This is a comprehensive list of Governors and Administrators of Plateau State Nigeria.
1. Joseph Dechi Gomwalk (13 April 1935 – 15 May 1976) was a Nigerian police commissioner and the first Military Governor of Benue-Plateau State after it was formed from part of Northern Region. He was executed due to his connections to Buka Suka Dimka’s attempted coup against Murtala Mohammed’s government.
GOVERNOR, BENUE-PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA: In office 1967 – July 1975, Preceded by None (Pioneering), Succeeded byAbdullahi Mohammed
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born: 13 April 1935 Kanke, Nigeria. Died: 15 May 1976 (aged 41), Lagos, Nigeria
EDUCATION : Gomwalk was Ngas from Ampang (Pang) in the present Kanke Local Government Area of Plateau State. He attended the famous Boys Secondary School Gindiri where he graduated with distinctions in both academics and sports. He proceeded to the premier University of Ibadan and graduated with a degree in Zoology.
Governorship of Benue-Plateau State : Gomwalk was Governor of the state from 1967until 1975, when military head of state Yakubu Gowon’s regime was toppled in a coup d’état. A Visionary Leader While Governor, Gomwalk started the Nigerian Standard in 1972; as of 2003, it is a government-owned daily located on Joseph Gomwalk Road in Jos, and has a circulation of 100,000. After failing to get Ahmadu Bello University of Zaria to open a satellite campus in the state, he turned to the University of Ibadan; that institution opened its Jos campus (which later became the University of Jos) in November 1971. In August 1974, affidavits alleging corruption on the part of Gomwalk and Joseph Tarka, Benue-Plateau State’s representative to the Federal Executive Council, were published; Tarka resigned, but Gomwalk, with Gowon’s support, remained in office.
EXECUTION: After Gowon’s overthrow and the installation of Murtala Mohammed, Gomwalk was implicated in Buka Suka Dimka’s attempted coup of February 13, 1976 and was executed by firing squad on May 14, 1976.
2. Air Commodore DAN SULEIMAN was a member of General Murtala Muhammed’s supreme military council in Nigeria between July 1975 and March 1976, and was military governor of Plateau State from March 1976 to July 1978 after it had been created from part of the old Benue Plateau State. After the return to democracy in 1999 in the Nigerian Fourth Republic, Suleiman became chairman of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), a socio-political group representing the people of the Middle Belt of Nigeria.
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office March 1976 – July 1978, Preceded by Position established, Succeeded by Joshua Anaja
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born 1942 Guyuk, Adamawa State, Nigeria
MILITARY SERVICE Allegiance: Nigeria, Branch/service: Nigerian Airforce, RANK: Air Commodore
MILITARY CAREER : Suleiman played a leading role during the Nigerian Civil War (1966–1970). He was appointed to the cabinet of General Yakubu Gowon in January 1975. As Federal Commissioner for Special Duties he was instrumental in founding the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He assisted in the military rebellion of July 29 1975, when Gowon was deposed, replaced by General Murtala Muhammed. Following the coup, he was named a member of the Supreme Military Council. Murtala Mohammed appointed him Commissioner for Health. Suleiman was appointed the first military governor of Plateau State in Nigeria from March 1976 to July 1978, after Benue-Plateau State was divided into Benue State and Plateau State. As governor, he made the progressive proposal that anyone born in Plateau State or anyone who had lived in the state for 20 years should enjoy all the rights and privileges of a native regardless of their ethnic origin. Suleiman retired in 1980 as an Air Commodore.
POLITICAL CAREER: Suleiman was Chairman of Allied Bank of Nigeria Plc between 1984 and 1986. Suleiman resisted the dictatorship of General Sani Abacha after the elections of 12 June 1993 were annulled. As one of the founders of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) he was forced into exile. Sani Abacha died unexpectedly in June 1998. On 7 October 1998, Suleiman, NADECO Vice Chairman, returned to Nigeria. He became a leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State. The party went on to win the national elections in 1999. He also became chairman of the Middle Belt Forum. In September 2001, as chairman of the MBF Suleiman said the middle belters are grossly marginalised and have become an endangered species on the brink of extinction and cultural annihilation. In the 2003 PDP primaries in Delta State, Suleiman was head of the electoral panel. He joined the board of directors of Trans Nationwide Express. As of 2006, Suleiman was Nigerian Ambassador to the Russian Federation. In June 2007, he was summoned to Russia’s Foreign Ministry to discuss the kidnapping of six Russian employees of RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminium producer. The workers were snatched from the company’s residential compound in the Niger Delta. In June 2009, President Umaru Yar’Adua appointed him chairman of the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria.
