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Governor Mutfwang’s one year in the saddle (I)



From the Director of Press


GOVERNOR Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang has already spent a year in the saddle as he was sworn-in on May 29, 2023.

His journey to the Plateau State Government House in Little Rayfield, Jos, was tortuous, considering the legal battle that came in the wake of his victory in the gubernatorial election held on March 18, 2023.

Most Nigerians know that the legal fireworks from the tribunals up to the Supreme Court tested the unity of the people of Plateau State in no small measure. What’s more, it almost brought the state to its knees, no thanks to the sharp divisions along political, ethnic and even religious fault lines.

The challenges that accompanied his ascendancy to power are enough to break the spirit of the chief executive of any state. However, Governor Mutfwang had come well prepared to lead and to govern.

The fact that he started addressing crucial matters of state which had long been abandoned from day one in office was signposted positive things to come for the people of the state. Doubting Thomases who had not given him any chance of performance were soon proved wrong.

In just one year, no one can deny that an incredible change has already taken place in the state. Barrister Caleb Mutfwang’s wonderful imprint can be seen in all sectors and nooks and crannies of the state. Indeed, this one year has been as fruitful as it has been positively eventful for both the governor and the good people of the state. Some of these extraordinary imprints are discussed below.


Considering the brutal attacks that the people of Bokkos, Mangu, Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Bassa had been subjected to, there is no doubt that the governor inherited a huge problem even before being sworn in.

That was why he undertook working visits to the various headquarters of the country’s defence establishment in Abuja. He was well aware that the state would gain from every interaction he had with security chiefs. As a result, most of them came to the state and visited the theatres of war at Mangu, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi and Riyom to assess the situation for themselves.

Governor Mutfwang was aware of the horrendous impacts the deadly activities of bandits, armed herdsmen and sundry criminals have had on overall development of the state, especially the local government areas mentioned above. That was why, even before he was sworn in, he started putting in place measures to ensure that peace returned to the affected communities in order to bring back sustainable development.

And as a result of his several visits to the Presidency and the Army headquarters, he was able to extract a commitment from the Federal Government that a military barracks would be built in Bokkos to curb the activities of the outlaws that had continued to launch attacks on Bokkos, Mangu, Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas.

Resilience, perseverance and excellence have been the policy thrusts of the administration. Populist as they may be, God has repeatedly been at the head and directing what the governor has so far done to the satisfaction of citizens.

Except for the sake of fault finding, in less than ten months, his imprint was established in the minds of the people of the state. Today, one full year later, the citizens, particularly those who hardly believed in his capacity to deliver, are singing a song of acceptance even as his supporters are more vociferous of his accomplishments while praying for more.

The state government further boosted the security architecture of the state by revitalizing the moribund state-owned security outfit–Operation Rainbow. In this regard, 600 young men and women have been trained as operatives for their services to be utilized for intelligence gathering.

Having been duly approved and licenced by the Federal Government, the nation’s relevant security agencies would be fully involved in retraining its personnel and general overhaul to make it very responsive and proactive to the security challenges at the community level.

The governor has likewise bolstered his security agenda by appointing an experienced and renowned expert on Security and Homeland Safety, Brigadier-General Gakji Shipi (retired), as Special Adviser on Security to guide him appropriately in that very sensitive area.

Information and governance

In order get people properly informed and make them appreciate government policies, the place of information dissemination cannot be over-emphasised. And this is more so in democracy because the people, to whom power ultimately belongs, need to be carried along by always keeping them abreast of what their leaders are doing with the mandate they gave them. Which is why the Mutfwang administration has given very high priority to this sector.

Over the years, THE NIGERIA STANDARD and Plateau Radio Television Corporation (PRTVC) have not received the needed attention and patronage from the state government, their chief financier. As a result, these media organs, which have produced some of the best journalists in the country, have been under-utilized in the propagation of the activities of government. It is worth saying that, truly, they have given their best.

Unfortunately, since 2015, no state chief executive has visited to ascertain the activities and operations of THE NIGERIA STANDARD and PRTVC. Therefore, it was something of a novelty when Governor Mutfwang visited the Plateau Publishing Corporation, PPC, publishers of THE NIGERIA STANDARD newspaper, on March 4, 2024. Jonah David Jang was the last governor to visit PPC in 2014. Therefore, Mutfwang’s inspection of the almost comatose organisation underscores the administration’s commitment towards revitalizing both the PPC and PRTVC.

The governor shares the ideals of the founding father of the PPC and PRTVC, the late visionary leader, Joseph Dechi Gomwalk. He founded these media platforms in order to give not only Plateau people but various minorities in the Middle Belt and other parts of the country a voice in the overall national discourse. It is in order to keep Gomwalk’s great legacy alive that the governor has vowed to rescucitate these media organs – most especially the PPC which is in an extremely bad shape.

