CON Award: A reflection of Governor Lalong’s giant strides -By Ibrahim Fatai &Shehu Bala Usman

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“Act like a success, think like a success and success await you” – D Steve Jones 

*Photo: Gov Lalong*
  

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It was Norman Vincent Peale (1898 – 1993), one of the bestselling authors and a renowned public speaker, who says “People become really quite remarkable when they believe in themselves, they have first secret of success”. And that is the success story of His Excellency, Rt. Hon Simon Bako Lalong (CON), the Executive Governor of Plateau State.


The recent conferment of the national award of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic CON on Governor Lalong by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) speaks volume, is timely and exemplary. 
Lalong, Chairman Northern Governors’ Forum, former Chairman Committee of Speakers of Assembly Forum in Nigeria and now the Director General, Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Committee, is a great team player, a peace advocate, grassroot-oriented politician, a respecter of the rule of law and social justice, with knack for excellence in all ramifications.

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As a man of peace who understands and knows what his people expect from him and coming into office when peace and security is at the lowest ebb in Plateau, Governor Lalong has vigorously pursues peace and bring the people under one umbrella irrespective of where they come from, the background, religion and tribe, that is. 

As one who inherited crisis of confidence on peace and security on assumption of office almost eight years ago, the governor has come a long way in bringing joy to his people and posterity will judge him well for that. He must have borrowed from a great mind like Mahatma Gandhi who says, “I have nothing new to teach the world, truth and non-violence are old as the ants hills”.  

Governor Lalong signed road map to peace in Plateau State while speaking at Shendam at the signing of the historic document with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD), an independent private mediation organization, based in Narobi, Kenya. 

He said, “I am delighted at the efforts of CHD in restoring peace to Southern Plateau after achieving similar efforts in Plateau North. I recognize that peace and security are recipe for good governance, concerted efforts are being  made under my leadership in ensuring early return and sustainability of peace and tranquility, through the establishment of Bureau for Peace Building and Conflict Resolution in Plateau State.

Prompt payment of salaries and pension, purchase and distribution of tractors to  farmers at the grassroots, improve bumper harvest remain the priority of the Lalong Rescue administration. In a recent report by the Nation newspaper, Plateau State civil servants are the highest paid in Nigeria, a confirmation that the governor attaches importance to the welfare of his workers.

Under His Excellency, there has been payment of counterpart fund for the Community Social Development Agency (CSDP) World Bank-assisted projects, the PADP Food Security and Wheat Value Chain for Fadama III Project as well as the World Bank assisted sustainable water and sanitation projects. He has also called on his people to accept agriculture as a way of life saying Plateau has the weather and the soil to make it as one of the ‘food basket’ of Nigeria.

He said then, “I am encouraging my people to venture into farming in order to boost the economy of the state and the nation in general. Plateau State is blessed with fertile soil and land and we are open to investors. Our recent trip to China would soon start yielding positive results”. And today, the results are there for everyone to see. The charismatic governor has also addressed the issue of illegal mining. On this he said, “Mining is one of the priority sectors of our dear state. Our government will not allow illegal mining to flourish any longer”. 

The Plateau State University Bokkos established several years ago never enjoyed convocation, meaningful development or accreditation of courses. All that are now in the past. His Excellency courageous visit to the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) has changed that and brought breathe of fresh air to the school. To the glory of God, more than 30 courses have been accredited for the common good of all. This is a no mean feat and is highly commendable.

The construction of fly over at the secretariat junction with the construction of 133.6m long bridge cannot be overemphasised. The world-class bridge is second to none in the entire Northern Nigeria. 

In looking at the various giant strides and peace building initiatives put in place in Plateau State by the governor, there is no doubt that His Excellency, Rt. Hon Simon Bako Lalong deserves the CON national honor recently bestowed him by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) in appreciation of his immense contributions to nation building.

Your Excellency as in the word of Lorren L. Lee, a New York based relationship builder, “Your life is a message to the world, make it inspiring”. Our prayer is that this award will bring more glorious things to you, your family, Plateau State and humanity in general.

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