Northern Governors Forum Not Against Disbandment Of SARS – Lalong

Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong speaks in Kaduna on November 18, 2020.

 

The Northern Governors Forum on Wednesday said contrary to some misconceptions in some quarters, it is not against the recent scrapping of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Chairman of the forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong made the clarification in Kaduna during the inauguration of a committee on Youths and Civil Societies.

“The Northern Governors Forum is not against the disbandment of SARS as misconstrued in some quarters. We rather caution against the blanket condemnation of the police that can erode the confidence and zeal of the hardworking and honest ones in performing their duties of protecting lives and properties,” he said.

Governor Lalong also reiterated the commitment of the forum to tackling the several challenges facing the region.

For the governor, the forum will collaborate with Federal Government and security agencies to address the issues of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, and other criminal activities.

“We must tackle the current challenges of insecurity in the region which is dominated by insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, rape, child abuse and trafficking and other conflicts.

“We shall continue to work with the Federal Government and security agencies to tackle crime and criminality. That is why we have supported a comprehensive reform of police architecture in the country,” he said.

Speaking further, Lalong said the committee has a responsibility of creating a robust and conducive environment for the youths to flourish and tackle the current security and economic challenges in the region.

The committee is headed by the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Nuhu Bamali, and has the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, and representatives of youths from the 19 northern states and FCT, religious groups, and civil societies as members.

The committee’s terms of reference include working out various ways of engaging the youths in the north at all levels, prioritize different programmes for youth development and identify and develop different platforms for youth inclusion in the governance in Nigeria and the north in particular.

 

We Are Trying To Avoid Second Wave Of #EndSARS Protest – Chairman Northern Govs Forum

Group photo of the Northern leaders during the meeting which was held on Monday in Kaduna State.

 

The Chairman of Northern Governors Forum says hands are on deck to engage Nigerian youths and avoid a second wave of #EndSARS Protest.

Simon Lalong who is also the state governor of Plateau disclosed this in an interview with Channels Television on Monday. He said the plan to avoid the reoccurrence of #EndSARS protest was agreed upon after a meeting by northern leaders including state governors, traditional leaders, and northern political leaders.

“We came out of the meeting with very useful suggestions and a communique.

“In that meeting, we all agreed to go back and continue engagement particularly addressing issues from #EndSARS because we are also trying to avoid the second wave of #EndSARS.

“We want to address some of those issues that are on ground, to prevail on people not to engage in destructions. Because the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums which led to several destructions,” he said.

Lalong speaking further on deliberations from the meeting said although #EndSARS protests is not wrong, but was hijacked by demonstrators targeting regime change.

“Nobody is saying that initially, the protest was wrong. But the fact that it was hijacked by hoodlums to destroy public and private properties was a matter of great concern.

“What we are trying to do is to get back to the drawing board and close the communication gap between the leaders and the led. So that there will be no  #EndSARS again.

“So, what we intend to do is to provide opportunities by engaging the youths so that they will be taken off the streets,” Lalong said.

Nigerian, especially youths calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force began protests on October 8. The protests were held in major cities and lasted for two weeks.

Northern leaders after their meeting on Monday condemned the protests describing it as an agenda for regime change.

The governors also called for control of social media.

Plateau Governor Relaxes Curfew In Jos North, South LGAs

A file photos of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has approved the relaxation of the curfew imposed in Jos South and Jos North Local Government Areas with effect from Wednesday.

The Director of Press and Public Affairs to the governor, Makut Macham, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

He explained that the approval followed the assessment of the security situation in the state, and in line with the recommendation of the Plateau State Security Council.

By this directive, Macham said no movement would be allowed between the hours of 12 midnight and 6am until further notice.

“Citizens are advised to go about their lawful businesses without any fear as security agencies have been directed to ensure effective patrols and surveillance to protect lives and property.

“They have equally been directed to identify and arrest any individual or group of persons that engage in any acts of criminality including looting, arson, vandalism, and the threat to lives and property in the state,” part of the statement read.

The governor, after going round areas affected by the recent wanton acts of vandalism, arson, and destruction in the company of the Plateau State National Assembly Caucus, condemned the level of destruction of both public and private properties and the magnitude of the loss recorded.

He appealed to the youths to desist from such disgraceful acts and warned that those caught engaging in such activities would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

#EndSWAT: SARS Help Some States To Fight Insecurity – Northern Governors

 

The Northern Governors Forum has called for the reformation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the country.

Speaking during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja, Chairman of the Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, said SARS operatives helped the northern region tackle insecurity in some states.

“As SARS is banned, we are now looking forward to an opinion because most of the states in the north said no,” he said.

“They want SARS because SARS help them. A lot of SARS people help them. Borno Said if not SARS, WE would not have been surviving today, Niger and almost all parts.

