No fewer than 200 civil society organizations have backed Governor Simon Lalong to emerge as Secretary to the Government of the Federation in the incoming administration.
The groups, under the auspices of Civil Rights Action for Democracy, said the Plateau governor is best suited for the job.
According to a statement by Dr. Andrew Idoko, it’s National Coordinator, the CSOs said Lalong ticks all the boxes, including zoning.
“A lot has been said about the zoning arrangement of the APC about balancing along the lines of religion and ethnicity. This has indeed generated a discourse in the polity. As it stands, all regions in the country have been identified and earmarked for leadership positions, but the North Central,” he said.
“As a body devoted to the ideals of democracy, it is our view that the North Central region was instrumental to the success of the APC in the presidential elections. The leadership acumen of the Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council was also instrumental to the party’s overall success despite the numerous hurdles that were before it.
“Governor Simon Lalong displayed a rare leadership style that emphasized competence and dedication to the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. His plans and programs, even as the governor of Plateau State in the last eight years, speak volumes of a man on a mission to contribute to the country’s socioeconomic development.
“It is also common knowledge that the country is desirous of such individuals who are passionate and committed to democracy and sustainable growth and development.
“It is our opinion that the APC as a party must, as a matter of urgency and necessity, encourage such credible leaders to continue to contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria through ways and means possible.
“The APC as a party must also ensure that the North Central region is adequately compensated for loyalty and dedication to the party as exemplified during and after the general elections in the country.
“One of the ways this could be achieved is the appointment of Governor Simon Lalong as the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF) to reward the North Central region for their loyalty all the while and also to tap into his wealth of experience in our quest for sustainable growth and development.
“It must be stated that having Governor Simon Lalong as the SGF would go a long way in addressing the concerns of the North Central region about inclusion in governance on the heels that the proposed leadership of the National Assembly didn’t accommodate the North Central region for inexplicable reasons.
“The implication of a non-action in this regard is that the APC as a party does not regard the numerous contribution of the North Central to its electoral success. Despite the stiff opposition to the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC, the North Central rallied support and voted massively for the APC.
“This indicates absolute loyalty and the dexterity of Governor Simon Lalong to ensure that all hands were on deck to bring about the needed electoral victory for the party. “
The Civil Rights Action for Democracy, therefore, urged the ruling party to include the North Central in the scheme of affairs as the incoming administration takes shape.
“Let us emphasize that the suitability of Governor Simon Lalong as the SGF cannot be overemphasized. He is a dedicated and hardworking party leader who worked tirelessly and round the clock to ensure the party’s victory at the polls,” the statement added.
“These attributes and many more have prepared him for leadership at the national level, hence our endorsement and recommendation for his appointment as SGF to serve as the engine room of the incoming administration and continue to render selfless service to Nigeria in our quest for sustainable growth and development.
“Governor Simon Lalong is a rare breed that must be harnessed for the good of the country. His antecedence speaks volumes of a man who is passionate and committed to Nigeria’s sustainable growth and development. As such, it is imperative that his appointment as SGF would indeed benefit the country.
“The North Central region would also feel a sense of belonging, thereby quelling any form of discontent that might arise about inclusion in government. As a coalition of civil society groups, we trust that the incoming administration will heed our counsel as it settles down for business.
“Governor Simon Lalong is indeed a better fit for the position of SGF, and this much he has demonstrated over time in leadership. “