By Yusufu Idegu, (JOS)
The Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong has said within the last six years he has extended the frontiers of peace, security and good governance under his rescue administration in the state.
Gov. Lalong said such deliberate policies has taken the state to a new level of national and international recognition as true home of peace and tourism.
He stated these during his state broadcast to people of the state to mark Democracy Day in Plateau State.
The governor said, “Given the scenario of insecurity that greeted my assumption of office in 2015, I made peace and security the key priority of my Rescue Administration for the simple fact that it is the baseline for attaining development in any society”.
“Upon assuming office, we inherited a State that was fractured by litany of crises that led to the loss of lives and properties. To bring this to an end, we adopted a new approach including creating the Plateau Peace Building Agency to foster dialogue; forgiveness; the dismantling of barriers to peaceful coexistence; as well as swift and decisive response to crimes and criminals”.
In my second tenure which commenced in 2019, we have taken several measures to consolidate on the substantial peace and security that have returned to the State. Apart from strengthening the Plateau Peace Building Agency, we inaugurated the Plateau State Inter-Religious Council, consisting of respected leaders of the two dominant faiths and respected traditional rulers to wade into any area of potential crises for prevention and reconciliation.
“We also adopted the Community Policing Initiative after a thorough engagement with key stakeholders who agreed with Government that grassroots approach to security is the best way to stop crimes and identify criminals. Consequently, we trained and deployed 529 Community Police Constables to the 17 Local Governments of the State”.
“We also initiated the Security Surveillance System that is also grassroots-oriented and commissioned the first Surveillance Centre at Dutse Uku, Jos-Jarawa. Work is ongoing on the next one in Bauchi Road which we hope to complete and deploy sooner than later. To further strengthen the Operation Rainbow and support other security agencies, we purchased 50 security patrol vehicles and 200 security motorcycles to boost their capacity for effective response to crimes and distress calls. They will soon be commissioned and deployed. We also signed into law the Anti-Land Grabbing, Kidnapping and Cultism Bill which was passed by the State House of Assembly”.
“This law takes care of criminals who want to use force, intimidation or clandestine means to take over lands that do not belong to them. It also prescribes stiff penalties including the death sentence for those who engage in kidnapping and other violent crimes and cultism in the State”
Gov. Lalong, however, lamented that inspite of his efforts in area of peace and security, the state has recorded sad developments of isolated killing of innocent citizens in various parts of the State.
“In the last two years, such cases were recorded in Kulben, Mangu LGA; Kwatas in Bokkos LGA; Foron in Barkin Ladi LGA; Kwall in Bassa LGA; and recently in Dong in Jos North and Kwi in Riyom LGA among others. Some of the perpetrators have been arrested while the manhunt for others is continuing. We shall not rest until they are brought to justice”, he said.
On good governance, Gov. Lalong said, “Within the last two years, we have extended the frontiers of good governance in the State with more prudence in the management of the scarce resources. We have improved the Budgeting Process in line with best global practices and adopted the State Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results. This has enhanced Citizenship Participation in the Budgeting Processes”.
“The Project Monitoring and Result Delivery Office (PMRDO) was also established to track, monitor and evaluate the implementation of Government programmes and projects in line with timelines and set targets. So far it has performed well in ensuring that public resources deployed, achieve the outcomes envisaged and give value to the people”.
“We also continued the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to aggregate the inflow and outflow of public resources for easy management and accountability. With the re-invigoration of the Efficiency Unit and the Liquidity Management Committee, we have also done a lot to ensure that wasteful spending is eliminated while all resources are channeled towards areas that will yield profit for the State. The efficiency unit has so far saved the state about 3 billion naira annually”