News Commentary: The outgoing Governor Simon Lalong led administration and the need for caution for a smooth transition in Plateau
Written by News Desk on April 5, 2023
It is written by our News and Current Affairs Department
Obviously overwhelmed by his inability to win the Plateau South Senatorial election ,and the failed bid of his party’s candidate to secure the governorship of Plateau state during the 2023 general elections ,governor Simon Lalong recently inaugurated a 13-member central planning committee for the handover and swearing-in of the new administration in the state and excluded members from the incoming government led by the governor lect,Barrister Caleb Mutfwang
The committee was inaugurated on Monday in Government House, Jos.
Speaking at the event, Lalong admitted that members of the transition committee were drawn only from his party,the APC.
According to him, their assignment was to ensure a smooth transition of the democratic experience in the state on May 29,when the new PDP government which emerged victorious at the governorship poll is expected to take over the reigns of governance in the state
Since the inauguration of the transition committee ,many people have condemned the action of the outgoing APC government for excluding the the PDP governor -elect and members of his team from the transition committee membership and inauguration
By such exclusion ,Lalong has become the first governor of Plateau state to have done so since the country returned to democracy in 1999
It will be recalled that despite losing election by his party in 2015, former Governor Jonah Jang who incidentally,handed over power to Lalong was able to set up a transition committee headed by former Secretary to the state Government Shedrack Best with the then deputy Governor elect ,Prof. Sonni Tyoden as co-chairman ,while members of the transition committee were drawn from both the outgoing and the then incoming government.
Similar transition arrangement that accommodated membership both from the outgoing and incoming government was also said to have been put in place by Senator Jang’s predecessor ,Joshua Dariye when he was about to relinguish power in 2007
Be that as it may ,many have noted with dismay that Governor Lalong appears to be finding it difficult to come to terms with the outcome of the recent elections as expressed by the people through the ballot.
This ,perhaps ,explains why the outgoing Governor is yet to congratulate the governor elect and others over their victories at the poll.
It may be admitted that the outgoing APC government in the state has found itself in a catch-22 situation having lost the will of the people during the recent governorship poll .But then, the outgoing governor, unlike the previous governors did ,needs to know that by excluding members of the incoming administration from his transition committee inauguration,he has failed the simple test of sportsmanship in political governance .
Many who spoke on the issue have insisted that If he has nothing to hide,he should not set a bad precedent for Plateau .
Certainly , not making members of the incoming administration to be part of the transition committee can not change the verdict of Plateau citizens at the poll .
Rather ,the decision has the potential of further alienating the outgoing government and the people who rejected them at the poll