Plateau Records First COVID-19 Death 

 

Plateau State has recorded its first COVID-19 death and this is coming shortly after the state government reviewed the lockdown in the state from Monday to Wednesday every week.

Governor Simon Lalong disclosed this during a broadcast where he said the review will remain until further notice.

READ ALSO: Governor Wike Expresses Shock Over Sudden Death Of Media Aide

Plateau state currently has twenty-one confirmed cases, seventeen are active with four discharged and one death.

COVID-19: Plateau Shuts Entry And Exit Points

A file photos of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

Plateau State Government has directed the closure of all border entry points into the state with effect from Thursday 2nd of April 2020.

Secretary to the government, Professor Danladi Atu in a briefing on actions in response to the ravaging COVID-19, noted that there will be no exit or entrance into the state except those on essential services that are to be cleared by security agencies and preliminary test by health workers.

READ ALSO: Ondo Shuts Borders Over COVID-19

He said the measure is to enable government intensify efforts at fighting the scourge and avoid possible case in the since no confirmation of such case in the state so far.

The state government’s spokesman also revealed donations in cash, food items and medical equipment have been pouring in with a leading financial institution donating N28.5million while the Academic Staff Union of Universities have offered hand sanitizers and enlightenment materials as its contributions to the fight against COVID-19.

Plateau Governor Orders Workers To Work From Home, Shuts Down Markets

A file photos of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has directed workers from grade level one to 12 in the state to start working from home and that markets should be shut down.

The order takes effect from Wednesday, March 25.

The decision was made after an emergency meeting of the state executive council as part of measures to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

The Governor said, “With effect from Wednesday 25th March 2020, all public servants in Plateau State from Grade levels 12 and below are to work from home for the next 30 days.

“Only workers offering essential services such as security, health, media, street cleaners, and water supply and energy are exempted from this directive.

“In view of the crowds associated with markets, government is directing all markets to close effective 25th March 2020. Only traders selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas are to remain open.

“In addition, all street trading, street hawking, and begging are prohibited. The weekly Sunday markets at Ahmadu Bello Way, Bukuru and environs are hereby banned,” the governor said.

Also, social joints, nightclubs, drinking parlours are to also close effective Wednesday 25th March 2020, while restaurants were advised to prepare takeaway food for their customers to avoid crowding.

Motor parks are to capture and keep data including contacts of all inbound and outbound passengers as well as adhere strictly to social distancing and mass gathering prohibition order as well as hygiene regulations.

Governor Lalong added that all entry points into Plateau State by land and air would be subjected to preliminary tests.

The governor also warned that anyone found violating these orders should be arrested as security agencies have been directed to begin enforcement of the orders.

“Should the situation continue this way, we shall not hesitate to impose a complete lockdown in order to save the lives of our people,” he said.

13 Killed In Fresh Plateau Attack

 

Thirteen people have been confirmed killed in an attack on Kwatas village in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The plateau state police command in a statement says the gunmen suspected to be herdsmen attacked the village on Sunday night, killing thirteen while five others were critically injured and are receiving treatment at the general hospital, Bokkos.

According to the police public relations officer, detectives, conventional policemen, and the police mobile force have been deployed to the area, with directives to restore peace and effect arrest of perpetrators the dastardly act.

Kwatas is a community neighbouring the Plateau State University in the central zone of the state.

READ ALSO: If Security Chiefs Are Not Performing, Why Is Buhari Keeping Them – Week In Quotes

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the attack, assuring that terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and associated crimes will be defeated.

This is according to a statement by his special aide, Mr Garba Shehu.

“In Plateau State, gunmen launched yet another bloody attack, killing innocent citizens. This shocking and sad incident should be condemned by all citizens,’’ the statement partly read.

President Buhari reiterated that “revenge, hatred and violent attacks should have no place in a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious society as we have in this country.’’

The President called on community and religious leaders to counsel the youths on the need for peaceful co-existence.

He sent his condolences to families of the victims, government and people of Plateau State, and urged security agencies on assignment in the state to rediscover their act and stop, forthwith, the return of the ugly days of tit-for-tat.

Lalong Reacts To Victory, Says It Is Time To Build Enduring Legacy For Plateau

File Photo: Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong speaks at the Government House, Jos.

 

The Plateau State Governor and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong says the affirmation of his election victory by the Supreme Court has finally sealed and confirmed beyond further questioning, the overwhelming mandate willingly bestowed on him by the good people of Plateau State.

The governor was quoted to have said this in a statement signed by the Director of Press &Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State, Dr. Makut Simon Macham ANIPR.

According to the statement, the governor said all along, he was never in doubt as to the validity of his mandate as he did not only campaign and engage all stakeholders, but also delivered on his campaign promises during the first tenure which he said had endeared the people to him.

“I again dedicate this victory to God and the people of Plateau State irrespective of their political, social, religious or ethnic affiliations. The highest court in the land has stamped the mandate I was given and this means that our administration is now clear of litigation distractions,” he said.

“The time now is for governance and actualisation of our next-level agenda encapsulated in our 3-point vision of peace, security and good governance; Infrastructural development and sustainable economic rebirth”.

