Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state has said his the former head of state Gen Yakubu Gowon has advised his administration to complete all abandoned projects of his predecessors.
“We completed abandoned projects that are of very important to the citizenry, Gen Yakubu Gowon personally called me (Lalong) and told me to complete any abandon project that is of important to Plateau citizens, that which am doing.”
The governor also said the federal government is ready to refund the the state the sum of 22 billion naira for the federal road projects executed by his administration.
“Federal government has accepted to refund Plateau state government over 22 billion naira for federal road projects we have been able to complete, the process has began, we were only waiting for the passage of the 2018 budget.”
But, He debunked claims that his administration was selective in citting projects among communities who are presumed not to have voted him during the 2015 elections.
“I have never been selective in sitting any project anywhere in the state, currently as we speak, there are 22 roads projects ongoing in the 17 local government areas.”
Governor Lalong revealed this Monday in Jos, during a press conference held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ Plateau state council, as part of state government activities to mark his three year in office as governor, and 17th anniversary of Democracy in Nigeria holding this Tuesday.
Governor Lalong said Plateau state has completed arrangements to commenced ranching in the “Plateau state is one of the state set to pilot ranching, we have acquire enough land in Wase local government to commence next month.”
On the rampant cases of individuals possessing fire arms illegally, governor Lalong said a committee has been set up by the federal government, and has began arm catch, according to him, the process will curtail incessant attacks and killings.
The governor said the increasing rate of cultists and substance abuse among the youth in the state was a nationwide challenge, according to the governor, lack of jobs for the youth has brought about the menace.
“It is dangerous to have youth who have graduates and have nothing to do for a living, I recently learnt that some youth have engaged themselves in competition for consumption of substances, it’s rather unfortunate.” He stated.
Speaking on environmental population by indiscriminate dumping of refuges in Jos, the governor told Journalists that he had earlier last week given two weeks ultimatum to the commissioner of environment to clear all refuges abandoned within the state capital Jos.
On the aborted local government elections, Governor Lalong assured Plateau people that local government elections will be conducted if security of the state improves positively.
“The suspension of local government elections was due to security advised by the security council, therefore, until the same security council advised otherwise, we don’t want continue loss of lives.”
Similarly, the governor said the curfew imposed on Bassa local government for the past two months following persistent killings can only be reviewed when the insecurity improved.
“The curfew is still enforced, it can only be revisited when the security situation improves positively, and I can assure you that we have made significant improvement due to the curfew.”
He however lamented that Plateau state was denied the privilege of been part of the north east rebuilding commission.
“Plateau state was suppose to be included among the states to be rebuild by the north east commission, because, the ongoing terrorism and bombing started here in Jos, but when the name of Plateau state was sent to the national assembly, one section of the national assembly through it out.”
Governor Lalong said he was running an all inclusive government since he became governor, reiterated that every citizen has been placed on equal status “even political thugs can be very important in times of clearing the way for a smooth elections.”
Earlier in an address, chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Plateau state council Paul Jatau, said governor Simon Lalong was the first serving civilian governor to have visited the council personally.
Commenting on the deplorable NUJ structure in Plateau state, governor Lalong pledged to renovate the structure, and will also, redeem earlier pledges made to the NUJ soon.