The peace being enjoyed in Plateau State seems to be attracting people and events to the state. It could be recalled that the state was crisis ridden some years back but since the state governor Simon Lalong came on board, he has been doing everything to ensure that lasting peace is restored to the state. On resumption of office , Governor Lalong had immediately set up a 14-man Fulani/Berom peace committe to reconcile their differences towards ensuring lasting peace and this went a long way in restoring peace in the crisis prone zone.
Similarly Governor Lalong united all the tribes in the state by carrying them along in governance. Recently the Nigerian Bar association (NBA) held its National Executive Committee (NEC) in Jos the Plateau State capital. The opening ceremony which took place last week at the Crest hotel in the state capital attracted lawyers from all over the country.
An Enugu-based lawyer who gave his name as Ernest told our correspondent that from what is on ground, peace has been restored back to Jos. According to him “from what I have seen in Plateau, peace has been restored in the state. The people are friendly and the weather is lovely.
I hope to return to Plateau after this visit. I am considering coming with my family for a visit. The governor of the state, Simon Lalong should be commended for uniting and carrying all tribes along in governance and for ensuring that lasting peace is restored in the state. I am calling on the people of the state to work with governor Lalong in order to consolidate on the peace currently been enjoyed in the state”, he said.
A trader who sold sells Irish potatoes in Jos Agatha Okoh said she had lots of patronage with the visit of the lawyers into the state. She called on the state governor to invest in traders and bring up friendly policies that would attract business men and investors since peace has been restored to the state. She also praised the governor in his efforts at restoring lasting peace in the state.
Speaking at the NBA opening ceremony, Mr. Simon Lalong had said “I count it a privilege to address the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our Learned Profession as host Governor.
It is particularly heart warming that I am hosting this event not only as the Governor of Plateau State but also as a learned colleague”.
Continuing, he said that “The privilege of hosting this National Executive Committee Meeting is an open acknowledgement of the efforts our Rescue Administration has made in restoring peace and ensuring the security of lives and properties on the Plateau. You have no doubt identified with the assurances that we have made to our people, that with respect for the rule of law, people oriented governance that allows for inclusive participation and growth, as well as the pursuit of social justice, peace would return to Plateau.
“We have done our sincere and modest efforts in working for peace, and the justification the leadership of the Bar have found in accepting to allow Plateau receive the delegates to the National Executive Committee, almost thirteen (13) years, since after the 2003 NEC was hosted in Jos Plateau, testifies to the efforts our government has made in seeing to the return of peace.
The governor also said that “The NBA has added value to the legal profession by ensuring the enforcement of discipline and professionalism of members through accreditation and the issuance of practice stamps. As learned as members of the Bar acclaim themselves to be the highest level of professionalism that will give credence to this claim is expected, you have therefore done the needful with the introduction of practice stamps to check quackery.
“I must also state that the active participation of the NBA in election monitoring, voter education and public session on universal election best practices, have not only strengthen our electoral systems, but have gone further to enhance the global acknowledgement of our country’s efforts in ensuring that as an evolving democracy, we get it right, one election after the other. The value of this contribution has openly been attested to by Mr President at last year’s Annual Bar Conference, and we are living witnesses of same”, he said.
The governor used the occasion to explain the fact that his administration is committed to having a “robust Judiciary. We resolved within two months of assumption of office the Judicial Staff labour unrest and fulfilled in half a year, the National Judicial Commission’s requirements for the appointment of three additional Judges in the State Judiciary. This is besides the renovation of Courts and on-going work on the High Court Complex”, he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Augustine Alegeh, SAN, has tasked the federal government in the fight against corruption to view every suspect as innocent until proven guilty as doing otherwise will appear that the suspects are being persecuted instead of being prosecuted.
The association’s president also stressed that there is no way corruption could be fought without relying on legal means as there is a constitutional guarantee of innocence until proven guilty by a competent court of law. He also called for sanction for members who committed critical failure that could have been avoided at the various elections petitions tribunals in the country.
The SAN also called on the federal government to fight corruption within the ambit of the law , according to him “the NBA has zero tolerance on corruption , we would continue to support the anti corruption crusade of the present administration. Alegeh also frowned at the depreciation of the naira against the dollar and called on the federal government to do everything possible to address the issue.
Similarly, the chairman of Nigerian Bar Association NBA, Jos Branch, Barrister Ledak Dafer who also spoke at the occasion said the gains of the current Anti-corruption crusade of the present government led by President Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) far out weighs the odds that may be associated with it. He therefore called on citizens of the country to support him.
He said “the anti corruption crusade of President Buhari has not only resulted in the recovery of looted treasures of the nation but has also succeeded in instilling discipline among our leaders and the entire citizenry of the country”. He said this has also helped gain respect and confidence among the citizenry and from the international community.
Also in response to the rumours making the rounds that the federal government is planing to go for loan to salvage the current economic challenges being faced , “I cautioned that rather than going for any loan, the government should ensure proper application of the recovered loots.
I believe that in no distant time, we shall surely come out of the woods. To go for loan as being canvassed is like jumping from frying pan into the fire considering the conditionalities usually attached to such international loans”.
He also praised Governor Lalong for his quest in ensuring that peace is restored in the state.
Fumilayo Bodamis another lawyer said “If I have my way, I would consider conceding the hosting of the 2017 Annual General Conference of the NBA to Plateau because of the peaceful nature of the state and friendly people”.
It could be recalled that recently, golfers from all over the country recently visited the state as in its pursuance of peace and to promote tourism, the state governor hosted an international gold tournament.

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