Read Also: Buhari Congratulates APC, Ganduje, Lalong Over Supreme Court’s Verdict

Speaking further, Lalong reiterated his call to the opposition to join hands with him in developing the state and pursuing projects and programs that will promote lasting legacies for the people.

He also asked the people to intensify prayers for the peace and stability of the state which he says he believes will enable rapid development to take place.

Lalong also thanked the judiciary for their impartiality and contribution to consolidating democracy in the State and Nigeria as a whole.

Buhari Says He Is Shocked Over Plateau Attack

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he is shocked and grieved by the attack which took place in Plateau State on Thursday, January 9th, 2020.

This is according to a statement by the president’s special aide, Mr. Garba Shehu.

Mr. Shehu said the president strongly condemned the gunmen which took place at Mangu Local Government in Plateau State.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Village In Plateau, Kill 12

He said that President Buhari is in contact with Governor Simon Lalong, military, police and other security agencies in the state to ascertain details of what happened and what can be done to forestall a future occurrence.

President Buhari urged security agencies in the state to increase vigilance to stop further attacks on innocent communities.

2020 Holds Great Prospects And Hope For Accelerated Development – Lalong

 

Plateau State Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong says the year 2020 holds great prospects and hope for accelerated development of Plateau State as his Rescue Administration settles down to pursue its 3-point policy thrust that will consolidate on its past efforts.

In a new year’s message, Governor Lalong acknowledged the huge support and cooperation of the people of Plateau State since assuming office which he says was demonstrated in 2019 when he was returned to the office by massive votes of the electorate.

According to the Governor, “the year 2020 will be quite eventful as we put behind us the distractions of elections litigation and focus on delivering on the dividends of democracy to our people especially in completing the legacy projects we have initiated in all parts of the State. We shall commission many of them and also ensure that others are given the desired priority attention”.

READ ALSO: New Year, A Moment To Enjoy Fresh Air – Fintiri

Lalong said with the 2020 budget already signed into law, there will be no time to waste as the machinery of government will be kept active to deliver quality, prompt and selfless service to the people.

He charged the people of the State to build on the peace already pervading the entire State so as to make it easy for investors to come in with their resources and knowledge to create jobs and other economic opportunities.

The Governor said he believes that the Plateau State Investment and Economic Summit which will be hosted in 2020 will be a watershed for opening up the economic potentials of the State to the world.

He wished the entire citizens a prosperous new year and urges them to continue to pray for the peace of Plateau State and Nigeria as a whole while also embracing one another in the spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation, and brotherhood.

Drama As Ozekhome Disowns Colleague During Trial Of Ex-Plateau Gov, Jang

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

There was mild drama at the continuation of the trial of a former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, on Friday as his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, disowned another defence counsel, over the line of questioning.

Ex-governor Jang is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), alongside Yusuf Pam, a cashier at the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, for alleged N6.2billion fraud.

According to a statement signed by EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, Ozekhome disowned S.A Oguntiyi, Pam’s lawyer and expressed dismay at his line of questioning.

Oguntiyi while cross-examining the 11th prosecution witness, Musa Sunday, an operative of the EFCC, queried the testimony of the witness, with regards to monies paid to Jang.

READ ALSO: You Lack Power To Take Over Edo Assembly, Court Tells NASS

Replying, Sunday, however, revealed more of the findings while investigating the alleged fraud.

He said: “Although there was no withdrawal from the OSSG account, a cash deposit of N500,000 by the second defendant was seen on that particular day.

“In the course of investigations, during one of the interrogations with the team of EFCC detectives, the second defendant said the sum of N500,000 was a thank you gift and could not be accountable for.

“In the statement, dated January 16, 2017, made by Pam, he had however denied any receipt of any financial benefits from the Plateau State Government except salaries as a civil servant which was less than N80,000 monthly; so where then did he get cash of N500,000?

“The charges against Pam were not exclusive, but based on what the Legal team of the EFCC considered appropriate and as a civil servant there was no other source of income accrued to the second defendant, who is unable to prove the source of N71million in less than four years.

“Sometimes allowances are paid in cash by the second defendant to officials of the Plateau State House of Assembly and such allowances can be over N1million cash and in no particular order for sitting allowance, furniture allowance, domestic staff allowance, security allowance, and so on as sighted in the statement from Francis Bot, former Chief of Staff to the first defendant.”

At this point, however, Ozekhome, rose up and expressed dismay at the line of questioning of Oguntiyi, and promptly disowned him.

“I urge the judge to dismiss this line of questioning as it only further supports the investigation made by the EFCC and we are washing our hands off this mediocrity.

“If the documents are there why are you simply beating about the bush for hours on end?

“For lack of a better word, the judge must conclude the judgement on this case before his retirement by ending 2019. We do not want to embark on a de novo.

“At this point, we (the counsel for the first defendant) disassociate ourselves from this line of questioning during cross-examination by the second defendant,” Ozekhome said.

Afterwards, counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, informed the court that he had wanted to present the 12th prosecution witness, “but due to the listlessness and lack of valid substance that the defence counsel took so much time, it is unfortunate that the witness may have to appear at another trial date”.