3. Colonel JOSHUA UMARU ANAJA was the military governor of Plateau State, Nigeria from July 1978 to October 1979 during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo On 1 October 1979, he handed over to the elected civilian governor Solomon Lar, who assured him that his government would inherit any realistic obligations made by the out-going military government. Promoted to Brigadier, Anaja was Director of the Department of Joint Studies at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji from 1 February 1984 to 25 May 1985. Anaja died in mysterious circumstances.
PERSONAL DETAILS: Died 17 June 1986 (aged 43), Military service Allegiance: Nigeria, Branch/service: Nigerian Army, RANK: Brigadier General
4. Chief (Dr.) SOLOMON DAUSHEP LAR (April 1933 – 9 October 2013)(Walin Langtang) was a Nigerian politician who has held various offices at the National level for over 50 years. He was a member of the first national parliament when Nigeria gained independence in 1960. He was elected governor of Plateau State on the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) platform during the Nigerian Second Republic, holding office from October 1979 until the Military coup of 31 December 1983 that brought General Muhammadu Buhari to power. Later, he was founding chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
MEMBER OF THE FEDERAL PARLIAMENT: In office January 1960 – January 1966, Constituency: Lowland East
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office, 1 October 1979 – 31 December 1983, Preceded by Joshua Anaja, Succeeded by Samuel Atukum
MINISTER OF POLICE AFFAIRS: In office, November 1993 – 1994
NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE PDP: In office 1998–2002
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born: April 1933, Langtang, Plateau State, Nigeria, Died: 9 October 2013 (aged 80), United StatesSpouse(s): Prof. Mary Lar; Eldest daughter, Dr. Chalya Lar
BIRTH AND EARLY CAREER: Lar was born in Pangna, Langtang, Plateau State in April 1933. His father was a farmer and his mother a pottery maker. He studied at the Sudan United Mission Primary School in Langtang, and then at the Gindiri Teachers College where he qualified to teach at the Primary School, Langtang. After two years he returned to Gindiri for his Senior Teacher’s Training Programme, earned his Higher Elementary Certificate and started to teach at the Senior Primary School level. He planned to become a clergyman.
Lar was elected as a councilor to the Langtang Natives Authority in January 1959. On 12 December 1959 he was elected to the Federal Parliament on the platform of United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC). He was reelected in 1964, and from then until 15 January 1966, when General Yakubu Gowon took power in a coup, Lar was parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. He was also a Junior Minister in the Federal Ministry of establishments.
After the fall of the democratic government, Lar attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, graduating in 1970 with an LLB and being called to the bar in 1971. He established a private legal practice, and was co-founder and first National Secretary of the Nigerian Legal Aid Association.
In 1972, Lar joined the Board of Amalgamated Tin Mines of Nigeria. He became Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Continental Bank, Member of the Nigeria Council of Legal Education and a member of the Constituent Assembly (1977–1978). He was vice-chairman of the panel chaired by Justice Ayo Irikefe that recommended expanding from 12 to 19 states during the regime of generals Murtala Muhammed and Olusegun Obasanjo. Lar was also a Board member of the USA-based World Environmental Movement for Africa.
SECOND AND THIRD REPUBLICS
At the start of the Second Republic, Lar was a co-founder of the Nigerian People’s Party. He was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate in 1978, and later won the governorship election in Plateau State as the first Executive Governor on October 1 1979. His deputy was Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma. He was active in building infrastructure in the state including hospitals, educational institutions, rural electrification, water supplies, and roads. He introduced reforms to state employment laws, abolishing the daily pay and contract systems and introducing paid maternity leave for nursing mothers.
After the military coup in December 1983, General Muhammadu Buhari set up military tribunals which tried all former governors. Although Lar was not found guilty of embezzlement or misappropriation, he was sentenced to 88 years in prison, first in Jos and then in Kirikiri in Lagos. His case was reviewed and he was released by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, who started another transition to democracy in 1992.
During the Nigerian Third Republic, Lar was a supporter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He was appointed Minister of Police Affairs by the government of General Sani Abacha, later resigning when he realized Abacha was not serious about restoring democracy.
In the transition to the Nigerian Fourth Republic Lar became the first National Chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998, holding this position until 2002 when he handed over to Chief Barnabas Gemade. In February 2004 he resigned as chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, handing over to Chief Tony Anenih at a caucus in Abuja. He remained a power in the PDP until 2005, when he supported Vice President Atiku Abubakar in his falling out with President Olusegun Obasanjo, and later supported Atiku’s bid for the Presidency in 2007. In April 2006, Lar also welcomed the decision of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida to compete for President in the 2007 elections, saying that in a democracy anyone was entitled to run.
