Governor Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang has prioritized the restoration of sustainable peace in Plateau State as the paramount goal of his administration, recognizing that peace is indispensable for meaningful development.
After a hundred eventful days in office, Governor Mutfwang has made significant strides towards laying the groundwork for transforming his vision into reality.
Upon assuming office on May 29, 2023, Governor Mutfwang faced the stark reality of devastating attacks in Mangu, Heipang, and Kwi, which claimed the lives of innocent individuals.
Determined to address these security challenges, the State Security Council, under his leadership, conducted four strategic meetings within this perioda departure from the pastto outline meticulous strategies for countering the terrorist elements threatening the state.
Displaying empathy towards the victims and showcasing his commitment to achieving lasting peace, the Governor promptly undertook an on-the-spot tour of the three most affected local government areas just two days after his inauguration.
In response, the state government mobilized the Agricultural Services Training Company (ASTC) to support farmers in Mangu, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom local government areas, ensuring they could continue their farming activities despite the disruptions caused by the attacks.
With the deployment of 29 tractors, nearly 900 hectares of land have already been plowedan unprecedented initiative in the history of these attacks. To address the root causes, Governor Mutfwang astutely stated that these were not conflicts between farmers and herders within communities, but rather well-coordinated acts of terrorism sponsored from outside the state, dispelling deceptive narratives that had clouded the truth about the Plateau attacks.
Furthermore, Governor Mutfwang actively pursued avenues for collaboration and support, engaging with prominent figures such as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who listened attentively and promised assistance. He also held crucial meetings with the nation’s security chiefs during visits to the Defence and Army headquarters in Abuja.
These interactions yielded firm commitments towards intensifying campaigns against the perpetrators of these horrific crimes. Additionally, the Governor sought assistance from the National Emergency Management Agency to aid Internally Displaced Persons.
Governor Mutfwang’s administration bolstered its commitment to security by appointing a specialized security expert as a Special Adviser on Security, along with other skilled professionals. Their collective efforts aim to rejuvenate the state’s security architecture and achieve the administration’s goal of a peaceful Plateau State.
The establishment of the State Security and Information Center, with a toll-free line for reporting security concerns, further enhances transparency and accountability.
Acknowledging the daunting challenges inherited, the Governor addressed the state’s unmanageable debt burden of over N300 billion. The civil service, on the verge of paralysis, had even resorted to conducting sensitive government work at business centers due to the absence of necessary facilities.
Overdue salaries totaling N11 billion had provoked worker strikes. However, the state government secured funds to initiate the payment of these arrears, resulting in the resumption of work. By the end of August, it is expected that the backlog will be fully cleared.
Moreover, the administration settled the indebtedness of the state-owned university and polytechnic, rescuing them from the imminent withdrawal of courses and programs.
In pursuit of economic development, Governor Mutfwang launched the Plateau Economic Transformation Strategy (PETS) 2023-2027, a comprehensive plan focusing on agriculture and agro-industry, solid minerals development, tourism, and human capital development. This strategy, accompanied by enablers such as security, infrastructure, governance, finance, environment, and innovation, seeks to position Plateau State as a thriving economic hub in Nigeria and West Africa.
Governor Mutfwang’s commitment to transparency and accountability is evident through executive orders and the establishment of committees tasked with recovering looted assets and government property. Engagements with international partners, including the World Bank representative and Japanese Ambassador, demonstrate his dedication to attracting development and investment to the state.
Under Governor Mutfwang’s leadership, efforts have been made to revitalize dormant state assets, such as the Jos International Breweries, Brewery Agricultural and Research Center (BARC) Farms, and the Agricultural Services and Training Centre (ASTC).
Emphasizing the significance of sanitation, the administration declared a state of emergency on environmental sanitation, reviving monthly sanitation exercises to mitigate the risk of communicable disease outbreaks.
Road maintenance and patching of potholes within the Jos/Bukuru Metropolis have facilitated smoother traffic flow. Full-scale construction work is expected to commence across the state once the rainy season subsides.
To reinvigorate the government machinery and meet the aspirations of the people, Governor Mutfwang constituted the State Executive Council, comprising vibrant youths and women. A retreat was organized to develop a blueprint for the state’s development.
In the span of just 100 days, Governor Caleb Mutfwang’s administration has made substantial strides towards its mission of rebuilding Plateau State and overcoming its challenges.
Now is the time for citizens to join hands in collaboration to ensure the continued progress and prosperity of the state. The Governor on his part has demonstrated capacity to walk the talk in order not to only sustain the confidence of the people but deliver on his mission of building a united and prosperous Plateau.
Gyang Bere is the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Plateau State Governor.