BY CHAMBERLAIN ODEY, JOS – A governorship aspirant on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Godfrey Bawa, has unsettled the stakes for incumbent Governor Simon Lalong especially in the governor’s Plateau South stronghold,
This followed Bawa’s overwhelming endorsement by the people of the geopolitical as a possible replacement for Lalong as governor of Plateau state in 2019.
During the Ward and Local Government declaration rally of the PDP aspirant in Kwande, Qua’an Pan local government area of Plateau state at the weekend, markets, businesses, and sundry engagements were suspended as the people trooped out and took over the access road stretching from Baap, through Garkawa, all the way to the Kwande ward office to welcome the aspirant and pledge their support as he made official his gubernatorial aspiration.
The aspirant, Godfrey Bawa, who was accompanied by his accompanied by the chairman of his campaign organisation, Barto Yenlong, and other directors of the campaign outfit, explained that he joined the race for the governorship of the state to enable him add value to the lives of the teeming populace by bringing modern contents, standards, and practices to bear on the provision of the basic needs of the people in the areas of infrastructural renewal and supply, and restoration of peace and security in the state.
Bawa, who admitted that his extensive pedigree and measurable success in business are immense advantage and of inestimable value as he has bowed to popular pressure to come and serve the people, also promised to use his wealth of experience in business and extensive global connections to boost the investment potential; and profile of the state by ensuring that he attracts sufficient investors to explore the environmental bounty and agrarian grace of the state until Plateau becomes a foremost business tourism destination in the world.
Addressing party faithful at the local government party headquarters, Bawa explained that his choice of the PDP as the platform to actualise his response to the peoples request to him to contest for the governorship position is because, one, he has always been a member of the PDP, and, secondly, because, of the existing registered political parties in Nigeria, the PDP has the most workable manifesto which, if candidly implemented, will have maximum positive impact on the lives of Nigerians.
Some of the locals who explained why they had to abandon their engagements for that day to honour the visit and declaration of the gubernatorial aspirant said Bawa has committed much from his business to carry out charitable engagements in the state to uplift the lives of the common man, such as building and equipping hospitals to enable the poor to access quality health care, and also uplifting the economy
of the state by establishing investments that employ the youths and draw from local contents.
Some of the youths who spoke to reporters during the event said their clamour for the emergence of Bawa is as a result of their disenchantment and disapproval of Governor Lalong to continue for
According to them, the era of Lalong did not bring anything tangible to the zone, even though Lalong, as Bawa, is Goemai, a political bloc-buster demographic configuration in Plateau South
Some members of the Lalong government who are apparently aggrieved with the ‘Rescue’ operations of the APC administration in the state and who have literally joined Bawa in search of ventilation and post 2019 relevance, and who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the Lalong administration as a “project failure” as a result of “lack of direction, ineptitude, and the overbearing clandestine activities of a few who have seized the system and made the government a club affair”.
Although Lalong is the incumbent governor and so far the lone-ranger gubernatorial candidate of the APC, some of the cream of senior politicians who accompanied Bawa during the declaration, and some book keepers of Plateau politics share the opinion that the emergence and outing of Bawa is an ill omen for Lalong, saying that the omen will stink more precipitately if Bawa clinches the PDP ticket.
In Garakawa however as the Bawa political train rolled through, there was some reprieve for Lalong as pockets of disapproval chants echoed from the road side, indicating that, with Lalong, they stand, in 2019.