Four months ago Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong established and constituted a Six Man Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Activities of the past Government between 29th May, 2007 to 28th of May 2015.
Yesterday, the governor made a speech at the presentation of the commission’s report in which he assured the people of the state that waste of time and resources might be right to some extent, because over the years, unlike previous reports, of this will not stock-piled on Government shelves consigned to the waste basket of history.
Read full speech below;
ADDRESS OF THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE, RT. HON. SIMON BAKO LALONG, AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE JUSTICE STEPHEN ADAH-LED COMMISSION OF INQUIRY REPORT SET UP TO INVESTIGATE THE ACTIVITIES OF THE JONAH JANG ADMINISTRATION ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2016 AT THE BANQUET HALL, GOVERNMENT HOUSE, RAYFIELD, JOS.
You will recall that about four months (4) ago, precisely on the 8th of August 2016, I issued a Public Notice and executed an instrument, whereby I established and constituted a Six (6) Man Judicial Commission of Inquiry, Pursuant to the Powers conferred on me by Section 2, of the Commission of Inquiry Law Cap 25 of the Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963.
Consequent upon that, we inaugurated the Justice Stephen Adah (JCA), Commission of Inquiry into the Activities of Government between 29th May, 2007 to 28th of May 2015.
Today, we have received the report from the Commission, whose members have painstakingly sacrificed time and committed their hearts, to ensuring we make progress by knowing how the immediate Past Administration, conducted the Affairs of Government in the period they held sway.
Preceding our inauguration of the Commission and during the period of their proceedings, several commentaries have been run on the streets, offices, religious places and even at burials concerning the exercise, and what we seek to achieve with the exercise. Some saw it simply as a waste of time and a waste of Government resources; others identified progressively with the noble idea that informed it, because they understood that to get it right as a government, the past, the present and the future must connect rightly. Those who think it is a waste of time and resources might be right to some extent, because over the years, reports of this nature have been stock-piled on Government shelves and to say the least, consigned to the waste basket of history.
This I assure you will not be the same with this report. In establishing the Commission, we took account of the outcry and groans of our people; we felt their pulse and for certain, we heard their cry. What they desired was for us to get it right and getting it right, will mean knowing where the past made a mistake, so we avoid it; getting it right, will mean knowing where the past got it right, so we continue with it; and getting it right, will mean where the past government got it wrong, so we right it for the good of the people. Our thrust under the good governance policy is to ensure the commonwealth of the people is properly accounted for.
As a government midwived into existence by the collective resolve of our people, we cannot afford to spirit away that clarion call for Justice on the altar of ego or political convenience. Political convenience to us, is when “business as usual” is sustained to the detriment of the very people that it should serve.
Like I said in my speech at the inauguration of the Commission of Inquiry, the Commission was not established as a witch hunt Committee for persecution of perceived political opponents, but as a Committee for stewardship and accountability. I am sure all who have appeared before the Commission, have realised that the principles of fair hearing, equality before the Law, and all that pertains to the fundamental rights of persons, were adhered to in the cause of the proceedings.
This I must say was what informed in the first place, our choice of Justice Adah JCA, a Jurist of repute, and incorruptible character, to join hands with other people of high repute, to deliver on the terms of reference of the Commission.
Now that they have done their part, the ball is in our court to do our part. We will study the report and officially proclaim to our citizens what Government’s position is in a white paper.
As our people get the details, I have no doubt in my mind, their perceptions and judgments, whether wrongly or rightly placed, will be addressed with the information at their disposal.
Mr. Chairman of the Commission and Honourable Members, together with all the counsels and support staff of the Secretariat; words are not enough to thank you for your sacrifice of time and for placing your honour to test, with this service to our State. On behalf of myself, the Government and good people of Plateau State, I wish to say, you have earned a place in our hearts and will go down in the glossary of our State’s History, as people of great Honour, for your selfless service to our people.
I must apologise for the inconveniences you must have gone through, both known and unknown, for the successful completion of this exercise, the deprivation of family life, public life and private life, just to deliver on this task, has earned you our open commendation and our prayers for God’s favour in all your future pursuits. We remain ever grateful.
As you return to your families and retire to your other waiting assignments, you have the assurances of our highest esteem and best wishes. Do please extend our appreciation and best wishes also members of your family. They remain to us the greatest burden bearers of your absence and service to our State.
May I at this point invite the Chairman and other members to stand up and take a bow of Honour for delivering on this task.
On this note, I declare the Commission’s Task completed and the Commission Sworn in on the 17th of August, 2016 dissolved.
Finally, I want to sincerely thank all our people and particularly our Senior Citizens, Traditional and Religious Leaders, who have out of genuine desire and interest in government, followed the proceedings of the Commission and kept faith with Government’s purpose of establishing of the Commission. I ask you to as Stakeholders follow government’s implementation of the report with the same zeal. Your support is our driving force and our cerebral strength for good governance and service delivery.
I thank you all for your attention and ask you to sustain your prayers for the peace, unity and progress of our State.
Thank you and God bless Plateau State.