The crack in the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State occasioned by the choice of its gubernatorial candidate in 2015 and 2018 is yet to be cemented.
This is evident in the chaotic manner the party has been going about its business since the conclusion of its ill-fated primary that threw up retired General Jerry Useni as its candidate.
General Useni was military governor as far back as 1985 and later became minister of the Federal capital Territory under General Sani Abacha in the 90s.
This means that his experience as a military administrator had been comatose in the last 30 years and had become latent due to inactivity and moribund due to old age.
This probably explains why when Useni joined politics and rose to become deputy national chairman of the ANPP, he was not able to make much impact and had to leave the party in controversial circumstances.
His leadership of the Democratic People’s Party, DPP, was even worse as he couldn’t win a single seat for the party in all the elections the party participated in and even lost the contest for the senatorial seat until he defected to the PDP.
His contribution on the floor of the Senate has been to warm the seat while offering no fresh ideas on law making.
This has further angered a vast population of voters on the Plateau who view his action as a slight on them and is bound to reduce the number of votes of the PDP in the governorship election.
It is clear that even the PDP members do not want Useni as candidate but have no choice since the delegates have for reasons best known to them chosen to elect him.
But they know it is a wrong choice since Plateau is already blessed with a young and dynamic leadership in the person of the current governor of the state, Simon Bako Lalong.
In contrast to what the PDP is offering, Lalong has been a product of democratic process right from when he practiced as a lawyer and became the secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, in Plateau State, to when he won elections into the Plateau State House of Assembly and became the Speaker.
He has been the backbone of democratic sustenance sacrificing his position as Speaker to protect democracy.
For this the people of the state rewarded him by voting for him as governor.
After becoming governor, Lalong through his vibrancy and dynamism has been able to identify what is at the core of leadership deficiency in the state and has been able to block this hole by empowering the people through constant payment of salaries, payment of pensions and bursaries to students in the state, thereby generally improving on the economy of the people of the state.
The governor has also introduced modern ideas in governance through his dynamism and has through a policy of tolerance and accommodation been able to achieve peace in the state.
He has also given communities in the state a sense of belonging by upgrading traditional stools and through the creation of more districts thereby entrenching social justice.
Governor Lalong has also been able to put Plateau State on the national map through a healthy interface at the national level that has earned the state quite a number of benefits.
This is the kind of leadership Plateau needs at this crucial stage in our quest for development not ones that will take us backwards.
Alex Kwapnoe, Jos, Plateau State.
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