Lar has been described as an ardent Middle-Belter, an active participant in the Middle Belt Forum. In Plateau State he championed a policy based on the idea that the state should help indigenes realize the benefits of their “emancipation” from Hausa domination, and that the centuries-old Hausa and Jarawa communities in Jos and Yelwa should be relegated to non-indigene status. In an interview in February 2009 he said that the Middle Belt was being neglected despite the great contributions it made to national unity, a reference to sacrifices in the Nigerian Civil War. He also complained of discrimination against Christians in the North, to the extent that they could not get land to build a church.
In February 2010 Vice President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him Chairman of the Presidential committee tasked with recommending how to prevent further violence in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
On 9 October 2013, Plateau state governor Jonah David Jang announced the death of Mr Lar. He died at an American hospital after a long illness, aged 80.
5. Rear Admiral (retired) SAMUEL BITRUS ATUKUM was the military governor of Plateau State, Nigeria from January 1984 to August 1985 during the military regime of General Muhammadu Buhari.
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office January 1984 – August 1985, Preceded by Solomon Lar, Succeeded by Chris Alli
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born: 1940 Plateau
PLATEAU STATE GOVERNOR: As governor, Navy Captain Atukum had to handle many challenges with a severely limited budget. He reintroduced community and cattle tax. In July 1984, while launching a statewide tree-planting program, he noted that 70,000 hectares of valuable farmland had been lost to mining activities, and called for Federal assistance in conservation and reclamation of eroded land. He sold off all Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot 505 official cars, replacing them with less pretentious Peugeot 504s, and also banned after-hours use of government cars. In August 1985 he proposed that the unions should accept a 20% cut in the salary of state civil servants in view of the state’s financial difficulties. Atukum said politics “has adversely affected the lives of the citizens instead of being an instrument for institutional development”. He expressed concern over use of the terms “non-indigenes” and “indigenes”, which he felt would cause disharmony among people in the state. In 1985 he declared that anybody who harboured illegal immigrants after the 10 May departure deadline would be treated as a saboteur. In December 1984 he launched a program to vaccinate all children against killer diseases, urging parents to take advantage. He merged Plateau Television (PTV) and Plateau Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) into the Plateau Radio Television Corporation.
LATER CAREER: After retirement, Atukum was appointed the chief executive of the Nigerian Unity Line (NUL), a new state-owned company established after the liquidation of the Nigerian National Shipping Line in 1995. The company was privatised in 2001. In February 2002 the company’s only vessel, MV Abuja, was stuck in Sri Lanka needing repairs, while the shipyard was insisting on a down payment for the work and the crew’s salaries were unpaid. The ship was finally released in February 2003 after a bank guarantee of US$500,000 had been provided. A few weeks later, NUL put the 10,000 deadweight container ship up for sale and plans to float the company on the stock market were dropped.
6. MOHAMMED CHRIS ALLI (born December 1944) is a retired Nigerian Army Major General who served as Chief of Army Staff from 1993 to 1994 under General Sani Abacha’s regime and was military governor of Plateau State Nigeria from August 1985 to 1986 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. Many years later, he was appointed interim administrator of the state during a 2004 crisis in the state following ethno-religious killings in Shendam, Yelwa Local Government.
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office August 1985 – 1986, Preceded by Samuel Atukum, Succeeded by Lawrence Onoja
CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF: In office, November 1993 – August 1994, Preceded by Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, Succeeded by Alwali Kazir
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office 18 May 2004 – 18 November 2004, Preceded by Joshua Dariye, Succeeded by Joshua Dariye
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born: December 1944, Nationality: Nigerian
MILITARY SERVICE Allegiance: Nigeria, Branch/service: Nigerian Army, Rank: Major General Commands: Commander, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Kano.
MILITARY CAREER : On February 13, 1976, army coup plotters assassinated the then head of state, General Murtala Mohammed. Alli was investigated for involvement in the coup attempt, but was exonerated. General Ibrahim Babangida appointed Alli military governor of Plateau State from August 1985 to 1986. During the attempted coup against General Ibrahim Babangida by Major Gideon Orkar on 22 April 1990, Colonel Alli was commander of the 3rd Infantry Brigade in Kano. He instructed several army commanders to make counter-broadcasts, as he did himself. The attempted coup failed. After the coup in November 1993, when President Ernest Shonekan was ousted by General Sani Abacha, Alli was appointed Chief of the Army Staff. Abacha dismissed him from this post in August 1994.
LATER CAREER: In May 2004, Plateau state erupted in sectarian violence, which spilled over to Kano State. It was reported that over 50,000 people had died. President Olusegun Obasanjo declared emergency rule in the state and suspended Governor Joshua Dariye and the state assembly, appointing Alli as administrator. Alli quickly developed the Plateau Peace Program, involving dialog between religious, ethnic and community leaders, and a statewide peace conference. He also gave an amnesty to holders of weapons and a reward for their turning in their arms. Alli’s measures were successful in calming the situation, and he handed back to civilian rule in November 2004.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Chris Alli (2001). The Federal Republic of Nigerian Army: the siege of a nation. Malthouse Press. ISBN 978-023-127-7.
