In a quick succession, two opposition parties in Plateau State, the PDP and NNPP held their kick-off campaigns in Shendam, the home local government of Gov Simon Lalong, the Director General of the APC Tinubu/Shetima Presidential Campaign Council.
As if that was enough sign of panic, the social media strong Labour Party, also launched its governorship campaign in Langtang LGC, a neighbouring local government to Shendam all in the bid to try and keep their heads above the water that is about sweeping them away.
In the desperate bid to appear like trying to challenge the governor at his turf and base, leaders of the opposition parties in Plateau State have however, exposed their lack of initiative as even a toddler knows that Lalong cannot be challenged in Shendam, nay the entire Plateau due to his popularity and track record.
Political analysts are at a loss as to this lack of strategy by the opposition parties of deploying huge resources to an area that is fully mobilized for APC.
The reason however is not far fetched: it is an attempt to bring down Gov Lalong, who is also a candidate for the Senate for the Plateau South Senatorial Zone, for daring to lead a successful campaign for Tinubu/Shetima presidential ticket across the country.
As an indication of a leader at home with his people, Gov Lalong spent his Christmas and New Year holidays with his constituents.
There, he was seen visiting and receiving the people, discussing and playing with them and even attending to their personal needs.
He spent almost a week interacting with communities, religious leaders and support groups, cascading the “Renewed Hope” agenda to the grassroots which was well received, rendering opposition parties extinct.
The period was a demonstration of what a government of the people by the people really meant as the people interacted first hand with their Governor.
With the deepening of this bond with the people, the opposition parties lost focus and began to panic thinking that relocating to Shendam would be a counter strategy.
To the extent that the PDP ignored the bad omen that preceded their ill fated campaign where their imported supporters suffered a ghastly accident with over 20 casualties, to go ahead with their charade without consideration for the unfortunate victims.
The obvious desperation is easily discernible from the dark recesses of evil machinations to dim the light of a shining star who has launched Plateau to national limelight with his strategical appointment as the Director General of a ruling party and the Tinubu/Shetima candidacy that is gaining traction against all odds.
As Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Lalong had reconfigured the political stratosphere from the backwaters of insecurity to truly, a “home of peace and tourism“ through intentional and deliberate policies, projects and institutional framework as encapsulated in the Rescue Agenda.
He created the first ever Peace Building Agency which attracted international attention, little wonder other states have since adopted the measure as a way of ensuring peace in their states.
His political dexterity as a two time Speaker of the State House of Assembly has been deployed to steer the ship of the APC from conflicts.
As Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Gov Lalong led a courageous campaign to zone his party’s presidency to the south, for fairness, justice and national integration.
These credentials, no doubt played a major role in his elevation as DG of the Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling party, the APC.
His regular payment of workers’ salaries has earned him the nickname @GovAlert! while youths fondly refer to him as SBL because he has distinguished himself as the only governor that has given young people opportunity to serve in government.
This is why the youths of Plateau have decided to go with him anywhere he leads them. Supporting Lalong to deliver Plateau to Asiwaju is an obligation for any right thinking Plateau youth.
While anti democracy elements are unrelenting in bringing a good man down, the majority of Nigerians see him as beacon of renewed hope!
Unperturbed by the enermies of progress, Gov Lalong is walking the tight rope to break the shackles of unemployment, religious bigotry and retrogression for a Renewed Hope as encapsulated in the Tinubu/Shetima agenda.
He has traversed the length and breath of the country to promote his party, successfully putting Plateau back on the map of national reckoning and the accompanying opportunities therein for the country at large.
Gov Lalong has made major inroads in removing the cataract of the so called Muslim/Muslim ticket to make it an all inclusive ticket that will usher in an era of power sharing between the North and South for national cohesion.
Yakubudati@gmail.com is the Chief of Staff to the DG, APC -PCC. He was the former General Manager of FAAN, who was Local Government Chairman and a multiple Hon Commissioner spanning 2 administrations in Plateau State amongst several portfolios.
By Yakubu Dati