As a staunch believer in the pivotal role in the democratic process, the governor has had a very robust relationship with the large number of other independent media houses and the correspondents of those headquartered in other parts of the country. Plateau State has always been a thriving hub for both local and international journalists. The Mutfwang administration has made tremendous efforts to make their work easier and less cumbersome in order to maintain the situation. The Ministry of Information and Communication, which is headed by a young and vibrant commissioner, has been one of the driving forces of the government’s information dissemination strategy which has so far progressed efficiently.

Housing, urban development and metropolitan roads

Both the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development are vigorously implementing the government’s drive towards changing the face of the state in the area of infrastructural development.

Currently, work on the 6.9km road network from the Rukuba Satellite Market, Tudun Wada, Sabon Gari with spur to Mado, Wild Life Park, is being handled by Jolex Construction Company. It was first awarded in 2017 but work stopped along the way. But today, work has reached advanced stage as asphalt is being laid.

Rehabilitation work has also resumed on the 5.65km Utonkon, Nunku and Keana Link road, including four slip roads with the extension of Akila Machunga road and the construction of a 9km flyover bridge. It is being handled by P.W Nig. Ltd. and is also at asphaltic wearing course level. It is due to be completed soon.

More contractors are being remobilized to their project sites in the Jos/Bukuru metropolis which were abandoned since 2014 so that work can resume. The remaining 5km road projects in areas such as Utan, in Jos North, Angware (Jos-East) and another one in Mikang LGA are going on.

Other projects that are receiving prompt attention include the construction of 7.14km road network at Chwelnyap, in Jos North LGA. It links these parts of the city: Yan Trailer, Main Market, Sarkin Arab Street, St. Michael Street, Dutse Uku and St. Michael’s Loop, behind Baptist Church, Nasarawa Gwong.

Also, the rehabilitation of 24.10km road networks within Jos South LGA and the rehabilitation and upgrading of slums within Raku Belleng, Ramun Gyel, Rohol Kanang and Gyel, totaling 13.5km, also in Jos South LGA have been completed. The construction of a 6.5km road network at Angwan Rogo along with a bridge linking Hawan Idi/Ali Kazaure are in progress.

12.1km road networks have been constructed at Amma Street, Mallam Kure, Fatima Church, Gangare, Yan Shanu, Dilimi, Rikkos and Apata. A Fire Service headquarters has been constructed at Bukuru, Jos South LGA. Rehabilitation and renovation of the Old Tati Hotel to provide offices for MDAs is in progress. The state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with a private firm, Goye Associates, to construct three truck/bus terminals at the three major entry points into the state that will create 5,000 jobs at Mararaban Jema’a (Jos South), Mista Ali (Bassa) and Babale (Jos North).

The deplorable nature of roads in the Jos metropolis and outlying towns further compounded the state’s overall sordidness and made commuting a very uncomfortable and often dangerous undertaking. Citizens still remember the road accidents caused by pothole-infested roads that led to several losses of lives. It was in order to curb this trend that the state government embarked on maintenance work on the roads in the Jos/Bukuru metropolitan area through the Road Maintenance Agency.

Other roads that have been fixed and new ones constructed include those of JUTH-Laminga-Tina Junction-Legislative quarters; Plateau Hospital Roundabout-Hill-Station Roundabout-Central Bank; Maternity-Moonshine Hotel-Chorbe Junction; and Liberty Boulevard-Gold &Based road.

Others are Maternity-Masallacin Juma’a-Zolo Junction; Ahmadu Bello way; Kashim Ibrahim-West of Mines; Dadin Kowa road network; Yelwa Club Junction- Rahol Kanang -Du Junctio road; Rwang Pam Street; Ahmad Bello- Area Command-West of Mines; and Angwan Rukuba-St. Michael Catholic Church-Nasarawa Gwong road; among several others.

Rebirth of efficient transportation

Those who recall what the transport system used to be in Plateau State will weep at what the Mutfwang administration inherited in that sector.

The state-owned Plateau Express Services Limited had almost ground to a halt. Those who still remember its birth and the lack of performance over the years will be happy about the current restructuring and comprehensive overhaul it is going through, courtesy the Mutfwang administration. Because staff morale has been boosted, they are now more committed to work which has greatly enhanced productivity. And the commuters and businesses that use their services are the better for it.

But, above all, the state government has introduced the Tin City Metro Urban Transportation Initiative which will further boost the transport sector in the state. It is an ambitious project aimed at addressing the transportation needs of Plateau urban centers. It has in its fleet 15 modern MAN-Diesel buses. These will also alleviate the high cost of intra-city transportation and make the ride a pleasant experience through their cutting-edge gadgets.

In addition, the new management has refurbished 20 14-seater Toyota Hiace buses. These are fully equipped with enhanced security features like tracking devices with audio-enabled devices. In addition to 15 MAN-Diesel buses, the Mutfwang administration procured 20 Toyota Sienna vehicles, also fully equipped with security features. New drivers have been trained and will ply the Jos-Abuja route. It must be pointed out that the Tin City Metro initiative represents a bold new future in transportation that will foster prosperity and transition Plateau into the digital age.

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