7. Major General (retired) LAWRENCE ANEBI ONOJA was the military governor of Plateau State, Nigeria from 1986 to July 1988 and then of Katsina State until December 1989 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. He later became Principal Staff Officer to General Sani Abacha, before being arrested for alleged involvement in a coup attempt. He retired from the army in 1998, and after the return to democracy in May 1999 with the Nigerian Fourth Republic entered into politics.
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office 1986 – July 1988, Preceded by Chris Alli, Succeeded by Aliyu Kama
GOVERNOR OF KATSINA STATE: In office July 1988 – December 1989, Preceded by Abdullahi Sarki Mukhtar, Succeeded by John Jahaya Madaki
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born; 10 August 1948 (age 71)Ohimini LGA, Benue State, Nigeria
MILITARY SERVICE Allegiance: Nigeria, Branch/service: Nigerian Army, RANK: Major General
BACKGROUND: Onoja was born on 10 August 1948 at Idekpa Okpiko, Ohimini local government in Benue State of Idoma origins. He attended St. Francis College, Otukpo and then Government College in Lafia, Nasarawa State (1962–1966). He joined the army in 1966 as a cadet officer. Onoja attended the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and the Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot, England. Onoja was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in October 1968. While in the army, Onoja attended Cameron University, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, earning a degree in Political Science. He later obtained an M.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Jos, and a PhD in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos. Onoja held various appointments including Defence Adviser at the Nigerian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Onoja was Principal Staff Officer to General Ibrahim Babangida before being appointed military governor of Plateau State in July 1988.
MILITARY GOVERNOR : As Plateau State governor, in an effort to defuse tension between Christians and Moslems, Onoja (a Christian) announced that all public places of worship would be destroyed. In April 1988 he was forced to shut down the UnivAprilersity of Jos following student disturbances.
As military governor in Katsina State Onoja was noted for his honesty. In March 1989 he announced that a US $20 million loan from Saudi Arabia was being negotiated for the Zobe Dam agricultural irrigation project.
After leaving office as governor of Katsina, Onoja was appointed director of the Faculty of Joint Studies in the Command and Staff College, Jaji, and then in 1991 became principal officer to the Chief of Defence Staff and Minister of Defence. He was then appointed General Officer Commanding 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, Jos, and General Staff Officer in the Presidency of General Sani Abacha. In 1998 he was arrested for allegedly being involved in a plot to depose Abacha, but was set free when no charges were brought against him.
Onoja retired from the army in 1998 as a Major General. In 2003 he was a board member of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. Onoja was a Governorship aspirant in the 2003 Benue State elections on the United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP) platform. He competed against incumbent David Mark in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primaries to be candidate for Senator in Benue South in December 2006. In the bitter fight, Onoja went as far as signing an advertorial in a national newspaper that support former Benue governor George Akume The contest was close, with Mark gaining 1,719 votes and Onoja 1,605. Although Mark did not gain the 2/3 majority required by the PDP, Onoja accepted the result. In April 2009, President Umaru Yar’Adua named Onoja as Chairman of the National Institute for Sports. In 2009, the Idekpa Community of Ohimini local government area in Benue State honored Onoja with the chieftaincy title of Ooyame K’Idekpa, or “Achiever Par Excellence”. They also urged him to run for Senate in 2011.
BIBLIOGRAPHY : Lawrence Anebi Onoja (1996). Peace-keeping and international security in a changing world. Mono Expressions. ISBN 978-32052-5-0.
8. Brigadier General (retired) ALIYU ADU UMAR KAMA (born 15 June 1949) was the military governor of Plateau State, Nigeria from July 1988 to August 1990 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office July 1988 – August 1990, Preceded by Lawrence Onoja, Succeeded by Joshua Madaki
PERSONAL DETAILS: BORN: 15 June 1949 (age 70) Pella in Hong LGA, Adamawa State, Nigeria
Kama was born in Hong local government, Adamawa State of Kilba origins. He attended Government Secondary School, Yola (1963–1968), the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna (1969–1972) and the Army school of supply and transport, Ibadan (1972). Kama was an aspirant to be the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor of Adamawa State in the 2007 elections. In 2009, he was one of the promoters of a new Amana State to be carved out of Adamawa. In June 2009 he was chairman of the board of Federal Superphosphate Fertilizer Company, Kaduna.
9. MAJOR GENERAL (RETIRED) JOSHUA MAMMAN MADAKI (1947–2003) was Governor of Bauchi State, Nigeria from December 1987 to August 1990 and then of Plateau State from August 1990 to January 1992 during the military regime of Major General Ibrahim Babangida.