“If we are addressing it like that, what is going wrong in some places? Is it the process of recruitment? Is it the character of people?”

While noting that his colleagues in the region want the entire police architecture to be reformed, the governor said states like Borno and Niger have benefitted from the efforts of SARS operatives in fighting terrorism and banditry.

On Sunday, the IGP announced the disbandment of SARS following nationwide protests against police brutality by the unit.

Thousands of protesters across the country have been protesting for over a week against the harassment, extortion, and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.

The police authorities in response to the outcry of the protesters disbanded the SARS unit and announced the setting up of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit as its replacement but the protests and demonstrations continue nationwide with hashtags #EndSWAT, #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality dominating social media trends.

Again, Lalong And Family Test Negative To COVID-19

A file photo of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

 

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, members of his family, his closed aides have all tested negative to coronavirus (COVID-19) for the second time.

The governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

He explained that Governor Lalong and his household took another test as a result of the recent cases recorded within his cabinet, such as a commissioner and his Chief of Staff testing positive for the disease.

Macham noted that the governor and members of his family subjected themselves to another test on Saturday, having taken the test earlier in April which all turned out negative.

In his reaction, Governor Lalong said, “I have continued to encourage people to subject themselves to COVID-19 test which is very important for us to determine the magnitude of the disease and level of the spread, in order to curb the further spread and treat people before they get to critical stages.

“Submitting myself and family to another test was, therefore, necessary as part of leadership by example and also responding to the recent cases of one of my commissioners and Chief of Staff who were confirmed positive.”

The governor, who reiterated that COVID-19 was not a death sentence, advised the people to always take personal responsibility for their health and the health of others.

According to him, this can be achieved by adhering to the guidelines put in place to fight the disease such as the mandatory use of face masks, social distancing, hand washing, and use of sanitisers.

Governor Lalong revealed that so far, the testing capacity in Plateau has increased as more people were being tested daily at the NVRI Laboratory in Vom and the TB Reference Laboratory at the Jos University Teaching Hospital.

He added that efforts were being made to have the testing also conducted at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital, stressing that about 6,000 people have been tested in the state as of July 5.

The governor, therefore, directed continued enforcement of compliance to COVID-19 guidelines, particularly in public places, warning that violators would be sanctioned accordingly.

He also warned against stigmatising infected persons, insisting that unless the disease was demystified, it would be difficult to overcome.

Plateau Commissioner Tests Positive For COVID-19

A file photo of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

The Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Abe Aku has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This was disclosed on Wednesday in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dan Manjang.

Following this development, Governor Simon Lalong directed all members of the State Executive Council to undergo COVID-19 tests and thereafter isolate themselves.

Aku explained that based on the governor’s directive, specimens of the commissioners are to be taken and forwarded to the COVID-19 Laboratory at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom for testing.

Meanwhile, the state government has asked members of the public to be guided by unnecessary visits to members of the State Executive Council while they are in isolation.

This is to prevent the possible spread of the disease and to show leadership by example after Governor Lalong and his family have carried out the test earlier where all of them tested negative.

 

COVID-19: Plateau Bans Movement Within State

A file photo of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

The Plateau State Government has banned all movements within the state in order to curb the community spread of COVID-19.

In his address on Thursday, Governor Simon Lalong said the move is part of his administration’s efforts in tackling the virus following the only confirmed case in the state.

The governor noted that ban on movement from local government to local government in the state as well as the ban on all entry and exit points to the state is in continuation of total lockdown imposed on residents.

READ ALSO: Ramadan: Taraba Govt Distributes Food Items To Muslim Communities

“In addition to the total lockdown which closed movement in and out of the State, and in order to curb community spread of COVID-19, Government has decided to close all intra-State borders with effect from 4th May 2020.

“Consequently, there shall be no movement from one Local Government to another even during the period when the total lockdown is relaxed, except for those on essential services as earlier enumerated.

“The total lockdown which resumed midnight Sunday, April 26th 2020, shall be relaxed from Midnight of Thursday 30th April 2020 to Midnight of Sunday 3rd May 2020 to enable people again re-stock their homes. Thereafter, the total lockdown will resume on Monday 4th May 2020,” he said.

Governor Lalong noted that the three-day window permitted by the state government will enable citizens to restock their homes ahead of the continuation of the lockdown Sunday midnight.

COVID-19 Index Case: Lalong Asks Plateau Residents Not To Panic

A file photos of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

 

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has urged residents to remain calm following the confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

He made the appeal in a statement on Friday by the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Ninkong Lar Ndam.

Hours after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced the index case of the disease in Plateau, Governor Lalong asked the residents not to panic.

He urged them to continue to imbibe good personal and respiratory hygiene, social distancing, and avoid crowded places and stay at home.

READ ALSO: Plateau Records Index Case Of Coronavirus

The governor also called on the residents to be vigilant and report any suspected case to the appropriate authorities.

