Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau and his deputy, Sonni Tyoden, on Wednesday took their second term oaths of office, with the governor granting “absolute pardon” to one Evaristus Mozie, who was serving a life sentence.
Newsmen report that the oath was administered on the duo by the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Yakubu Dakwak.
Lalong, in a speech shortly after taking the oath of office, said that the pardon granted the convict was in exercise of the powers conferred on him as governor in Section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“This is as a mark of our appreciation and thanksgiving to God for the guidance, protection and successes recorded.
“After due consultation with the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, I have granted prerogative of mercy to one prisoner, Evaristus Mozie, from life imprisonment to absolute pardon.
“This pardon is granted for reasons of good conduct and determination to continue to be productive, from the day he was sentenced,” Lalong said.
The governor, who thanked the people of the state for their support in the last four years, promised to unveil his vision on June 12, which has been declared ‘Democracy Day’.
“On that special day, I shall unveil the vision and programmes of the government for the 2019 to 2023 period, in a Town Hall Meeting.
“This will be followed by a panel discussion on democracy in Plateau from 2015 to 2019, and the way forward in the next four years,’’ he said.
The governor promised to consolidate on the gains and achievements so far recorded, adding that priorities would be carefully streamlined in the light of increasing demands.
He added that his administration would review and fine-tune some of the policy thrusts of the last four years to make them more result-oriented.
Lalong further stated that the new administration would inject new ideas and philosophical paradigm into governance.
“Governance is a two-way traffic involving a social contract of duties and obligations between the government and the governed.
“Good governance presupposes loyalty, hardwork, effective service delivery, and leaving behind a legacy worthy of emulation by subsequent generations,” he noted.
Monsignor Cletus Gotan, Provost, College of Education, Gindiri, in a speech, urged the people of Plateau to be united if they would reclaim their pride of place.
Gotan urged the people to accept each other as one irrespective of their differences, pointing out that growth was only possible if they were united and focused toward making the state a model.
The cleric also advised the governor and his team to make the collective interests of the state the guiding principle behind every policy and action.
Newsmen report that the event slated to commence by 8:30 a.m., started by 11:30 a.m. following a heavy downpour that started from 4 a.m. and kept people indoors till 11 a.m.