GOVERNOR OF BAUCHI STATE: In office December 1987 – August 1990, Preceded by Chris Abutu Garuba, Succeeded by Abu Ali
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office August 1990 – January 1992, Preceded by Aliyu Kama, Succeeded by Fidelis Tapgun
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born July 6, 1947 Kaura LGA, Kaduna State, Nigeria, Died May 7, 2003
BACKGROUND: Joshua Mamman Madaki was born on 6 July 1947 in Manchok, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State. He attended St. Paul’s College Wusasa. After joining the army, he was among the fourth intake to the Nigerian Defence Academy.
MILITARY CAREER: During the coup of 27 August 1985 when General Ibrahim Babangida took power, Lt. Colonel Madaki was in command of the 6th Guards Battalion in Bonny Camp. His battalion was placed on standby on Lagos Island, and charged with securing the eastern approaches to Victoria Island. Madaki was promoted to Commander of the Brigade of Guards after the coup. Babangida promoted Madaki to Colonel and appointed him Governor of Bauchi State in December 1987. He was transferred to Plateau State from August 1990 to January 1992. There was a crisis among the Dong, Tudun Wada and Kabong communities in Jos North, Plateau State during the census of 1991 which prevented the census creating records of these areas. Colonel Madaki set up a judicial commission to determine the ownership of those areas.
LATER CAREER: After retiring from the army, Madaki became a member of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), a predominantly Yorubu group pressing the Sani Abacha regime for return to democracy. In the lead-up to the Nigerian Fourth Republic, Madaki became a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In August 2001 Madaki was appointed President of the Nigeria Rugby Football Association. In June 2002 it was reported that he was planning to run for governor of Kaduna State in April 2003 on the All People’s Party) (APP) platform, allied with the All Nigeria People’s Party. In October 2002 he moved to the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He planned to run for governor of Kaduna on that platform. Madaki died in a car crash on 8 May 2003 when one of the tires on his jeep burst, causing the vehicle to somersault.
10. FIDELIS NAANMIAP TAPGUN was elected governor of Plateau State during the Nigerian Third Republic. Later he was Nigerian Ambassador to Kenya. He was appointed Federal Minister of Industry by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office January 1992 – 23 October 1993, Preceded by Joshua Madaki, Succeeded by Samuel Adewole Adejumo
FEDERAL MINISTER OF INDUSTRY: In office 7 July 2005 – 10 January 2007, Succeeded by Aliyu Modibbo Umar
PERSONAL DETAILS: Political party: People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
EARLY CAREER: Tapgun a graduate of Political Science (1974) Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria was in the same class with Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila. He ran successfully for Governor of Plateau State on the Social Democratic Party platform, taking office in January 1992. However, the National elections the next year were aborted by a military coup that led to General Sani Abacha taking power. After the return to democracy in 1999, he was appointed Ambassador to Kenya in 2000. In February 2001, as Permanent Representative of the Nigerian Permanent Mission to the United Nations Environment Programme, he attended a Commonwealth Consultative Group on Environment in Nairobi. Tapgun was Director-General of the Obasanjo-Atiku Campaign Organisation between 2002 and 2003, helping ensure that Obasanjo was reelected in the April 2003 elections. On 14 August 2003 he formally said farewell to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki at State House, Nairobi. President Olusegun Obasanjo declared a six-month state of emergency in Plateau State on 18 May 2004. Tapgun was among elders who argued that the state of emergency should last longer, to give time to restore lasting peace.
MINISTER OF INDUSTRY : Tapgun was confirmed as Federal Minister of Industry on 7 July 2005. In August 2005 he said that the issue of the competitiveness of local products was one of the Federal Government’s major challenges. He announced formation of two new standardization bodies to help improve quality, In September 2005, speaking at the launch of a N5.6 billion all steel radial truck factory built by Dunlop Plc, Nigeria, he claimed that growth in capacity utilization in the steel industry showed that recent reforms had made Nigeria a more business-friendly environment. The chairman of Dunlop did not agree, but said there was future promise. In December 2005, Tapgun emphasized the importance of the private sector in developing the country, and said the government would continue to support private-secctor initiatives. In July 2006, with soaring cement prices due to lack of supply, Tapgun was head of an inter-ministerial committee to assess the investors in the industry. Fidelis Tapgun visited the site of a closed cement factory in Ebonyi State, stalled due to a dispute between the state government and company management. Despite reassurances that the plant would soon reopen, it was still closed as of November 2009. In January 2007 Tapgun became a Minister of State in the newly combined Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
LATER CAREER: In April 2009, former president Obasanjo unsuccessfully attempted to have Tapgun appointed as secretary of the PDP. In 2009 he visited China as a member of the National Organisation Committee of the first Nigeria – China Trade and Investment Forum, accompanied by Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State and other senior Nigerian officials. The two governments agreed to partner on trade and investment. In February 2010 Tapgun was appointed co-chairman of a 15-member committee hset up to find an enduring solution to the constant crises in the North Central Nigerian city of Jos, Plateau state.
