“A Leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies, so that they will try to get there” – David Gergen
In continuation of Governor Simon Bako Lalong’s memorable quotes, urged citizens to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war, when he delivered his speech at the opening ceremony of the 7th Triennial Council of Ansa-ur-deen Society of Nigeria held in Jos, the state capital. He apparently must have had David Viscolt in mind who says, “If you get up the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed”. Lalong told the delegates that, “Our country needs to pull itself from the league of under-developed nation to a developed nation and it is apparent that corruption stagnates development; therefore all hands must be on deck to defeat this anti-progress and agent of retardation of development.”
The intention of Plateau Government intention to expand, develop Jos Airport cargo terminal is also very clear. He said “Agriculture remains one of the cardinal programme of my administration and farmers would be assisted to boost their production by facilitating the process of their produce reaching the market, hence the plan to build perishable cargo terminal at Jos-Airport, which has already been designated as International Cargo Airport”. He probably takes a cue from Williams James when he said, “A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.”
It is Walt Disney who says, “Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what is wrong with the thing and how it can be improved”. Taking a cue from Disney however, Plateau State governor, understanding Lagos Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) model and while speaking with journalist at the local wing of Murtala Mohammed Airport said, “We have sent people here (Lagos) and we are looking at a lot of things. So what is happening in Lagos may also be happening in Plateau State…. our administration is prioritizing on agricultural development, exploitation of solid minerals, tourism development and adopting Tax system as part of effort to improve our state revenue”.
On the federal government partnership with Plateau State government to address illegal mining, when he paid courtesy call on Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Honourable Minister of Solid Mineral Resources, he said: “Mining is one of the priority sector of our state. Our Government will not allow illegal mining to flourish any longer in Plateau State and am assuring the Hon. Minister of our commitment to addressing the issue.” For a man who has the interest of his people at heart, he actually proves right an African proverb which goes thus, “For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”.
The governor signed road map to peace in Plateau. “Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting”, says Napoleon Hill. In like manner, while speaking in Shendam at the signing of a historic document with a general based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, an independent private meditation organization, based in Nairobi, Kenya, Lalong said, “I am delighted at the efforts of HD in restoring peace to Southern Plateau after achieving a similar effort in Plateau North”.
He equally vowed to promote agriculture in Plateau State: “We don’t want to see any fallow land in Plateau any longer. We are searching for loans for our farmers. I am encouraging the people of Plateau state to go into farming in order to boost the economy of the state and the nation in general. Plateau State is blessed with fertile soil land and our doors are open to investors, our recent trip to China would soon start yielding result”, he said.
“As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big”, Donald Trump says. On the introduction of ranches in Plateau State: “The Federal Government is going to start a pilot scheme and the pilot scheme will go along with the subsidy just like we are doing subsidy on potato and rice. That is what the Federal Government is trying to do; we want to start the subsidy on livestock production. We have done our sensitization on the Plateau and right now, we are already into the process. The people have understood it very well and they have asked us to go into it”.
When the gruesome murder of Saf Ron Kulere in Bokkos Local Government (a first class traditional ruler in Plateau state) happened, it threw the state into mourning. Lalong said, “I received with a heavy heart the news of the despicable cowardly murder of His Royal Highness, Saf Ron Kulere Lazarus who was attacked alongside some of his aides by unknown assailants.”
His Excellency commenting on the demise of Hon. Justice Uloko, and the plan by the Plateau State Government to immortalize late Chief Judge of the State. Governor Lalong promised looking into “controversies surrounding the entitlements and gratuities of Justice Uloko”, as well as plan to immortalize the erudite legal luminary. This is in line with the Chinese adage which says “to die and to continue to live in the hearts of those left behind is not to die”.
The governor should take solace in the immortal words of Sidney Brewer who posits that “No tyranny of circumstances can imprison a determined mind, because where there is a will, there must always be a way”.
Fatai can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org