However, Oguntiyi pressed on with his cross-examination, asking the witness if there were Closed Circuit Television, CCTV Cameras, at the Government House, and whether there was an investigation report on the case, wherein findings and recommendations were contained.

Responding, Sunday simply said: “The question about CCTV cameras cannot be answered by me, but the officials of the Plateau State Government House”, adding that, “there was a comprehensive investigation report, however, this is highly confidential and restricted for the EFCC perusal.”

Justice Longji, thereafter, cautioned the counsel, noting that the questions being asked, were mostly repetitions, and not necessary, wondering what Oguntiyi was trying to establish.

Continuing with the cross-examination, Oguntiyi thereafter inquired from the witness, if he was aware that the N10million found in the account of Pam, was a pay-off for his late wife.

Expressing dismay, Sunday noted that he was hearing that for the first time.

Judge Longji subsequently adjourned to September 30, 2019, for the defence team to close the cross-examination of the witness and continuation of trial.

Three Persons, Over 300 Cattle Killed As Gunmen Attack Plateau Villages

 

Police authorities in Plateau have confirmed the killing of three persons and over 300 cattle in separate attacks on some villages in Bassa local government area.

The state police spokesperson, Terna Tyopev said the killing of the cattle occurred in Billi and Ariri districts,  a day after three persons were killed and another injured in different attacks in Maiyanga and Rotsu villages in the same local government area.

READ ALSO: Residents Nab Two Suspected Ritual Killers In Ondo Community

He said two herders have also been declared missing after the attack.

A search and rescue team has been deployed to the affected villages to rescue the missing herdsmen, while a combined team of police mobile force and detectives are on the hunt for the perpetrators.

INEC Issues Certificates Of Return To Plateau Gov, House Of Assembly Members

File Photo

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued Certificates of Return to the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, his deputy Soni Tyoden and elected members of the state House of Assembly.

The event which took place at the INEC office in Jos, the capital had their family members, party chieftains as well as well-wishers in attendance.

In her remarks at the occasion, INEC National Commissioner supervising the Federal Capital Territory, Kaduna and Plateau States, Professor Antonia Okoosi Simbine, decried what she described as a lack of internal democracy among political parties.

Read Also: Plateau Governor Simon Lalong Re-Elected For A Second Term

According to her, the desperation of politicians and their supporters compounded the problem of inconclusiveness in the just concluded elections.

The elections which held in the state on March 9 had been declared inconclusive as a result of the margin of a lead of 44,929 between the APC and the PDP candidates, which was less than the 49,377 cancelled votes.

Governor Lalong had initially polled a total of 595,582 votes ahead of his closest rival and candidate of the PDP, Mr Jerry Useni, who polled 546,813 votes.

During the supplementary election held on March 23, Lalong defeated Useni with a difference of 48,769 votes, after which he was returned as the winner.

Plateau Election: Gov Lalong Pledges More Youth Employment In Second Term

 

Governor Simon Lalong has pledged to create an atmosphere in which more youths can gain employment in Plateau State. 

Reacting to his re-election as governor of Plateau state, Lalong said the mandate given to him is further revalidation of the trust that the people have in him with respect to what his government has achieved in the last three and half years.

He said his government kept all its promises including payment of backlogs of salaries and the maintenance of peace even in the face of threatening crisis.

READ ALSO: Ortom Dedicates Victory To Supporters, Extends Hand Of Collaboration

Speaking about new projects in his second term, Governor Lalong said most of the things he will do are a reflection of the continuation of things on the ground.

Focusing on the youths, the Plateau State Governor noted that the employment of young people is a priority.

“My motive is to try and see the possibility of now going to engage and employ youths” who are idling away.

Lalong said the people of Plateau State voted their hearts and as such he was not afraid when the supplementary elections got underway.

The governor said he will run an all-inclusive government, stressing that no one will be left out, not even those who ran against him.

Lalong Confident Of Victory Ahead Of Plateau Supplementary Election

 

Ahead of the supplementary election in Plateau State, the governor, Simon Lalong, says he is confident of victory.

“For me, the election is as good as concluded. I see it as an opportunity for those whose votes were cancelled.

“That is why I will support the election and if they like, let them conduct the election more than once, we will still win in Plateau State,” Governor Lalung told journalists at the State House, Abuja on Monday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the governorship election in the state inconclusive on March 11, after the Returning Officer, Professor Richard Kimbir, announced that the margin of a lead of 44,929 between the APC and the PDP candidates was less than the 49,377 cancelled votes.

Lalong who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had polled a total of 583,255 votes while Jerry Useni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 538,326.

Read Also: INEC Declares Plateau, Adamawa Governorship Election Inconclusive

Beyond his optimism about the outcome of the elections, the governor lamented that some politicians were responsible for the recent killings in the state.

“Why is it happening immediately after elections? Things like that, I will say there is no doubt it has some political connotations,” he said.

He, however, stressed the need for continuous peace in the state.

Plateau State has in the past few months suffered attacks which have left many dead and resulted in mass destruction of property. Read More