By Teryima Andrew
Plateau state citizens stood still for President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently on a two day working visit to the state to commission projects and interact with stakeholders.
Thousands of Plateau citizens abandoned their legitimate activities stay by the roadsides at major streets of Jos in the hot sun to welcome the President, who is coming to the state for the first time since he was elected and sworn in as President of Nigeria about three years ago.
Addressing Plateau stakeholders in a town hall meeting shortly after commissioning of projects, President Muhammdu Buhari said he will soon address unemployment among Nigerian youths and tackles hunger through agricultural burst.
“We can’t over come unemployment and hunger, if we don’t eat what we produced from our farm, every I went on state visits, Kano, Nasarawa and Taraba state, I seen teaming unemployed youths.”
Buhari commended Plateau state government for keying into agricultural policies of the federal government.
“It is worthy of noteworthy that the achievement of the Plateau state government in agriculture are quite laudable.”
He said federal government will refund Plateau state government on federal roads executed. “I here by direct the federal ministry of finance, the federal ministry of of works, power and housing as well as other relevant agencies to expedite action towards the refund of such funds to the Plateau state government.”
Speaking on his administration efforts in fighting corruption, Buhari said plans are on the way toward reclaiming landed properties of government officials acquired through devious manner.
Following the President’s visit, over fifty painters and artisans were engaged and repainted Jos and Bukuru metropolis as part of preparation for the state visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to Plateau state.
Some of the painters Ahmed Abdulrahama, Nanmang John, and a female painter Alice Ezeofor in an interview said the President’s visit to Plateau state have provided them with Jobs.
Ahmed Abdulrahama said that “I was paid fully to paint 4000 millimetre streets, both sides and I was given the a two day time frame to complete the painting before Thursday morning, so I have to subcontract some of my professional colleagues, we have made tremendous progress, we should be through in the next three hours, today (Thursday night)”
The painters were seeing working throughout Tuesday and Wednesday night, and have repainted most major streets of Jos, the Plateau state capital, awaiting arrival of President Buhari.
It was also observed that the roads slated to be commissioned by President Buhari have been beautified ready for commissioning today, Thursday during the visit.
There was tight securities, Police public relations officer of the Plateau state police command Terna Tyopev in an interview Thursday morning before the arrival of the August visitor to Plateau state said police were ready to secure citizenry.
“We (Plateau police command) have deployed 2435 police officers to ensure security of lives and property during President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Plateau state, we deployed two unites of command from Nasarawa state police command.”
In spite of heavy security presence, miscreants forced their ways into prohibited places, despite stiff resistance by security agents.
It was observed that many got the gift of beaten and injuries from security operatives, though security operative also received there share of the stress.
Before commencement of projects commissioning by Mr. President, Plateau state political office holder voiced out their expectations from the visit by President Buhari.
Minister of youth and Sport Development Barrister Solomon Dalung call in an interview with Journalists at airport, call on President Buhari to include Plateau state among states that have been devastated by civil unrest, to be rebuild.
“In spite the relative peace we are currently enjoying in the state, people of Plateau state are still pained by the high level of devastations caused by incessant crisis.”
“The federal government should not concentrate only on rebuilding states from the north east that were affected by civil unrest, we are all witnesses the it all started here in Plateau state.”
Senator representing Plateau central and the former governor of the state Chief Joshua Dariye pleaded with President Buhari to award contracts for the completion of the road linking Nasarawa and Plateau state through Wamba local government area.
According to Dariye, the said road was a dead traps and a dent of rubbers due to deplorable conditions of the road.
“There is an urgent need to award contract for the construction of the road linking Plateau and Nasarawa state, many have died on the roads including Journalists, again the road has become heaven for rubbers.”
It’s on record that senator Dariye’s father was kidnap and taken away through the route before the 2015 elections.
Istifanus Gyang, a member of the House Representative PDP, representing Barkinladi/Riyom federal constituency in an interview, lamented lack of federal government presences in Plateau state.
Barr Gyang call on President Buhari to ensure federal government presence through projects executions.
Contributing separately, Sulemain Kwande, member, House of representative for Bassa/Jos north federal constituency APC, and his Pankshin, Kanke/Kanam federal constituency counterpart Timothy Golu PDP, said the President’s visit will accord him the opportunity to we for himself challenges facing Plateau state.
Governor Simon Lalong in an address told President Buhari that his administration is focused on security and welfare of citizens.
The governor made the disclosure at the town hall meeting, organized as part of the two day state visit by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Barr. Lalong also told President Buhari that his administration have made judicious use of the bailout funds accrued the state, revived moribund industries and fully paid salaries of all civil servants and pension.
“Plateau state remains one of the few states in the country that has paid workers salaries and pension up to date.”
Lalong revealed that his administration spent 46 billion on urban roads earlier commissioned by the President “we have so far expended forty six billion on (6) urban roads spread across the three geopolitical zone of the state.”
During interactions, Plateau stakeholders who spoke requested President Buhari to help resettle Internally displaced Persons still at camp across Plateau state.
The President Buhari unveiled the Plateau Roadmap To Peace, a model 5-year peace action plan for the state, which is the brainchild of the Plateau Peace Building Agency, PPBA, created by Governor Lalong on assumption of office to ensure that the state’s hitherto legion of crises are protectively arrested and nipped in the bud and Peace is perpetually engendered, maintained and sustained in the state.
The establishment of the PPBA by governor Simon Lalong to tackle in securities, no doubt, underscored the seriousness and sheer determination with which Lalong’s administration has taken the issue of peace aimed at building confidence among the ethnic nationalities living in the state, as this has also culminated in the multiplier effect of rekindling hope and the possibility of having a peaceful state.
The President inaugurated the Mararaban Jema’a -British America Highway, the Low-Cost Road network, the Rantya-Rafiki Road network, the Rukuba Road network, the State Secretariat Flyover, the Angwan Rogo Road network, the Tudun Wada-Kabong Road network, among many others.
Most of the projects commissioned were inherited from past administrations and completed for the overall interest of the people.
President Buhari will depart Plateau state for Abuja this morning Friday, after commissioning tractors ready to be used this farming season, procured by the Plateau state government.