11. JOSHUA CHIBI DARIYE (born July 27, 1957) assumed office as the Governor of Plateau State, Nigeria on May 29, 1999 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He was re-elected for another four-year term starting in May 2003, and was impeached in November 2006 though the impeachment was nullified by the Nigerian appeal court in March 2007, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court the following month effectively returning Dariye to office for the remainder of his tenure.
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office May 29, 1999 – May 18, 2004, Preceded by Musa Shehu, Succeeded by Chris Alli
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office November 18, 2004 – November 13, 2006, Preceded by Chris Alli, Succeeded by Michael Botmang
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office April 27, 2007 – May 29, 2007, Preceded by Michael Botmang, Succeeded by Jonah Jang
SENATOR FOR PLATEAU CENTRAL: Incumbent, Assumed office May 2011, Preceded by Satty Davies Gogwim
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born 27 July 1957 (age 62), Horop, Mushere, Bokkos LGA, Plateau State, Nationality: Nigerian, Political party: All Progressive Congress, Spouse(s): Valentina, Children; Nanle, Joy, Ebenezer, Ruth
Born in Horop, Mushere, Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State, Dariye was a businessman before becoming a politician. He was a strong mobilizer for the election of President Olusegun Obasanjo in the People’s Democratic Party Primaries in 1999 as well as Obasanjo’s re-election in 2003. At a regional level, he has chaired the Governors’ forum of the States in Northern Nigeria.
POLITICAL LIFE: GOVERNOR
During his time as governor, he was arrested in London, England on 20 January 2004, with large sums of money. Serving governors have immunity from criminal prosecution and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), an anti corruption agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria established to check corrupt practices was waiting for 2007 when his term in office would end to charge him to court for money laundering. He was accused of stealing about $9m of public funds and of money laundering.
In early October 2006, eight of the twenty-four state assembly members issued an impeachment notice against Dariye. In his defence, he stated that the notice was invalid as the eight did not form a quorum of the assembly as required by the law. A crowd of Dariye’s supporters tried to prevent the assembly members from entering the state assembly building. Riot police then fired into the crowd, killing two protestors.
Dariye was impeached on November 13, 2006. His deputy, Michael Botmang, became the new governor. On March 10, 2007, after a Court of Appeal ordered Dariye reinstated as governor, the Plateau State Government announced its intention to appeal to the Supreme Court.
On 27 April 2007, the Supreme Court refused the appeal of the Plateau State Government and ordered the reinstatement of Dariye with immediate effect.
Following his reinstatement, Dariye’s term of office as Governor of Plateau State concluded on 29 May 2007.
In April 2011, Dariye was elected Senator for Plateau Central on the Labour Party platform. He received 189,140 votes, defeating Dawuda Gowon of the PDP, younger brother of former head of state Yakubu Gowon, who received 160,106 votes.
On March 28th, 2015, he was re-elected as senator representing Plateau central senatorial district after polling 189,150 votes.
Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in 2007, preferred 23 counts of money laundering involving alleged diversion of about N1.126billion Plateau State Government’s ecological funds against Dariye.
The charges were filed before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja against Dariye. He pleaded not guilty to the charges following which the trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, fixed November 13, 2007 for the commencement of trial.
But before that date, Dariye filed an application, challenging the competence of the charges and the jurisdiction of the court. He argued that he ought to be tried before a Plateau State High Court and not the FCT High Court.
On December 13, 2007, the trial judge heard and dismissed Dariye’s application for lacking in merit. Dariye appealed against the ruling of the court. But the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of Justice Banjoko. Dariye subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court.
But the apex court, on February 27, 2015 dismissed Dariye’s appeal and ordered him to submit himself for trial.
Following the Supreme Court’s judgment delivered on 27 February 2015, the former Plateau State Governor’s trial resumed after about nine years of delay on 26 January 2016. The EFCC called its first prosecution witness, Musa Sunday, who is a detective with the anti-graft agency and who was involved in the investigation of Dariye for the alleged crime. Sunday, during his testimony before Justice Banjoko gave a breakdown of his team’s report of investigation revealing how the ecological funds obtained by Dariye, as then governor of Plateau State, was allegedly diverted.
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja, on Tuesday 12th June, 2018 sentenced Dariye to 14 years’ imprisonment on the charges of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds (1.6 billion naira) while he was the Governor of Plateau state.
