JOS – Governor Simon Lalong the 5th civilian Governor of Plateau state is an Ajikamai born Politician from Shendam Local government of Plateau state that despite all odds against him in the 2019 governorship election on the Plateau won his re-election against the former Minister of the Federal capital territory Senator Jeremiah Useni, the peoples Democratic party governorship candidate and 18 other governorship candidates on the Plateau.
Barr Lalong the governor of Plateau state was a two times speaker of his state House of Assembly between 1999 and 2007 when the imprisoned Senator Joshua Dariye was the governor of Plateau state and could have become the governor of his state when Chief Dariye landed himself into trouble during Yelwa-Shendam crisis that led to the declaration of the state of emergency in the state and suspension of Dariye from office for six months , but turned the offer by Olusegun Obasanjo down when he was summoned to Aso Rock Abuja to be active player in the plot to impeach Dariye from power as Governor of Plateau state..
Governor Lalong endured all the political troubles he suffered for remaining on the side of the law all the years of Senator Dariye in power on the Plateau till the end of Dariyes tenure in 2007 as Governor of Plateau state and waited for two terms of Senator Jonah Jang before re launching himself back into the troubled political waters of his state under the platform of All Progressive Congress that he contested the 2015 Governorship election on the Plateau against his political opponent, late Senator Gyang NYAM Shom Pwajok of the Peoples Democratic party and won the elections even though he was not given a chance to win,
In the politics of Plateau , one thing that plays out is the politics of zoning political positions of governor among the 3 senatorial districts of the state even though it is an unwritten agreement as no senatorial district is allowed to stay in power beyond 8 years before the next senatorial district takes the reign of power in the state and that was exactly played out in 2015 in favour of Governor Simon Lalong who is from Southern senatorial district against his opponent late Senator GNS Pwajok from Northern senatorial district .
The political game on the Plateau in 2019 was a different ball game as Governor Lalong and his main challenger, Senator Jeremiah Useni a retired Army General hails from the same Southern senatorial district of their but from different local government councils in the zone. While Senator Useni hails from Langtang North local government council , Governor Lalong hails from a neighboring local government council but coincidentally, the duo are from the same Kwararafa kingdom .
No doubt. The just concluded governorship polls on the Plateau was hotly contested between Governor Simon Lalong of APC and Senator Jeremiah Useni of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state as the game of ethnicity and church denomination was brought into play.
The influence of the Hausa –Fulanis and that of native tribes on the Plateau in the politics of Plateau took center stage on how people voted during the Presidential polls on the Plateau that Buhari lost to Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party during the Presidential election.
Governor Lalong during the governorship polls in the state changed his political calculations by infiltrating into the strong holds of his main challenger Senator Useni, the PDP Governorship candidate in Langtang North and South councils of Useni country home to make appreciable gains during the governorship election and subsequently the supplementary elections adding to Jos North Council as his joker where Lalong scored over 108,000 votes to over run Senator initial lead a head of him.
Governor Lalong in the same vein won over 61,000 votes in his Shendam country home local government council to secure the winning votes of 595,582 votes to beat the PDP Governorship candidate Jeremiah Useni who scored 5 46,813 votes to be declared winner of the 2019 governorship election in his state.
Governor won his 2nd term re election with over 48,769 votes difference over the scores of his main challenger Senator Jeremiah Useni, prompting him to offer olive branch to Senator JT Useni of the Peoples Democratic Party and other contestants on the Plateau in a bid to move the state to a greater height.
Lalong who in less than an hour after winning his re-election, addressed his party faithful at his campaign secretariat around Miango junction in Jos , offered olive branch to his main challenger Senator Jeremiah Useni and other contestants that he defeated at the polls ,promising to run an all inclusive government that will cater for all shades of political divide in the state
Governor Lalong while receiving his certificate of return from the state INEC Headquarters in Jos along side his Deputy Governor Professor Sonnie Tyoden on the 29th of March, declared in his speech that he accepted to serve for his second term in office to deliver more dividends of democracy to the people of his state following the vote of confidence the electorates in his state have reposed on him, saying the future of Plateau state has placed in his hands to deliver on his campaign promises .
Lalong promised to serve with all humility in moving his state to the next level in the light of re- jigging the governance system by providing vision ,direction and accountability in leadership for greater productivity .
The re-elected Plateau Governor assured the people of his state that now that the politicking ,campaigns and elections are over, his rescue administration has made a resolve to build on its past achievements of peaceful co-existence which is non negotiable
According to him ‘’ to achieve these ideals , we shall continue to strengthen both institutional and legal frame work and reward loyalty ,excellence and hard work in both private and public sector s of the economy on the Plateau’’ Governor Lalong stressed..
The 5th Plateau civilian governor who said he was mindful of the beauty of history that requires him to leave behind at the end of his second term in office, a lasting legacy that others would build on it , however requested from his people of Plateau that all hands must be on deck in the next 4 years on the Plateau so that together they would do more for the benefit of the people of Plateau .
Governor Lalong in his a bid to carry his opponents along, said he has extend his hands of fellowship and friendship to everyone on the Plateau and urged them to share in this glory and patriotic zeal of building a strong and productive Plateau state for generations to come.