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Mr. President, Plateau and her heroes deserve recognition- Pam Ayuba

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Hon. Pam Ayuba

By Raymond Gukas, Jos

The omission of patriots from Plateau state by President Bola Tinubu in his democracy address raises serious questions about President’s regard for the State and its people.

This is in view of the practical roles for the enthronement of democratic governance as the likes of the late Chief Solomon Lar had exihibited to champion the birth of democracy during the military era.

This strong position was expressed by Hon. Pam Ayuba Dangwom, the convener of a Plateau socio cultural group, the Plateau Our Heritage revival initiative, POHRI, shortly after analysing the President’s speech which ignored completely the contributions of the people in advancing democratic governance in the country.

He said, chief Lar ” was a proud son of Plateau, a state that has continuously championed the cause of democracy in Nigeria. Ignoring his contributions is tantamount to dismissing the sacrifices and efforts of Plateau people in our collective democratic journey”

Hon. Dangwom asked: can President Tinubu, in a speech meant to celebrate our democratic milestones, overlook such a monumental contribution from such patroitic citizens like Chief Lar?

He said, “While the President’s acknowledgment of Nigeria’s democracy heroes and heroines was commendable, his glaring omission of Chief Solomon Lar’s pivotal role in our democratic journey is both disheartening and perplexing” as Chief Lar, a towering figure in Nigeria’s struggle for democracy, “demonstrated unparalleled courage and patriotism”

For example, his daring act of delivering the historic letter to the tyrannical General Sani Abacha, risking his life for the freedom and democratic integrity of our nation, is a testament to his dedication thatust not be overlooked by the president, he fumed.

Added to this perceived “dislike” for the state, he reiterated that the oversight comes at a time when the State is “conspicuously absent from the federal executive council” following the resignation of the former governor and now Senator Simon Lalong as Labour Minister. This exclusion is a violation of the principles of federal character as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution. Section 14(3) of the Constitution.

“The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.

“By failing to include a representative from Plateau State in his cabinet, President Tinubu not only undermines this constitutional mandate but also sends a disheartening message to the people of Plateau: that their contributions and sacrifices are undervalued he reiterated.

Does President Tinubu truly have the interest of Plateau State at heart? This is a question that every Plateau indigene must ponder. The President’s actions—or lack thereof—suggest a disregard for the principles of equality and fairness that our democracy stands for.

The convener then charged members of the POHri that it was incumbent “upon us, the members of and the entire Plateau community, to demand the recognition and representation that our state deserves.We must mobilize and take action to defend the interests of Plateau State. Our voices must be heard loud and clear, advocating for the inclusion of our representatives in federal appointments and ensuring that the legacies of our heroes like Chief Solomon Lar are duly honored and celebrated.

“Let us remind President Tinubu and the entire nation that Plateau State remains a vital part of Nigeria’s democratic fabric, deserving of recognition and respect, as the journey towards democracy is paved with the sacrifices of many,” he noted.

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