REDUCTION OF JAIL TERM
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday 16th November, 2018 reduced the 14-year sentence against Dariye to 10 years’. The presiding judge of the court, Justice Stephen Adah, reduced the charges in the counts to 10 years, while the terms with two years are reduced to one year each. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Dariye’s is married to Valentina and together they have four children namely Nanle, Joy, Ebenezer and Ruth.
12. Chief MICHAEL BOTMANG (1938 – 18 January 2014) was a Nigerian politician.
GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office 13 November 2006 – 27 April 2007, Preceded by Joshua Dariye, Succeeded by Joshua Darius
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born: 1938, Zawan, Jos South, Plateau State, Nigeria, Died: 18 January 2014 (aged 76) Zawan, Jos South, Plateau State, Nigeria
On September 9, 2001, there were riots in Jos between Christians and Muslims. As acting governor, Chief Michael Botmang drafted both the police and the army to help return the state capital to order.
Botmang, then a former Plateau state deputy governor, was sworn in as governor of Plateau State following the impeachment of Chief Joshua Dariye on 13 November 2006. He held that position until 27 April 2007, when the Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of Dariye with immediate effect.
In July 2008 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Botmang on a 31-count charge of fraud, alleging he had pocketed N1.5 billion during his tenure as Plateau State governor. He was released on bail a month later and his travel documents were returned so he could travel to the United Kingdom for medical treatment.
The fraud charges were later dropped by the EFCC on the 12th of June 2013 stating that there is evidence that the money borrowed from Intercontinental Bank when Botmang was governor was used to pay workers’ salaries and other government activities.
Botmang died on 18 January 2014, of kidney disease. He was 76.
13.SIMON LALONG (born 5 May 1963 in Shendam, Plateau State) is a Nigerian lawyer and politician, who is the present Governor of Plateau State, Nigeria.
20TH GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE Incumbent
Assumed office: May 29, 2015, Preceded by Jonah David Jang
SPEAKER OF PLATEAU STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY: In office 2000–2007
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born: Simon Bako Lalong 5 May 1963 (age 56), Shendam, Plateau State, Nigeria, Nationality: Nigerian, Political party: All Progressive Congress, Education: Masters Degree in Law from University of Jos, Profession: Lawyer
After his elementary and secondary schools education in Shendam Local Government Area he proceeded to the School of Preliminary Studies (S.P.S) Keffi, passing out in 1986. He then continued to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, graduating in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in Law. This was immediately followed by the Law School in Lagos, where he was also called to Bar. He later obtained a master’s degree in Law from the University of Jos, in 1996.
Lalong’s professional career as an attorney lasted between 1992, the year following his graduation from law school, and 1998, the dawn of Nigeria’s new democracy. During this period he worked with a few law firms, one of which he co-owned. Between 1992 and 1994 he was the Deputy Scribe of the Nigerian Bar Association in Plateau State. After a political stint that lasted seven years he again returned to legal practice as the Principal Partner of Simon B Lalong and Co, until 2015.
Simon Lalong temporarily discarded legal practice to join the political bandwagon in 1998. Under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he successfully contested the seat of the member of the Plateau State House of Assembly representing his native Shendam Constituency. In October 2000 he became the speaker of the assembly, occupying that position till the year 2006, following a political storm within the House. The seven years he served as the Speaker of that assembly made him the longest serving speaker of the House in the history of Plateau State. During that period he was two times (2001–2002) elected as the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of the 36 states of Nigeria. In the year 2015, as the second tenure of the serving Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, neared its end, Lalong joined the contest to succeed Jang. This time, he did so under the All Progressive Congress (APC) political platform. His chances seemed narrow at the beginning, but the capricious nature of politics tipped the balance eventually, favoring him by a slim margin. He was sworn in as the new Governor of Plateau State on May 29, 2015.
In the March 9, 2019 Plateau State Gubernatorial Election and March 23, 2019 Plateau State supplementary Gubernatorial Election, Lalong was reelected as Governor of Plateau State, having polled 595,582 votes against his rival, Gen. Jeremiah Husseini of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 546,813 votes. He was re-elected as the governor of Plateau State on May 29, 2019.
LIST OF PLATEAU STATE ADMINISTRATORS
1. Brigadier General (retired) MOHAMMED MANA (born 7 October 1950) was military Administrator of Plateau State between December 1993 and August 1996 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha. He was elected Senator for Adamawa North in 2007 on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform.
