By: Valentine Adese (JP),
To move the frontier of the political debates and contest forward in Plateau State, especially, towards the coming 2023 general elections, and as it concerns the governorship Aspirants in the state, Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives (PIDAN), has put in its energy and time to produce a report, though advisory that would help political parties, the Aspirants and the people of the state to assess the contenders and possible project the future of the state.
Although some voices in some quarters have criticized the report and its ranking as they express bias, PIDAN in its footnote to the report had stated that, the ranking is like a guide, advisory and for the benefit of the state and its people to enable the people have a better Plateau, where competent, politically influenced, exposed and strong persons from all weights of measurement should contest for the leadership seat.
PIDAN and its members also emphasized that, since the alleged problems of Plateau has been said to be leadership, its efforts is to enable the state conquer, overcome and surmount that factor in order to usher in a more better Plateau, come 2023 and onwards.
It is also a fact that, PIDAN has represented Plateau and its people at most fora especially, when the calling is to defend the state against internal or external aggressions.
PIDAN from all historical records since it came to existence has never shied away as a body to place responsibilities where they orderly should be.
It has presented memos on behalf of the less privileged in the state and beyond. It has presented its objective positions in public hearings when bills are presented by the state House and the National Assemblies.
The body has also influence bills to become laws. Examples are the case of the Gender Equal Opportunity (GEO) and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Laws of Plateau State recently signed by the Plateau State Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong.
It is on some bases like the ones above that, Political Observers (Pundits) in Plateau State have given kudos to the body’s efforts in ranking the governorship Aspirants across the top political parties in plateau State.
From the report, it shows that politicians in Plateau state are lazy in covering the field as only 20% of politically exposed persons from the Northern part of the state, which consists of huge 6 Local Government, and who may be eligible participated.
The report also showed that, apart from the Southern non-participation, only 50% of the people in the Central Zone of the state participated, which is an indication that the zone so favoured to pick the governorship ticked is not hyperactive.
According to pundits, the campaigns within the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been more centered on, whom the state Governor’s preference would be. Rather than, campaigning and convincing the delegates and electorates. Pundits believe most of the Aspirants were simply acting their films and dramas to attract the C-in-C of the State rather than facing the reality of the contest ahead.
“This is why most of them are now crying of imposition, as they see the report and result of PIDAN on them. If they are not banking on the support of the Governor, why can’t they assess themselves from the field with their aides, side by side PIDAN’s report?” Steve Aluko-Daniel of CLO, had stated in a radio program with Jayfm in Jos, monitored by REALITY.
For the records, Dr Nentawe Yilwatda was adjudged the people’s favourite when he came tops among 43 governorship Aspirants, scoring 70 per cent in the survey organized by the Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives (PIDAN).
Dr Yilwatda score a total of 193 in the survey across the political parties, making him number one of the people’s choice.
The second highest score behind Yilwatda was Prof Dakas C Dallas who scored 186. Following that is Dr Patrick Dakum who scored 154; Prof Sonni G Tyoden, 138, Mr. Sunday Biggs, 113; Mr. Later Dabang, 103 and others.
It is a fact that, PIDAN had stated that its aim is to entrench democracy, encourage investment and economic development in Plateau state, Pundits hold that, Dr Yilwatda excelled in all the criteria and won across the different parts of the state, cutting across ethnic and religious lines, as Plateau is desirable of a patriotic, competent and visionary citizen that would succeed Governor Simon Lalong to continue with the development trajectory in the state.
The survey carried out by PIDAN included inputs from the 53 nationalities in Plateau State.