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The time has come to move Plateau State forward — Yillah •Hails Jang, charges Lalong to develop agric, tourism

By News Express on 10/09/2017

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•Plateau youth leader Dennis Yillah
•Plateau youth leader Dennis Yillah

Mr Dennis Yillah, an international businessman, with operations in Lagos and Jos, prides self as a freeborn Plateau State citizen. In this encounter with THERESA MOSES, he commends ex-governor, Air Commodore Jonah David Jang (retd) and Rep Beni Lar, as he challenges the incumbent governor to create an enabling environment that would attract investors to Plateau, given its tourism-friendly weather and robust natural and agricultural resources. Yillah also speaks on the need to move Plateau State forward.  

On most crucial need of Plateau State now

Bad politics and poor management of crisis by former governor Joshua Dariye destroyed Plateau State and drove away businesses. So, among other things, we need peace. Peace must return to Plateau, it’s a state that is blessed with natural resources, food, vegetables, good weather conditions, etc. I am begging the governor to invite foreign partners so that they can invest and make Jos a tourist destination. A lot of white people reside here because of its weather. I’m pleading with the governor to look into the area of agriculture and tourism. I think we will get there, especially with what we have as a state. The revenue from taxes the state will make will help boost both state and the nation’s revenue.

On the long-drawn crises that destroyed the beauty and peace of the Plateau

Plateau stands for peace and equity. That’s why the slogan is “Home of peace and tourism.” But some bad eggs in politics came and destroyed Plateau State: a home for all, especially the Igbo and other ethnic groups of Nigeria. People from all nationalities had free will of living in the state till 2000; during the era of Joshua Dariye as governor, after which crisis erupted, resulting in killings, etc. They blamed the crisis on religion, but as far as I am concerned, the crisis was political.

Why do you believe the crisis was political?

It’s very clear: the hand writing is on the wall. Everybody can see and feel it. I remember very well that every successful businessman from every tribe of the federation was represented in Plateau State, until 2000, when rumours had it that the Hausa-Fulani wanted to take part of Plateau State. The governor then, Joshua Dariye, wasn’t straight-forward to the indigenes of the state. It was then the crisis broke out, but we know it wasn’t religious crisis, but politics. It’s a known fact that Plateau State is 100 per cent Christian state. So, coming to say the crisis was religious is not true.

What is your assessment of incumbent Governor Simon Lalong?

As a matter of fact, we are getting there. I won’t talk about this present administration, because I have not seen much that he has done, as far as I’m concerned.

Any expectations from the governor?  

Well, like I said, I have not seen much. May be he needs time, but we need to see his blueprints: what is he about to do? And we need to see if he can deliver. For now, I have nothing to say about his administration, because I have not seen anything tangible yet that he has done.

Assessment of past governors’ performance 

Going back to history, I want to remind our people of that the great man - a selfless leader - late Joseph Deshi Gomwalk, the pioneer military administrator of then Benue-Plateau State, from 1967 to 1975 (now Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa states).  He made the Plateau what it is, until a great father of our generation took over.  Air Commodore Jonah David Jang followed the legacies of Gomwalk. Baba Jang, as he is fondly called, is a great man worthy of honour, praise and emulation. He was a former governor from 2007 to 2015. That Plateau State is looking beautiful the way it is, and its changes: the good roads, etc; the first time the state built flyover. It was all during Baba Jang’s administration. I urge the youths and the people of Plateau State in general, that we should stand firm and support Baba Jang, because he has the mandate of Plateau State, and he also has the state at heart, as a father. At his age, he fought tirelessly to make sure Plateau State puts on a smiling face. I want to use this medium to thank Baba Jang for the good things he has been doing. As far as I’m concerned, anywhere Baba Jang stands is where we stand, because he has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is a father to everybody. Above all, he has done well in Plateau State.  He gave us the good roads and the bridges we never thought will come to Jos, and so much more. Today, Plateau State is smiling gradually. I wish it’s possible for third term, we would have voted for him again and again. Because, we are sure, with him, Plateau State will become the United State of America.

Performance of female politicians in the state

It’s been awesome! We have Hon Beni Butmak Lar, representing Langtang North and South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. This great woman of our time has been doing well in Plateau State. She is always calling for unity, peace and love, which is what we need to promote the nation. People like her and other great women in the state should be encouraged. If a woman comes out for the people of Plateau State, please let more women and youths come and support them. They are the movers and shakers of Plateau State.

Your advice to Plateau youths

My message for the youths, like me, is that they should not allow any politician to buy our votes and conscience. Let’s do what is right because the time has come for us to move the state forward. The only way we can do that is: together we stand. If we stand in unity and peace, we will get there. But, if we don’t do that, and we allow anybody to buy our conscience and votes, honestly, Plateau State will still remain the way it is. Everybody wants to stay in the state. That is why I’m begging youths to do the right thing. Together, we stand to move Plateau State forward.

Source News Express

Posted 10/09/2017 12:41:24 PM

 

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