On Friday afternoon, when Chief Kefas Wungak Ropshik, also known as Kefiano, declared his candidacy, the enthusiasm in the People’s Democratic Party’s offices was palpable. The Plateau First Agenda’s captain and architect met with key stakeholders at the state secretariat to discuss his ambitions for a better Plateau and to solicit the support of party delegates at various ward levels to give the youths a chance to govern the affairs of the state. He met with the zonal chairmen and EXCOs of the party on the Plateau.
In a rousing speech, he acknowledged the participation of all EXCOs and supporters from all wards, complimented them, and emphasized the significance of unity in achieving success. He also put an end to the rumors that he was being funded by the current administration.
“People that know me know I am a private sector person and this is the first time I am a card carrying member of a party and it happens to be PDP. I am going to sustain and maintain this family by the grace of God. I have heard different people talk about Lalong and what has transpired in the past, I do not want to be discouraged with that because my intention is Plateau and my dream is Plateau. I am a business man and I can do business with anybody regardless of their political affiliation”
He touched on the present living conditions of the people of Plateau state and asked a rhetorical question
“As I said, I am here to discuss Plateau and serious issues, if we ask ourselves, are we comfortable as a people where we are? because Plateau deserves better. The passion I have for this state is the reason why I am undertaking this huge risk to come out under the umbrella of PDP. Going against the ruling party as a businessman puts my interests at risk but that’s a very small sacrifice compared to the love I have for Plateau”
He promised to use his prowess and experience in the business sector to transform into a meaningful impact on the Plateau state
“ As a business man I hardly make mistakes when I apply my principles, that is the reason I am here as a PDP person. I have looked at Plateau and asked why is it that Plateau is where it is today and have been stagnant? because we have an administrative state, whereas governance is about wealth creation. Plateau has potentials but it has not been maximised. I have built myself in the private sector and I promise to incorporate my experience to govern the affairs of the state”
He asked for a united front in party matters, implying that the so-called “crisis” gripping the PDP in the state is the product of too many capable people with divergent perspectives on how to lead the state ahead. He stated
“Where there is no potential, there is no crisis, but the potential is what causes the crisis, everybody struggles where there is a prospect, the capacity, and reasoning you have shown us why the party has come together. My prayer for you is that God will give the wisdom and capacity for PDP to achieve success because PDP is the grandest party on the Plateau whether anybody likes it or not”
Mr. Chris Hassan, the state chairman, thanked him for coming and expressing an interest in running for the position. He acknowledged his well-documented private-sector success and acknowledged the sacrifices it must have taken for him to leave his business comfort zone to run for political office. He advised him to keep going. And he urged all stakeholders to establish a level playing field for all candidates, with no preference for one. He said
“We are going to create a level playing ground and mean it in every sense of responsibility. That’s why in each of the exercises we are doing, we have remained transparent and that’s a plus to the EXCOS. There is no favored candidate, everyone that has come to contest has the right to contest and will be given the same consideration. Age will not be a barrier, competence is what we want, judging by my own election to be the state chairman, it is evident the Plateau people want a young man to be the governor of Plateau State”
On his way out of the secretariat, Chief Kefas reemphasized his youth and core message to reporters
“Today, the world is not governed by age, it is governed by ideas and we have the ideas. In the world today, %70 of people that are leaders are between the age of 30 to 40, and worst case 50. The youths have the capacity and so we call on the elders, we have the ideas and capacity, give us Plateau to rule because we have the ideas”
The primaries are rapidly coming, and the delegates will decide Plateau’s fate. They may either make Plateau state run by youths or revert to the old and antiquated ways of doing things, which have proven to be ineffective.