Plateau State Governor Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong has officially received the Expression of Interest/Nomination forms purchased by a political pressure group, Plateau Legacy Group to contest for the Plateau South Senatorial District seat in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The official presentation which took place at the Shendam Mini Stadium was attended by a large crowd of supporters and APC members from the six local government areas comprising the Southern Senatorial District as well others from across the State.
Speaking at the presentation, Chairman of the Plateau Legacy Group and Member representing Pankshin, Kanke, Kanam Federal Constituency Yusuf Gagdi said the group is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Governor Simon Lalong has performed exceptionally within the zone, the entire State, and Nigeria at large to merit going to the Senate for further representation.
Gagdi said the Plateau Legacy Group which has members across the entire State is passionate about ensuring that the legacies of the Governor are sustained even after his tenure.
He said the purchase of the form was also to thank the Governor for his sense of justice and fairness in distributing projects across all the local Governments unlike in the past as well as working for the peace, prosperity, and progress of the Northern Region and Nigeria.
APC Chairman in Plateau State Hon. Rufus Bature said the APC has received a boost with the acceptance of the Governor to offer himself again to serve not only the people of Southern Zone but the entire Plateau State at the National Assembly.
He charged them to remain united and work in synergy to deliver the Governor and all other candidates of the APC contesting for various offices in the General elections.
Bature who warned against traitors and fifth columnists who will come in to seek to destroy the fortunes of the party assured that the State Working Committee will work assiduously to make sure nobody works against the interest of the party.
Chairman of the APC in the Southern Senatorial Zone Hon. Musa Abdullahi Dan Nyalum thanked the Plateau Legacy Group for coming to the aid of the teeming APC members and supporters of the Governor within the zone who are yearning for the Governor to move to the Senate after the completion of his rescue mission to continue serving them.
Speaker Plateau State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Yakubu Sanda said the decision of Governor Lalong to accept the call to contest for Senate is a win-win for the Southern Senatorial Zone and Plateau because he has performed well as Governor and carries along with huge Legislative experience that will make him a valuable asset to the Senate and National Assembly in general.
Other speakers including representatives of Local Government Chairmen, women, and youth groups, and other friends of the Governor from other Senatorial zones promised to work for the total victory of Governor Lalong and all the candidates of the APC.
In his acceptance speech, Governor Lalong said he was overwhelmed by the show of love and solidarity from the people of the Southern Zone and Plateau Legacy Group who have used their hard-earned resources to purchase nomination/expression of interest forms for him.
He said “Having reflected on the demand of the people over the last few weeks and carried out relevant consultations, I wish to announce with all sense of humility and gratitude that I have accepted this clarion call by the good people of Plateau South Senatorial District to serve them as Senator in 2023 by the grace of God. My decision to heed the call of the people is based on the confidence they have reposed in me and the sustained love and support they have shown me throughout my political career. Since I contested and won elections in 1999 into the Plateau State House of Assembly, I have developed a great relationship with the people of the Southern Zone which has grown over the years. I cannot afford to turn my back on them at this very crucial when they need me most”.
Lalong said among other things, the many reasons which have been consistently given by the many groups and individuals who have pressured him to consider running for Senate is that having gathered so much experience as a Member and longest-serving Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly; Chairman Conference of Speakers, Chairman; Forum of Former Speakers of State Houses of Assemblies and Governor; the people of the Southern Zone, Plateau State, and the entire nation needs his vast experience.
“While I would have loved to concentrate on the job at hand which is to complete the Rescue Mission as Governor and finish the programs and projects we are carrying out, I am also aware that the call for me to contest for Senate is all about the PEOPLE. For me, anything that has to do with the interest of the people takes priority over my interest. Politics is about the people and serving them to the best of my ability is where I derive joy and satisfaction. My dear compatriots and members of the APC family in Southern Zone and Plateau State, I wish to assure you that I am fully conversant with the demands of representation in the Red Chambers and the high caliber political maneuvers that go on there. By the grace of God, I will do my best to ensure that we bring more dividends of democracy to the Zone and the entire State when I am elected”.
The Governor said he was happy with the growing fortunes and acceptability of the APC in Plateau State over the years from 2015, having gained so much ground, attracted more members, and won more elections despite the propaganda and disinformation by the opposition.
He also appealed for unity, collaboration, and focus ahead of the 2023 elections.
“Let us not allow personal ambitions to jeopardize the collective interest of the party. This is the time to demonstrate true loyalty and faith in the APC family. As democrats, we should not forget that of all people aspiring for one office or the other, only one candidate and winner will emerge at the end of the day. That does not make the others losers but provides them an opportunity to be considered tomorrow. The party has mechanisms for rewarding faithful members who sow and sweat to ensure its victory in all elections. We must close ranks, reconcile, forgive one another, and put the interest of the party first. This is more so when our party will be going into its first transition elections from one administration to the other at the State and Federal Levels”.
He also called on the people to shun all forms of political thuggery before, during, and after the elections, insisting that Election is not war, while service to the people is not by desperation or force.