By: Valentine Adese
The Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Simon Bako Lalong, of Plateau State, Barr. Gambo Yusuf Hawaja, has commended the people of Plateau State for celebrating the Sallah holidays peacefully.
Hon. Hawaja, who spoke to some group of media owners in his residence in Jos, said the people of the state need to be commended for the peaceful celebration after decade of conflicts and unrest.
He said all religious faiths in the state have performed wonderfully with their peaceful conducts that brought the desired peace.
According to him, “this demonstrates that we can co-exist and live peaceful.”
Barr. Hawaja also used the opportunity to commend the state civil servants for their endurance through the period without their salaries been paid.
He however assured that, “their salaries would be paid immediately we resume after the public holidays.”
Barr. Gambo Yusuf Hawaja in part said:
“As I said earlier, we are happy and my happiness is the peace that we are currently experiencing in the state and in the country at large.
“If you realize, for over a decade , we on the plateau have been having problems especially on Sallah day or a day after sallah. Those celebration were not sweet, as many people were never happy in the state as it was always marred by one thing or the other.
“But, today, everybody is happy. Even those that are not celebrating the Sallah, are joining us to express happiness and thanks giving.
“Though it is bitter and very sad that as at this moment, salaries are not paid but, I am certain, that when we resume work, their salaries would be paid. So, you need to pity us too, even us the political appointees! We have not received even a dime to celebrate the Sallah.
“But, that is not an excuse because, we will always want our civil servants to be happy.
“However, this is the circumstance that we find ourselves in this country. I am happy that Plateau state, is one of the states that is not suffering more in terms of salaries. Other states are already on strike on the issue!
“So, I can now see the endurance of the state workers and I urge them to continue because, by the God’s grace, within a short time, this issue would be history.
“I am not surprised by the attacks from people concerning the administration. When you are in government, you are subjected to such attacks because, whatever you do, people would attack you.
“But you should know that, we came into government when the economy of the state was already bastardized. People don’t have money. So, if you say that we should look outside what we get from the federal allocations to generate revenue, it would mean taxing people in the state.
“In a situation where the economy is so bad and people hardly feed, where salaries are not paid regularly and promptly because of lack of funds, and government now comes in and start squeezing money out of these people, just because government wants to increase revenue, don’t you think government would be putting more burden on the common man?
“So, Plateau State government is been careful in doing this. We actually need money to pay salaries, but we have to analyze the issues to make sure we are taking the right steps.