau State to its status of “Home of Peace and Tourism” through pragmatic and selfless gestures. Let us remind him that Governor Lalong remains the first Chief Executive of any State in Nigeria to establish a Peace Building Agency backed by law which has facilitated dialogue between disputing parties, resolved many conflicts and ushered in the process of healing and forgiveness. Today, many people who had run away from Jos are repurchasing their sold properties while Embassies and International organisations such as UN, WHO, UNICEF etc who had embargoed their staff from visiting the State have since revoked such directives and also visited themselves. Even banks which operated for just few hours daily now operate full hours as in many other States.
When a national Newspaper, Daily Independent awarded Governor Lalong BEST GOVERNOR OF THE YEAR 2019 FOR PEACE AND SECURITY, was this character and his co-travellers in a coma? Please someone should tell him that even under Covis-19, many national bodies and Federal Government organisations are jostling to host their events in Plateau State, as is the case of NAFEST 2020 that is due to hold at the end of the year if PTF Covid-19 Guidelines permit. One needs to remind him that there is no perfect security anywhere in the world including Nigeria and Plateau State. While the Government of Simon Lalong continues to deal with criminal activities that are common to all States, the narrative of insecurity propounded by the writer is baseless, unsubstantiated and unpatriotic. Please Mr. Writer, if you cannot build the State, do not destroy it! Plateau belongs to all.
Needless to add that there is security of wages that edgy people like Piwuna will never see (or choose to ignore) which relates to the regular and timely payment of salaries and pensions in Plateau State – a scenario that was absent before the advent of the Lalong administration where civil servants were thrown into penury and made beggars. Is such condition not strong to fuel insecurity in the State? The writer might not know about this because his salary comes from the Federal Government even when he goes on strike or junkets around in the name of unionism.
It is instructive that this man in his mumblings asked to be schooled on what infrastructural development that has taken place under the Lalong Rescue Administration. If he cares to know (even though he pretends not to know), Governor Lalong is unique in his approach to development as can be seen from his policy of completing abandoned projects of previous administrations including the immediate one which was of a different political party.
Till date, Governor Lalong has completed many of the 28 abandoned road projects that he inherited from the last administration despite the challenges he met on ground. For example, does Piwuna remember the status of the Mararaban Jama’a-Jos road when Governor Lalong took over in 2015? Clearly, he is not aware that the Lalong Administration initiated 25 road projects some of which are completed already and others are at various stages of completion.
What about the rehabilitation of township roads under the operation zero pot holes where 12 roads covering more than 29 km across the Jos- Bukuru metropolis were re-asphalted? As a matter of fact, 46 roads were have also been regulated and maintained. Has he heard about the installation of streetlights within Jos and Bukuru metropolis under the “Operation Light up Plateau” which has so far covered a distance of 72km on 26 Streets? He may pretend not to know because he drives home at night even with his head lights off.
Let this ignoramus be educated that Governor Lalong is using the Legacy Projects to strengthen the health and educational sub-sectors by constructing world class primary and secondary schools as well as hospitals across the three senatorial zones. These comprise of 8 primary schools, 6 secondary schools, and 6 hospitals which are at various stages of completion and would have been commissioned if not for COVID-19.
The abandoned Riyom general hospital abandoned since 2005 has now been completed and equipped by the Lalong administration while the ones in Kanke and Mabudi Lantang South are about being completed. The Plateau State judiciary which has operated from colonial infrastructure is about to enter its new ultra-modern complex which is would also have been completed. The list is endless.
Needless to say, the Abbatoir road which the writer is gloating over and spewing sarcasms was equally inherited and has been under tortuous contract entered into by the previous administration with painful legal constrains which this government has finally resolved to ensure completion.
With international flights about to reopen, the expatriates will soon return to complete it. However, he is free to lead the donations for the project in his capacity as “fund-raiser-in-chief” having claimed to have raised money to fund the ambition of politicians!
Attack On Deputy Governor, H.E. Prof. Tyoden Sonni Gwanle Tyoden.
While the writer continued in his stupor, he decided to throw caution to the winds by attacking the Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, a man of high standing in the society who has earned his name in the academia, politics and statesmanship. It is very sad that an ingrate like Piwuna does not only try to attack issues, but personalities such as the humble and loyal Prof. Tyoden. Does he hope to grow at all or does he think he can abuse his way to the top? Where was he when Prof. Tyoden was a lecturer, Dean and Vice Chancellor?
