Politicians vying for the gubernatorial seat in Plateau State, ahead of the 2023 general elections have been urged to ensure they have a blueprint that would ensure they utilize the numerous mineral resources and other potentials in the State to guarantee speedy development.
The politicians were also asked to put in leadership positions, competent technocrats who would help shape the economy and bring good governance to the people and cautioned against empty politicking which hinders development.
These were the views of the Director of Research, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Professor Dung Sha who spoke at public discourse, an event organized by the Plateau State chapter, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ with the theme – Beyond Politicking: Harnessing Plateau Potential.
Speaking on the topic – Beyond Politicking: Rethinking a patriotic agenda for the development of Plateau State, Professor Sha, a professor of Political Economy and Development Studies maintained that leadership must be consciously reactivated to add value, the idea of a winner takes it all and excessive partisanship, blame game, as well as ruling party versus opposition party squabbles, be jettisoned for good governance to thrive.
His words, “Avoid pure politicking if you are going to take over Little Rayfield come 2023 because pure politics reduces the level of unity of purpose and lack of cohesion amongst the people. It weakens the possibility of development, lowers the level of governance, lowers services delivery, and leads to catastrophic spending and catastrophic pilfering of resources.”
He advocated the reorganization of the security, education, agriculture, healthcare delivery, and tourism sub-sectors and asked that attention be paid to the local governance, improving the internally generated revenue and reduction in the cost of governance, stressing, “there’s a need to go beyond the usual politicking that takes place in Plateau State and invest time to discuss ways of harnessing the potential and resources of the State for development and the common good of all.”
Also, the Chairman of the event, Professor Nanven Gambo who is the Vice Chancellor of Karl Kum University, Jos frowned at the level of insults being thrown at people in the name of politics and reiterated that politics has to be developmental hence the discourse should be able to set progressive agenda for the growth of the State.
He said, “Plateau has been a heavily endowed State, everything on the Plateau can be turned into something useful for humanity. But why are we where we are? Our focus should be what are those gaps the candidates have seen and will fill. Let us be constructive and not pull down the State. People are trying to incite violence in some instances. Without peace and order, we cannot do anything, let us be constructive and developmental in politics.”
However, the Vice Chairman of NUJ Zone D, Chris Atsaka who represented the NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo commended the Plateau State chapter of the Union saying as critical stakeholders, the event was a part of the agenda setting for the development of Plateau State and the State NUJ Chairman, Paul Jatau noted the event was an occasion to “draw the attention of candidates and their followers to observe decorum in the course of political campaigns as the campaign should be issues-based and devoid of molestation and rancor.”
Among those in attendance were candidates vying for different political offices and they used the opportunity to highlight some of the plans they have to bring good governance to the people.