In what could be described as “putting aside political differences” for the progress of Plateau State, members of the National Assembly Caucus from the State were at the Government House, Rayfield in Jos to present their donation to Governor Simon Bako Lalong towards the fight against COVID-19.
The delegation which was led by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Idris Maje, donated an undisclosed sum of money to the Plateau State COVID-19 Trust Fund so as to assist Government deal with the pandemic.
The Deputy Speaker said the donation was in appreciation of the measures taken by the State Government so far in dealing with the pandemic through several measures.
He said “We have noted with delight some of the major steps you have taken to curtail the disease especially by restricting movements which has done a lot to limit the spread of the pandemic. We have seen you deploy technology in the borders to enforce the movement of people which largely limited importation of the disease”.
They asked the Governor to continue his initiatives which are aimed at saving the lives of the people and making sure Corona virus is defeated in Plateau State.
Governor Lalong who expressed appreciation for the gesture of the National Assembly Plateau Caucus said the donation again shows their patriotism and unity towards the progress of Plateau State.
Lalong said “Your presence here is a show of unity and solidarity for the good of our people. I have keenly followed what you have been doing individually for your constituents and other vulnerable people in the State. Nevertheless, you have deemed it necessary to contribute to the State COVID-19 Trust Fund. We are very grateful”.
He used the opportunity to also commend them for putting the interest of Plateau State high on the agenda of the National Assembly which has attracted a lot of goodwill from the Federal Government to the State. He also appreciated them for supporting President Muhammadu Buhari by passing quality legislations for the development of the country.
Lalong also used the opportunity to speak on the profiling and transfer of Almajiri children to their States of origin where he explained that the decision was taken by the entire Northern Governors in order to protect the children who were abandoned and became at risk of contacting COVID-19 and even spreading it.
He said “Although many are trying to politicise the matter, I can assure you that it is the best decision we have taken in the interest of these Almajiri children who for years have been suffering and left at the mercy of the streets. You will recall that the President’s wife, Her Excellency Aisha Buhari convened a summit at the Villa which was attended by the President, Sultan, Governors from the North and religious leaders. The decision was to stop the Almajiri system completely and we believe that we have the best chance to do so in order to improve the lives of these children and give them proper education and care”.
The Governor therefore appealed to the legislators to continue to support the Government in ensuring that the program succeeds despite the misinformation and improper tagging of economic migrants to the other parts of the country as “Almajiris” which he described as most unfortunate and improper.
The Governor in company of the National Assembly members later took possession of an ambulance, 2 ventilators, 10,000 surgical masks and other accessories donated to the State by NNPC/IPPG initiative.