SENATOR OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA FROM ADAMAWA STATE NORTH DISTRICT: In office 29 May 2007 – May 2011, Preceded by Abubakar Iya, Succeeded by Bindo Jibrilla, Constituency; Adamawa South
MILITARY GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office 9 December 1993 – 22 August 1996, Preceded by Fidelis Tapgun, Succeeded by Habibu Idris Shuaibu
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born: 7 October 1950 (age 69), Political party; People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
MILITARY SERVICE Allegiance: Nigeria, Branch/service: Nigerian Army, Rank: Brigadier General, Commands: Plateau State
BACKGROUND: Mana was born on 7 October 1950. He attended the Government College, Keffi. He obtained a diploma in Petroleum Technology from the US Army Quartermaster School in 1976. In 1987, he obtained a diploma in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
As Governor of Plateau State, in 1994, Lt. Col. Mohammed Mana set up a commission to look into the inter-ethnic conflict in Jos. The problems were due to friction between the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere tribes on the one hand, and the Hausa-Fulani tribes on the other hand. Riots had been triggered by Mana’s appointment of a Hausa man as “caretaker Committee chairman” of Jos.
Mana retired from the military in June 1999 when President Olusegun Obasanjo decreed that all former military administrators must retire.
After becoming Senator in May 2007, Mana was appointed to committees on Selection, Power and Integration and Cooperation. He was also appointed deputy chief whip of the Senate. He sponsored an Amendment Bill on Border Areas Development Commission, 2009 and a Bill for an Act on Tobacco Control, 2009. Talking in March 2009 on the Electoral Reform report of the committee headed by Justice Mohammed Uwais, he recommended that the head of the Independent National Electoral Commission be appointed by the executive, but subject to judicial review.
After the February 2010 coup in Niger, the senate President David Mark asked Mohammed Mana and Senator John Shagaya of Plateau State to use their close ties with the new military leaders of Niger to urge them to embrace democracy. In March 2010, Mana was appointed to a 20-man committee to find ways to permanently solve the Jos crisis, where there had been endemic violence between Muslims and Christians.
In the run-up to the 9 April 2011 national elections, Mana was a contender in the PDP primaries to again be Senatorial candidate for Adamawa North. However, he lost the nomination. Mana filed an appeal against the selection of Umar Bindo Jibrilla as the candidate for Adamawa North. On 29 March 2011 a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the appeal as lacking in merit. Mana appealed this ruling. An early report of the Adamawa North Senatorial election results said that Bindo Jibrilla (PDP) defeated former governor Boni Haruna of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), polling 75,112 votes to Haruna’s 70,890 votes. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate, Abba Mohammed, scored 22,866. This result was also reported by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as of 16 April. However, by 23 April, the Nigeria Elections Coalition was reporting that Mana was the winning PDP candidate.
2. HABIBU IDRIS SHUAIBU was military administrator of Niger State in Nigeria from August 1998 to May 1999, when he handed over control to the democratically elected Abdulkadir Kure.
ADMINISTRATOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office 22 August 1996 – August 1998, Preceded by Mohammed Mana, Succeeded by Musa Shehu
ADMINISTRATOR OF NIGER STATE: In office August 1998 – May 1999, Preceded by Simeon Oduoye, Succeeded by Abdulkadir Kure
PERSONAL DETAILS: Born: 17 November 1984
Habibu Shuaibu was an aide to General Ibrahim Babangida. In 1989, while at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas he wrote an unpublished thesis titled “Military Involvement in Politics in Nigeria: The Effect on Nigerian Army”. Speaking as one of those who backed General Babangida’s putsch on August 27, 1985, he claimed that the reason for the coup against Muhammadu Buhari was that Buhari did not distribute positions to junior officers.
Appointed administrator of Plateau State in August 1996, he persistently urged the people to support and cooperate with the Sani Abacha administration to enable it accomplish the task ahead.
Habibu Shuaibu retired from the army as a Colonel.
3. Colonel MUSA SHEIKH SHEHU was Administrator of Rivers State, Nigeria from August 1996 to August 1998 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha, and then of Plateau State until the return to democracy in May 1999.
ADMINISTRATOR OF RIVERS STATE: In office 22 August 1996 – August 1998, Preceded by Dauda Musa Komo, Succeeded by Sam Ewang
ADMINISTRATOR OF PLATEAU STATE: In office August 1998 – May 1999, Preceded by Habibu Idris Shuaibu, Succeeded by Joshua Dariye
At the time of the coup of 27 August 1985, when General Ibrahim Babangida came to power, Captain Musa Shehu played a supporting role as second in command of the Recce Battalion in Jos.
While governor of Plateau state in 1999, Shehu received N200 million to clean up pollution from tin mining. The money was allegedly misappropriated.
Shehu remained politically active after retirement in 1999. In 2001, he was among former military administrators who formed the United Nigeria Development Forum, a political pressure group. In December 2009 he was among Northern leaders who opposed the transfer of power to vice-president Goodluck Jonathan during the illness of president Umaru Yar’Adua.In 2010 Shehu was Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum, an influential group of Northern Nigerian leaders.