Does he think that the man who will be 70 in a few weeks’ time would be afraid to say the truth to anyone? Or does he assume that a man of the standing of the Deputy Governor will be uncouth and rude to fight his Governor on the street even if he disagrees with him? Only someone with a “psychiatric condition” such as the writer will descend to the gutters to abuse those who taught him and made decisions that gave him the licence to his consultancy that he is brandishing to write nonsense.
In any case, the Deputy Governor enjoys a robust, cordial and reciprocal relationship with the Governor and will not bite the incitement of people like Piwuna to criticize the government he is part of rather than offer solutions on how things can work better. Mr. Psychiatrist, in case you do not know, theirs is a joint ticket. They swim together and sink together
BARC Farms & Jos Main Market
To claim to love Plateau State and yet despise the reacquisition of BARC farms which is one of the people’s commonwealth earlier sold, smacks of monumental hypocrisy and double standard. Why lecture the Government on what to do with the farm if you already know their agenda which does not suite you? On the one hand, he complains of high unemployment and on the other, he scorns the efforts of Governor Lalong to address same. Maybe we should simply ask him to spare us his ignorance and allow Government work for the people that elected it. If he is not lazy, he can still approach PIPC and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to apply for a portion to practice what he is preaching.
On the Jos main market, there is no need to dissipate energy explaining anything to a mind which is already on a voyage of perdition. For the record, the model for the market has been completed and the final stages of negotiations are ongoing for the rebuilding of the iconic market. May God spare the writer to see this glorious day! He does not also know that Governor Lalong is reviving ASTC having secured about 1 billion funding facility for the Limited Liability Company.
Fight Against Covid-19 In Plateau State
If a so-called medical practitioner who is supposed to argue with facts and figures begins to examine health issues such as Covid-19 through political lenses, then there is a big problem. How on earth can the writer claim that the approach of the Government towards the pandemic is uncoordinated and weak? Is he aware that Plateau State is the only State in the North to have 3 testing centres and several treatment facilities for corona virus?
To date, Plateau is the fourth with the highest number of tests conducted (about 25,000) after Lagos, FCT, and Kano. Does he frown at this? What yardstick is he using to compare Plateau cases to other States? He should look at the figures in relation to figures from other States who have tested above Plateau and not the other way round. The government continues to devote resources to treating infected persons and carrying out sensitization as well as appealing for citizens to adhere to guidelines. The Governor even set up a research team of experts (many from Unijos where he is supposedly a lecturer) to come up with cure for coronavirus using local endowments. Despite this, he does not see anything the government has done. His anger may stem from the fact that perhaps he wanted to Chair the Covid-19 Task force on the Plateau – a dream that did not come to fruition. Is he one of those who plan to live on COVID?
Senate Seat, Northern Governors
This joker betrayed his real motive and emotions where he accused the government of exerting energy and resources on “how to win senate seats and Northern Governors Forum”. It is obvious that he failed woefully to make the point despite his hidden agenda. Piwuna, why not cut the chase and pick a form for the senate election before the window closes? If you know your onions, throw your hat into the ring and test your popularity instead of blaming Governor Lalong. Just man up? If and when you become Governor, you can abrogate the Northern Governors Forum if you so wish. After all, no one has begrudged you from absconding from duty severally to pursue your labour career as ASUU Chairman, NMA Chairman e.t.c or even that of a political mercenary that you are playing at the moment. Heaven has not fallen despite the fact that you are still earning salaries for the hours and days you are junketing and gallivanting around.
Governor Lalong Will Not Resign!!!
The bottom line of the long winding rigmarole by this mischievous writer was to ask Governor Simon Bako Lalong to resign his office. Does he think that a single inconsequential individual can usurp the will of millions of Plateau citizens who entrusted their votes in Governor Lalong after keenly contested elections of 2015 and 2019. He is apparently hallucinating and will soon wake up to reality? If he had cogent reasons, one would even think of paying him attention, but all his allegations have been dissected and proven to be fallacious, imaginary and unsubstantiated. To add salt to injury, he has gone ahead to mandate the State House of Assembly to impeach the Governor should if he fails to answer his call. What an affront!
This is the crux of the matter Mr. Piwuna: Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Lalong, KSGG, Executive Governor of Plateau State will not resign! If you are so desperate to have him removed, please wait for 2023 to contest for elections and just maybe, your people can make you a councilor.
The House of Assembly is occupied by Honourable men and women who were duly elected. They know their duties and do not need to be schooled by a busy body that has no experience in the workings of the legislature and is on a mission to self-destruction. If he cannot encourage the Governor at this critical time when Governments across the globe are working hard to overcome the effects of Covid-19, he should not allow himself to be used as a tool for distraction.
Do well to Think Plateau and Act Plateau.
VOTE LALONG AGAIN (VOLA)