PLATEAU: EVEN BEFORE MUTFWANG HITS THE GROUND RUNNING
Plateau State Governor-Elect, Barrister Caleb Mutfwang, certainly understands that the herculean task of restoring Plateau’s shattered glory is not going to be a leisurely walk in the park.
After overwhelmingly securing the mandate of Plateau people to be their next governor, he promised them that he would hit the ground running immediately he assumes office. Many thought that he meant that he would not waste time but start working immediately he is sworn in.
But he has already started running even before he hits the ground, so to say. This is because the state is in dire straits, buffeted so mercilessly over the last eight years by a variety of vices that characterised the system. This state of affairs is already causing Mutfwang great distress, even before he takes up the mantle of leadership.
The sordid and deleterious signs of the decay and regression are continually manifesting in the full glare of an already traumatised citizenry. Mountains of garbage have become a common sight in the central business areas of the state capital and other parts of the greater Jos metropolis. Not to talk of other outlying and remote local government areas of the state. Living and co-existing with heaps of rubbish has become a fact of daily existence – another sad symbol of the general rot that pervades this state today.
That is on top of the huge and unwieldy debt profile of the state, for which there is little to boast of, suspicious local and foreign loans and the mystery behind the disappearance of 400 tractors said to have been purchased by the state government during its first tenure. This is just a tip of the iceberg. The Augean Stables here are thick, flowing with layers of slime.
Unto him that much is given, much is expected. This fact should underpin the electoral votes Mutfwang garnered in the gubernatorial polls. To be sure, it was a vote that transcended party lines as Plateau citizens were fed up with the APC administration and kicked it out most assuredly.
Besides the media hype about courtesy calls by groups and individuals pledging loyalty and solidarity with the incoming government, the masses who do not have the luxury of such glitzy ceremonies are anxiously waiting in the wings. They want to see how this governor they so massively voted for would assuage their pains and set them on a fresh path of recovery and progress.
As we have said previously, the expectations are extraordinarily huge. But as political pundits have continuously assured, Mutfwang’s desire to take Plateau citizens out of the woods is even larger and more urgent. Going by his interactions with wide ranging individuals and groups so far, there is no doubt that he is prepared to risk all to reach that goal.
A sagely and successful leader once disclosed that most people who milled around him when he was in the saddle of governance came to extract personal favours rather than offer constructive suggestions and advice about how to work for the collective good of the state and its people. Observers say Mutfwang will do the state a lot of good if he sips from that deep fountain of wisdom.
While others, as we have seen in our recent past, would have still been popping the champagne, frolicking and basking in the euphoria of victory, Mutfwang has already set forth by reaching out to critical organisations and individuals that can help the state get out of its current state of stagnation and poverty.
As a practical demonstration of that vision, the governor-elect paid a working visit to the headquarters of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, ECN, in Abuja on April 14, 2023. During a strategic session with the ECN Director-General, Professor E.J Bala, and management, Barrister Mutfwang revealed that the state has huge potentials in solar energy, hydro power, wind farms and biomass.
When fully tapped, the governor-elect informed his hosts, these would improve the energy balance and demand of the state, increase productivity, improve manpower development, security and sustainable economic development. Apparently, exploiting these wide array of energy sources on the Plateau will have a very magnificent ripple-effect on the overall well-being of the people of the state in a very profound way.
This is new approach to unlocking the energy potentials of the state towards tackling multi-faceted developmental challenges. Only forward-looking leaders imbued with great vision and strategic thinking take such rare steps.
It is gratifying that a draft memorandum of understanding was agreed upon with referrals to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). They are expected to invest in the state through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) domiciled in the organisations. Pursuant to that, ECN is billed to dispatch a technical team to the state after the May 29 inauguration to begin the actualisation phase of the proposals.
Indeed, the Caleb of our times fully understands the urgency and wisdom in Christ’s timeless injunction that unto him that much is given, much is desired. Mutfwang is inspired and egged on by the knowledge that there is a lot of responsibility in the big office he is about to enter.
And because the odds high, he has decided to start running even before he hits the ground, so to say.
(GYANG is the Chairman of the N.G.O, Journalists Coalition for Citizens’ Rights Initiative – JCCRI. Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com)