By Anthony Maliki, Abuja
For the first time since leaving office, former Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has visited Jos for a critical stakeholders meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.
Lalong who is the leader of the APC in Plateau State arrived the Yakubu Gowon Airport, Heipang in company of Plateau State APC Gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, former Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Idris Wase, Members of the National Assembly, and other senior members of the party.
The delegation was received by a large crowd of party faithful and supporters who thronged the APC Secretariat at Kalwa House, Jos to have a glimpse of the former Governor whom they have not seen for over a month.
Governor Lalong while addressing the stakeholders said he was delighted to be back home and happy to meet various members of the party with whom he has served in the past eight years.
He extended the goodwill of President Bola Tinubu who asked him to appreciate the Plateau APC family for doing its best to ensure the victory of the Tinubu/Shettima Ticket in the last general elections despite the stiff contest.
He assured them that the President is not only prepared to carry everyone along but also ensure that the hope of the people is renewed through various programmes and projects that will transform the nation. He also said party members will be rewarded for the sacrifices they put in for the success of the party.
According to Lalong, the party has put behind it the setbacks experienced during the last elections in the State and is very optimistic of reclaiming its mandate at the Tribunal which is hearing the cases.
He asked members of the party to be resolute and continue to be united as they await the verdict of the tribunal since the APC has strong grounds to take back its mandate.
The former Governor challenged members of the APC to put the interest of the party above personal considerations as the party’s success is the only guarantee for success to any ambition and aspiration.
On recent developments in the State, Lalong asked the citizens to give the current government all support needed to address the insecurity that has returned after the exit of the APC Government, saying the matter of peace and security requires collective efforts.
He also commended the Local Government Chairmen who have resisted the use of self help following their purported suspension and dissolution. He said since the matter has been taken before the courts, everyone should maintain peace and await the court to speak for peace to reign as Plateau cannot afford to be plunged into crises again.
State APC Chairman, Hon. Rufus Bature while welcoming the stakeholders said the meeting was meant to examine the matters arising since the last elections and also remind members of the party that there is work ahead.
Bature said he was happy with the role that many members played to ensure that the party succeeded in the last elections despite the challenges it faced.
He was emphatic that the party remains committed to reclaiming its mandate which was stolen through rigging and propaganda.
The Chairman also expressed dismay over the conduct of some members of the party whom he said worked against the party and have now been pretending and claiming to be leaders of the party running from pillar to post looking for appointments.
This he said will be addressed in due course as the party has mechanisms to reward loyalty and discourage disloyalty.
He also thanked the leader of the party and former Governor Lalong for remaining calm and demonstrating quality leadership despite efforts by some few elements to derail the party.
The meeting later went into a closed door session after which a communique was issued.