From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja


Governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang, has said President Bola Tinubu’s non-interference in the judiciary has not only affirmed his statesmanship, credentials as sound democrat but will guaranteeing its independence.


The governor, who said he was on a thank you visit to the Presidential Villa on Friday, said this while fielding questions from State House Correspondents after meeting with President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


The Supreme Court had last week Friday affirmed the election of Mutfwang as governor of Plateau State, ending the electoral dispute that had raised doubts about his prospects of completing his term in office.


Asked the purpose of his visit, the governor said: “I came to see the President purposely to say a very big thank you to Mr. President, for keeping democracy alive in Nigeria.


“As you all know, I went through a very protracted legal battle and I’ve said it openly and I am repeating that the Nigerian president is a powerful president. And if he does not exercise restraint in the exercise of his power, he can intrude into the judicial arena and the judiciary will not be allowed to perform its function.


“In my own case and in several others, I’m sure, we can attest to the fact that Mr. President allowed the judiciary to perform its functions as it should thereby guaranteeing its independence.


“I therefore must come to thank him for exercising that restraint because those who wanted to pervert justice also brought tremendous pressure on him to see how he could interfere, but I must put it that Mr. President choosing not to interfere is a credit to his statesmanship, is a credit to his credentials as sound democrat, and this is the only way we can ensure that our institutions mature to the point where they can guarantee not only the survival of democracy, but also ensure that institutions should be able to survive, develop and outlived individuals.”

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Mutfwang also disclosed that he brought President Tinubu upto speed with the security situation especially the Christmas period attacks on the Plateau.


He said: “This is why I came principally to say thank you to the President. And of course, you know Mr. President will not meet me and not asked about the security situation on the Plateau. And I also give them an update.


“Things are relatively calm at the moment. The security agencies are on the pursuit of the perpetrators of this dastardly act that we experienced during the Christmas period and we’re doing our best together with the federal government and international donor partners to be able to mitigate the pain of those families who lost their loved ones, and also those who are internally displaced.


“So we’re doing our best and we’re also ensuring that we step up our security surveillance to prevent further occurrence of this kind of needless bloodshed.”


On the way forward for his party members sacked by the Appeal Court ahead of the Plateau State House of Assembly resumption next week Tuesday, he said all possible solutions we could being looked at.


Mutfwang said: “Yes, I think this is an ongoing discussion. And I can’t tell you anything now, because we are looking at all the possible solutions, legally, politically or otherwise, to ensure that… my interest is to have a peaceful state that I can focus on development and governance. And therefore, we want to ensure that we reduce all areas of friction as much as we can.


“I want to particularly thank Nigerians for the interest they have shown in the Plateau situation. We do not take it for granted. And I believe that out of the Plateau situation, our jurisprudence will be enriched and justice will find sure footings in Nigeria are the future. That’s the much I can say.”