Mr. Simon Lalong, Governor of Plateau State.

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – Contrary to the claim by the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, that he has given full autonomy to the third tier of government in the State, the embattled Chairman of Langtang North local government area, Joshua Laven has debunked the claim saying there is nothing like financial autonomy for local government areas in the State.

Laven, who has been forcefully removed from office before the end of his tenure but challenged the development in the court, disclosed Local Government Chairmen still hold joint account meetings with the State Government under the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs where resources meant for local government area and discussed and disbursed.

Speaking in Jos on Friday during a parley with journalists, he alleged he is being unjustly punished and pushed out of office because he frequently says out his mind on issues of governance that are being stage-managed and such confrontation does not sit well with those who want the cover-up.

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He commended the State Governor, Simon Lalong for ensuring that a campus of the Nigerian Law School is sited in the State but decried that the Governor, as a Lawyer is not showing a good example as he prefers to recognize and work with an imposter in Langtang North despite the court judgment that restored him to office.

According to him, “They said there is the autonomy of local government and I said there is no autonomy, that is why they will not allow me to go back to the office. Our local government areas are not viable and things are not moving the way it is supposed to be.

“The autonomy granted to the local governments is just paperwork under the APC regime. Why will you say there is autonomy while we still go for normal Joint account meetings that are controlled by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, where is the autonomy?”

Acknowledging the role of the media in enthroning democracy and good governance in Plateau State and Nigeria, he called on journalists especially those practicing in the State to “continue to be firm, objective and fair” in their reportage, stressing but for the media, “things would have been worse than what it is today.”