The Executive Governor of Plateau State, Barr. Caleb Mutfwang has said the plans of his administration are audacious while the programmes transformative and the smooth execution of the plans and programmes is predicated on peace.
According to him, development can only exist where peaceful coexistence thrives.
The Governor hinted that priority will be accorded peace and security of lives and property for actualizing progress.
He said the State is being confronted with security challenges that have claimed lives and adversely affected its reputation.
These were contained in the inaugural speech by the Governor immediately after he was administered the oath of Office and sworn in as the 6th democratically elected Governor of the State.
“It is an undeniable fact that much blood has been shed on the Plateau for close to two decades now which has affected the pace at which has retarded the pace of our development. I commiserate with the families who have lost their loved ones over these years and especially the families in Riyom, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, Bassa and more recently Mangu where we lost over 100 innocent souls who were brutally murdered in their sleep by the most recent premeditated attacks.
The genocidal attacks of the last couple of years suffered by many of our communities across the whole State have justifiably left deep wounds and trauma on several widows, orphans, relations and friends. This has in turn bred hate, mutual suspicion misplaced anger on innocent passersby and so-called reprisal attacks. Unfortunately, this has opened the door for those who dislike our unity and prosperity to label us as hateful and unaccommodating when indeed our people are the victims.
The time has come and the Time is Now, when we MUST say enough is enough. We must break this vicious circle of hate and attacks and refuse to allow people to brand us negatively. That is not who we are. I make bold to say that no other community of peoples is as accommodating and welcoming like the people of Plateau. All we ask for is that those who live within the borders of Plateau must agree to live with us in peace and with utmost respect for our values and traditions” he said.
He assured the citizens that the government under his watch will be committed to peaceful coexistence and will work assiduously to secure the boundaries of Plateau State.
He disclosed that he will be firm, but fair and just to all regardless of political, ethnic or religious inclination.
He promised to as a matter of urgency revive and equip the state security outfit “Operation Rainbow” to augment the existing national security apparatus.
“Fairness, equity and justice shall be our watchwords. Criminal elements/invaders hell bent on destruction will be decisively dealt with. Also, crises merchants will not go unpunished. We shall be strong on the rule of law to ensure that criminality under whatever guise is curtailed. It is also necessary to reassert that campaigns are over and the gear has shifted to governance. Let us join hands despite our political differences to build the Plateau of our dreams. Again, I extend a hand of friendship to the governorship candidates of other political parties in the last general elections, alongside their supporters to join me in the quest for a new Plateau”
He asserted that his administration will work to ensure that the internally generated revenue of the State is increased to avoid the overdependence on subvention from the Federation Account to survive.
He said being conscious of the fact that agriculture has been and will continue to be the mainstay of the new Plateau economy, his administration shall take deliberate and immediate steps to procure fertiliser and other farming inputs for distribution to farmers at subsidized rates. He said it is vital to support small farmers through organized cooperatives.
“We will seek to ultimately transform small scale farming to mechanized farming and build the necessary infrastructure to enable our farmers key into dry farming practices so as to make agriculture a profitable venture for our populace” he said.
On Civil Service Reforms, he said his administration will strengthen and enhance the capacity of civil servants to carry out their daily responsibility of implementing government policies diligently.
“We will look into areas of training, retraining, quality staffing and meritorious reward system so that state workers will help deliver public services, support government’s policies and provide advice on policy formulation, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and documentation.
We are aware of the pains our workers are currently facing which have resulted to industrial disharmony. Your welfare is a right, for every labourer is worthy of his wages. We will not regard payment of salary as an achievement but a duty; therefore, it will be one of our top priorities. We therefore, request civil servants in the state to end the ongoing strike in the interest of Plateau. This will provide the window for intense and sincere interaction towards resolving the issues”
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