By Lekan Babawale
There is always a moment in the human history when narratives of a people must change. At such times, God usually raise men of impeccable character and integrity to save His people.
When the nation of Jerusalem was in distress and the city walls lied in ruins as read in Nehemiah 2:17, “Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.” God raised Nehemiah to lead His people to rebuild the broken walls and God took away the reproach of the people of Jerusalem.
In Plateau state, the city is not only in ruin, the gate is not only burnt with fire, the people of Plateau are not just being reproached but getting killed and the hitherto lively state has turned to a shadow of itself.
The narrative in the state in the last 18 years has been that of killings, maiming and the yearning for humanitarian aids. People have been killed, businesses destroyed, properties burnt, orphans, widows and widowers increased and internally displaced persons camps littering the state.
The state appears hopeless. The future is bleak. It is at a time like this that God usually raise His Generals like Nehemiah, Moses, Daniel, Deborah to mention but a few to rescue His people. Plateau also at this material time needs a General. Interestingly, it is at this time that General Jon Temlong of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) is coming out to contest for the Governor of the state with sole aim like Moses, to rescue his people and like Nehemiah, rebuild the broken walls of Plateau.
Jon Temlong is a retired Brigadier General who has distinguished himself as an officer in the ever gallant Nigerian Army.
He was never a politician. He only obeyed the clarion call to rescue his people from pains and pangs of poverty, insecurity and hopelessness in the state and he has come with the vision called, “Plateau First” which has endeared many “Plateaunians” to him.
His campaign has been anchored on a three policy thrust of restoring security, sustainable peace, good governance and development. This is the message he has taken to every nooks and crannies of Plateau state during the campaigns.
In his manifesto, Temlongs said, “In the last 17 years, Plateau state has degenerated from being the most envied state in Nigeria to a place where people live in fear. Insurgency, killer herdsmen, poverty, under development amongst others have crippled our dear state. We cannot sit by and watch these state of affairs continue. That is why I am offering myself to lead the charge to take back, revive and restore the dignity of Plateau state.
“My passion is to restore security, sustainable peace, good governance and development by running a citizen centred government.
“I will focus on youth, women, persons with disabilities, education, health, agriculture, tourism, mining, ICT and other key sectors of the economy that will provide opportunities for our teeming youths to actualise their potentials. My drive is Plateau First.” This is vintage Temlong who believed that contesting the election was not about him but about Plateau state.
At this moment when the All Progressives Party (APC) ‘Change’ government that people voted for in 2015 have failed and the dying Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his candidate is not an option then, there is need to give a new, fresh blood the opportunity.
Temlong has consistently maintained that his vision for the state is to, “Build a Plateau that is secured, and peaceful; socially inclusive and cohesive; politically stable and progressive; economically vibrant, resilient and equitable.”
His mission is to, “Restore and foster the dignity of Plateau state through citizen centred and participatory governance driven by the values of sound ethics, accountability, transparency, due process, rule of law and responsiveness”.
Born about 65 years ago in a remote village of Pilgani in present Langtang North Local Government Area of the state, Temlong distinguished himself as an officer in the military career spanning over 30 years.
Temlong was a former Director of Policy, Department of Army Policy and Plans at the the Nigerian Army Headquarters. He holds a Masters of Military Arts and Science (MMAS) from United States of America (USA) and he is a Fellow of the War College, Abuja. He is currently the President of the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC).
The distinguished military officer was the first Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force whose under his Command flushed out rebels at Lake Chad Basin and also earned recommendations when he served in Yaoundé, Cameroun at the height of the Bakassi crises.
For his heroic achievements, the President of the Republic of Chad honoured him with the second highest honour in the country, Officer Ordre Nationel (OON). The Chadians are still hoping that Temlong returns to Chad to help them supervisee their security architecture. This is the opportunity that the good people of Plateau must not miss.
The retired Brigadier General consults widely on national and international issues and is highly sought after on conflict management and security. He designed the model for Operation Rainbow in the state unfortunately, the state security outfit has not been able to perform optimally because of politics deployed in its implementation.
Being a meticulous and intelligent man, Temlong has gone for a successful and highly accomplished Medical Doctor, Daniel Damulak Mwanmut as his running mate.
The Madakin Mwaghavul hailed from Wubel in Chakfem District of Mangu LGA in Plateau state and graduated from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria before he went to study Clinical Tropical Medicine at the University of London for his Masters of Science.
Mwanmut has worked as Deputy Manager and Head of Occupational Health at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Lagos Area where he was later appointed the General Manager, Medical Services. He had earlier worked as a Consultant, Physician with the General Hospital, Pankshin and later headed the Medical Inspectorate Unit of the Plateau State Ministry of Health.
He is the Chairman, Board of Trustees and COO, Le Pan Health and Wellness Initiative, Wubel; Chairman, Governing Board Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos and Member, Governing Council of the University of Benin, Benin City.
Plateau people have the opportunity to change the narrative in the state by moving the state to a state of security, sustainable peace and development. Plateau people cannot afford to miss this golden opportunity because for Temlong/Mwanmut, putting Plateau First is their priority.
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