Wednesday 22 December 2021


By: Paul Naomi,

As part of the campaign to curb the spread of COVID-19 and change the negative narrative of COVID-19 vaccine in Plateau and the country at large, the Plateau State Government, under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong has inaugurated a Task Force on Integrated Vaccination as well as flagged off a Mass Vaccination, to ensure a mass, consistent and coordinated Vaccination in the State against both COVID-19 and other diseases.

Governor Lalong while inaugurating the Task Force, at the Banquet Hall of the new Government House Rayfield Jos, appealed to the citizens of the State to embrace the vaccination against COVID-19 and other diseases, in order to ensure that the healthcare of the State is fortified against preventable diseases.

The Governor revealed that the Task Force consists of health professionals and eminent stakeholders from across the State with the mandate to create the desired attention required for prompt sensitization and consolidation of achieved gains in the area of vaccination.

” I am mandating all Local Government Chairmen to oversee their respective LGA Task Forces for successful immunization in order to deliver effective rural health care services to the people”, Lalong said while enforcing the mandate.

“You will recall that since our index case was reported and confirmed on 17th April, 2020, Plateau State has recorded 10,002 positive cases with 73 deaths in all 17 LGAs as at 12th December 2021. Our administration responded promptly and with all vigour which ensured that 9,962 cumulative confirmed cases were managed and discharged, leaving only 35 infected persons still receiving and responding to treatment”, He said.

Adding that, ”Plateau State Government vaccine mandate is that all citizens of 18 years and above will henceforth show evidence of vaccination or present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result done within 72 hours to gain access to any public office. This will also go hand in hand with observing all protocols in schools, markets, banks, weddings, churches, mosques amongst others”.

According to the Governor, the measure are not punitive nor intended to force people to take the vaccines against their wishes but are simply meant to ensure public safety and guarantee the health of the people against this ravaging pandemic.

Responding on behalf of the Task Force, Deputy Governor Prof. Sonni Tyoden assured that the members will put in their best to ensure that the State achieve its objectives.

The Commissioner for Health Dr. Nimkong Lar also emphasized that the  vaccines are safe and not harmfu,l contrary to conspiracy theories, reiterating that no one will be forced to take the vaccin, adding that  the Ministry is  also concerned about other diseases aside COVID-19 which need more sensitization for vaccination.

Also present at the event were, the Long Gamai of Shendam Miskoom Martins Shaldas, Chairman JNI, Chairman CAN, Unicef representative in Plateau State Dr. Wazingi Williams, Health officials and other stakeholders.

In another development, the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs and an Aspirant for the office of the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Chairman, Senator George Akume has sought the support of Governor Lalong, during a visit at the State Government House, Rayfield, Jos.

The Contact and Mobilization Team for the aspirant of the APC National Chairman, through the Leader of the delegation, Senator Jack Tilley Gyado said the aim of the visit was to formally intimate him on the desire of Senator Akume to occupy the number one seat of the APC and also let him know that Plateau State has a key to his success.

Gyado in his statement said, ”Senator Akume is eminently qualified for the APC Chairmanship and will not only consolidate its hold in the North Central, but across the entire country, giving his vast experience in politics and wide connections and also, the Party is in need of a strong leader like Senator Akume to move into the 2023 elections and ensure victory for the party in all elections ”.

Adding that, ”Plateau State remains a big brother to Benue and Governor Lalong in particular has shown tremendous goodwill and support to the people of Benue State which saw the party winning elections in the State in 2014, until the current Governor defected”.

Lalong in his response, assured the team of his support and advised them to work hard not only for the victory of Senator Akume, but also for retrieving the stolen mandate of the APC from the opposition party in the 2023 elections also assuring them  the party will remain strong in the State.

The Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Long haD also  commended the Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari for his passion towards the development of Plateau State, as he Celebrates his 61st birthday.

Governor Lalong in a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs Dr. Makut Simon Macham  described Sir Ari as a consummate professional who has deployed his vast knowledge and experience in various fields over the years to the service of the State and nation at large.

Adding that, ”The success recorded of your Rescue Administration, through offering sound counsel and collaborating with the Government to train and empower thousands of youths in various vocational skills have reduced unemployment and idleness in the country”.

“From your early training as a media professional, you have not only distinguished yourself as an administrator, but also developed your capacity to become a human resource developer and trainer with very impressive results to show. You have used the opportunity of your current appointment as DG to take the ITF to greater heights in the duty of giving young Nigerians skills and entrepreneurship capacity”, Lalong stated.

While wishing the DG a blissful birthday, the Governor urged him to sustain his acts of charity and devotion to God.

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