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News Commentary : Governor Simon Lalong’s pitfalls and the lessons for the incoming administration in Plateau

Written by on May 26, 2023

It is written by our News and Current Affairs Department

By Monday next week, May 29,the administration of Governor Simon Lalong who has ruled Plateau state in the last eight years will finally come to an end .

Expectedly,the inauguration of his successor,Barrister Caleb Mutfwang which will take place same day will also put to rest months of speculations in some quarters that the governor elect will not be sworn-in to take over the mantle of leadership of the state .

Between May 29 ,215 and May 29 2023 when Governor Simon Lalong held sway as the executive Governor ,many believe that the outgoing governor did little or nothing to leave Plateau better than he met it .

Despite an attempt by Governor Lalong to change the ugly narratives through last minutes commissioning of projects ostensibly executed by his administration, the people have continued to point at the poor state of development of Plateau state and the betrayal of the state’s strategic interests as the hall mark of hiss eight years administration

Given the reality on the ground which supports the position of the people ,It was therefore not surprising when a former Governor of the state,Jonah Jang recently joined the rest of the citizens to pray for Plateau not to have another Government that looks like the outgoing administration in the state

Many have blamed the abysmal performance of the Lalong government on the type of appointments he made while in power

While some blamed Lalong for his failure to appoint square pegs in square holes who will help him pilot the affairs of the state to greater heights ,others particularly blamed the abysmal performance of the outgoing governor on his entire communication team pointing out the way and manner organs of the information sector were largely in paralysis under the watch of the Commissioner for Information ,Dan Manjang

The people expressed regrets that Lalong’s administration could have done better than it did in terms of communicating government programmes with the public had it employed the service of competent professionals to administer the ministry and not those who worked to undermine the significance and role of communications in public governance.

Unfortunately ,as the incoming governor ,Barrister Caleb Mutfwang is set to begin his first term in office ,events that have so far unfolded suggest that his Transition Publicity Sub Committee headed by a former Commissioner for Information ,Yiljab Abraham, was bent on treading a beaten path reminiscent of the outgoing administration of Governor Simon Lalong .

Already ,there are allegations of high-handedness ,arrogance and deliberate exclusion of stakeholders by the Yiljap led Publicity Sub Committee in the conduct of it’s affairs

In setting agenda for the incoming administration, some stakeholders also observed that the information management of the transition Committee under Yiljap Abraham is concealment -driven and lacks strategy both in approach and engagement with the people .

Experience have shown that those who do so are usually up to no good.

For the Governor elect to achieve his dream of providing good leadership that will usher in the much needed good governance in the state ,stakeholders have stressed the need for qualified and competent persons to be appointed into office ,an action which should not be sacrificed on the alters of political patronage .

The stakeholders in the media and marketing communications industry have also called for a review of the information management and communications strategy leading to his inauguration which should be consolidated thereafter .

In addition, the stakeholders recommended a brand management specialist as Commissioner and heads of other information managers arguing that public sector governance image in Plateau is critical and complex and requires brand management specialists who will be working with journalists and media organizations including public relations practitioners to sell government activities that will resonate with the people.

As the saying goes ,a stich in time,saves nine

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