Exclusive information available to us suggests that the Lalong administration may have finalised plans to re-instate Professor Danjuma Doknan Sheni, the erstwhile Vice Chancellor of the Solomon Lar University Bokkos (formerly called PLASU).
Prof Sheni who was a lecturer at The University of the North/Limpopo, South Africa before being appointed VC of PLASU by then governor, Jonah Jang in 2012, was suspended by the governor on the 29th October 2014 for what was termed “inappropriate conduct”.
The circumstances behind his suspension, were largely unclear but information available at the time suggested that there were disagreements between other board members and the VC with regards how to ulitilize funds, appointment of key university staff, the administrative calendar of the university and who controlled the University’s finances amongst other sundry issues.
If re-installed, this would be the second act of re-instatement, that Gov. Simon Lalong is undertaking since taking over the helms of affairs of Plateau. On 4th of June 2015, approx. 1 week after his swearing-in and in his very first act as governor, Simon Lalong swore in Chief Dan Dul, the DPP candidate in the Langtang North Chairmanship election – who was declared winner of the polls but was not sworn-in by the government of Da. Jonah Jang.
Even though Chief Dul is no longer Chairman of Langtang North LGA, because Lalong subsequently dissolved the entire LG Chairmen (i.e., on 6th July 2015) – the fact that Lalong then obeyed the court order which ruled that he be sworn-in means that he (Lalong) scores massive political points in the eyes of Plateau electorate.
With this new development, Simon Lalong appears to be making “true” the assertions he made before being elected, that if he wins, his government would be a complete turnaround from the past administration’s policies. He has so far been considering the reversal of many policies and decision which were taken by the past administration – a situation which many view with cautious optimism.
That said, what does the re-instatement of Prof. Sheni mean for Lalong’s political value and his overall public perception and rating? Well, we assess that this singular act of re-instatement of Prof. Sheni and Chief Dan Dul – will significantly boost Plateau people’s favourable perception of the Simon Lalong administration as a government of fairness and equity.
We make this assertion because, at the time of the debacle with Chief Dul and Prof. Sheni, a large number of Plateau people were vocal in their condemnation of the manner in which these individuals were treated, especially after two competent courts passed rulings in their favour. As such an act of reversal such as this, means that Simon Lalong will be perceived as a respecter of the rule of law or an upholder of justice and equity. This would do a wealth of good to his public image.
That said, we must be quick to point out that Lalong’s statement after inauguration, “that he’d not dissolve elected Local government chairmen” and the fact that he subsequently renegaded on that promise, may have slightly affected his perception and rating within the public sphere. The extent to which this is the case remains unclear, but ViewPointNigeria is currently undertaking an “Approval Ratings survey” of Simon Lalong’s actions and policies in his first two months in office and shall report back soon.
Prof Danjuma Dokna Sheni’s Biography
University of the North/Limpopo Professor Sheni served the University as,
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