He asked them to assist the government in enforcing the border closure directive which he said was one of the key measures adopted to curb the spread of the disease.

According to the health commissioner, the COVID-19 test was conducted on one suspected person who came into Jos, the state capital from Kano on Friday last week.

He said the patient was quarantined following his arrival and upon exhibiting symptoms, the nasal and oropharyngeal swab were taken and sent to the NVRI Vom Laboratory for COVID-19 testing.

“Sadly, the result which was released on Thursday, 23rd April 2020 returned positive, thereby making the patient the state index case.

“The patient has since been isolated and is a stable and good medical condition,” the statement said.

Ndam revealed that the State Surveillance Team immediately commenced contact tracing to investigate the case further and institute other public health measures to curb the spread of the disease in the state.

Plateau Killings: Lalong Orders Arrest Of Community Leaders As Death Toll Hits 22

A file photos of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.

 

 

Death toll has risen to 22 in the killings in some communities in the central zone of Plateau State.

Governor Simon Lalong confirmed the casualty figure on Tuesday when he met with the community leaders at the Government House in Jos, the state capital.

While appraising the security situation before it gets out of hand, he stated his displeasure with the efforts of the security agencies and the role of leaders in some of the communities that have been under severe attacks recently.

READ ALSO: 13 Killed In Fresh Plateau Attack

The governor decried the latest attacks where gunmen invaded Ruboi and Marish communities in Bokkos Local Government Area of the state.

During the unfortunate incident, at least 15 people were killed and five others injured with several buildings destroyed.

 

Governor Lalong read the riot act at the meeting and condemned the activities of those he called elements who were bent on taking the state back to the dark days of chaos.

He, therefore, ordered the arrest of community leaders in the affected areas until the suspects involved in the various attacks were produced.

The Commissioner of Police in Plateau, Mr Isaac Akinmoyede, was among the stakeholders present at the meeting.

In his briefing, he cautioned the community leaders against instigating members to take up arms in situations that would have been resolved amicably and not to harbour criminals in their domain.

The meeting held two days after Channels Television reported that 13 were killed in an attack by gunmen on Kwatas village also in Bokkos Local Government Area of the state.

According to police authorities in the state, the assailants suspected to be herdsmen attacked the village on Sunday night while five others were left critically injured.

Kwatas is a community located close to the Plateau State University in the central zone of the state.

PHOTOS: Uzodinma, Lalong Present As Osinbajo Chairs NEC Meeting

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, Osun’s Gboyega Oyetola and Ondo Governor, Rotimi Oyetola at the National Economic Summit at the Presidential Villa on January 23, 2020.

 

 

The first National Economic Council (NEC) meeting of the year has taken place at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the meeting took place on Thursday with governors of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, Plateau State, Simon Lalong and Benue State, Samuel Ortom in attendance.

Other governors in attendance were Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Ogun State counterpart, Dapo Abiodun, were absent but were represented by their deputies.

See photos below:

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

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Supreme Court judgement that upheld the election of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Simon Lalong of Plateau State on Monday.

The President felicitated with the APC National Executive Council, National Working Committee and all members for what he described as their loyalty and consistency that translated into many victories, “particularly the politically strategic states, Kano and Plateau, after tough legal challenges”.

“I am glad this tortuous journey has ended in favour of the party and our governors,” he said, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu.

“APC won the states and has proved it in court. It would have been a major blow if strategically important states like Kano and Plateau are lost.”


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While congratulating all the APC governors whose elections were affirmed by the Supreme Court, the President urged electorates and politicians to strengthen the country’s judicial processes by always seeking redress in court.

“It has now become standard procedure for the opposition to challenge any poll or judgement that does not return its candidates.

“Election is good when they win. The opposite is the case if someone else emerges. But that is not the way it works. Democracy is not only about who wins or who loses, but also about the process. In disparaging every unfavourable result or judgement, they disparage the entire system.”

Appeal Court Upholds Lalong’s Election As Plateau Governor

Court of Appeal, Jos Division.

 

The Elections Petition Appeal sitting in Jos, Plateau State capital on Friday upheld the election of Simon Lalong as the duly elected Governor of the state.

In the lead judgement delivered by Honourable Justice Adumein Otisi, the appeal of Jeremiah Useni and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was dismissed for lack of merit and align with the Election Tribunal decision affirming the elections of Governor Simon Lalong.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s Benue Peoples Victory,’ Ortom Lauds Appeal Court Verdict

The sum of N200,000 is also awarded as cost in favour the Governor and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Plateau State Election Tribunal had earlier in October upheld the election victory of Lalong.

Justice Halimat Saleeman, in a unanimous decision of the tribunal threw out the petitioner’s case on the grounds that the petition is weak along the line of law and therefore cannot sway justice to the side of the petitioner.