Lalong: Restoring Plateau glory with APC presidential campaign kick-off! – Yakubu Dati
By Yakubu Dati
Jos, the Plateau State capital has always played a significant role in the political development of Nigeria.
As far back as 1962, the Action Group, one of the major political parties of the 1st Republic led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo held its national convention at the African Sports Club in Jos.
With the vibrancy of Plateau sons and daughters in national politics coupled with the growth and development of the Tin City, Jos became a center of attraction for many good reasons, attracting tourists, business men and women and politicians of all hue and colour.
Last week, Plateau State governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong rekindled all memories while presenting the 2023 budget to the Plateau State House of Assembly.
He brought laughter and joy to the ceremony by demonstrating that the unity and cohesion that existed on the Plateau could be re-lived.
The Governor went to the State House of Assembly complex in company of key stakeholders in the state to send a message that all could work together for the development of the state
The presence of Federal legislators like the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase and other federal legislators like Hon. Yusuf Gagdi and former Speakers from different political excited the state legislators who could not hide their emotions drawing commendations across the country for its symbolism.
Closely following that master stroke, Gov. Lalong who is the Director General of the Tinubu/Shettima APC Presidential Campaign is set to relaunch Jos, as the political capital of Nigeria at a time many think it is almost impossible to hold any political event of that magnitude in the Tin city.
The big event is the flag-off of the APC presidential campaign which is slated for Tuesday at the Rwang Pam stadium.
Through the instrumentality of the Presidential Campaign DG, Plateau State would host President Muhammadu Buhari, Commander-in-Chief and PCC Chairman, presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; his deputy, Kashim Shettima; the party’s national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; 23 APC Governors, 36 Governorship candidates, about 500 National Assembly candidates,
Hon Ministers and other important top dignitaries.
Rt Hon Ahmed Idris, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee is leaving no stone unturned to put up a great outing.
It promises to pull together the biggest crowd seen in recent times as supporters of the party and other well wishers are warming up to grace the occasion that will reignite the vibrancy of Jos as a significant political destination in Nigeria.
Apart from the convention of the Action Group in 1962, Jos, has played other key roles in the political developments of Nigeria.
It was for instance the venue of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) primary which produced MKO Abiola as presidential candidate and Babagana Kingibe as running mate.
It was also the venue of the 1998 primary which threw up Olusegun Obasanjo as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
One unmistakable underlying theme in having Jos as venue for major political meets is that any candidate that associates with the city wins the presidential elections.
The cool weather and the gentle breeze seem to disseminate the positive aura that results in victory for presidential candidates hosted in Jos.
When Abiola came to Jos for the primary, he won the 1993 presidential elections while Obasanjo equally went ahead to win the presidential election when he was returned at the party’s primary in Jos.
When Lalong was chosen as the DG of the Tinubu/Shettima campaign, he applied the opportunity to reconstruct Jos and retain the aura it lost in the previous years due to crises.
People recall that after the founding fathers of Jos built the city into a haven of tourism, commerce and political meets, an intervening period of crises robbed it of all that.
But Lalong has been able to restore peace to the state and his sterling qualities and patience got him the campaign DG of the APC presidential campaign and is about to prove that Jos can birth the next president of Nigeria.
By hosting of such a big event in Jos, Lalong would prove to the world that peace has really returned to the state and that the state is ready to welcome all.
This is a strong statement to both those resident in the state and those outside.
The positive vibe for Plateau is that all businesses can benefit from the event while those outside can take a cue from the political event to relocate to plateau.
For the APC, it is an assurance of victory as people readily recall when Solomon Lar was the national chairman of a political party, he brought the party’s primary to Jos and their presidential candidate won.
Now that Lalong as Campaign DG has decided to use Jos to kick off campaigns, history is set to repeat itself.
Hosting the APC Presidential Campaign kick off also shows that the APC Rescue Administration under Governor Lalong has done well to restore confidence, peace and security in Plateau State. Tinubu will consolidate on this when elected because of the history of his inclusive governance style.
Dati is the Chief of Staff to the Director General, Tinubu/Shetima APC Presidential Campaign.