The Entrepreneur, Kefas Ropshik reiterated his visions for the State and his Plateau First Agenda.

At a press conference on Monday at the Nigerian Union of Journalist complex in Jos, Kefiano, as he is affectionately known by his devoted followers, proclaimed his candidacy under the auspices of the Peoples Democratic Party and shared his ideas and goals for the state of Plateau. The event, which was available to the public and members of the press, provided an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the gubernatorial candidate’s mindset.
It began with the candidate giving a brief monologue about his visions for the state, his youth, emphasizing his well – documented success in the private sector, and its influence on people’s lives, which sets him apart from the other declared candidates. He mentioned Plateau state’s history of elected officials who spent their entire lives in the public sector as a hindrance to advancement due to a lack of foresight on the part of the leaders.

He said “all they know how to do is administration, leadership should be about wealth creation and bringing people out of poverty, you do not expect people to do differently because that is all they know”. He said that Plateau should be in the hands of someone from the private sector, rather than the traditional way of doing things, and urged Plateau residents to give someone from the private sector a chance to run the state.

When he was asked his plans to tackle the plight of insecurity that has affected the peaceful stability of the state, he stressed the importance of community engagement.
“We have neglected our traditional institution, which is supposed to be the number one foundation for information collection as far as security is concerned. Most of the people that cause havoc in areas of insecurity are foreigners and these areas are under the care of the local leaders. We need to get the data of people staying in an environment so we know who comes in and who goes out. We are going to start engagement with traditional institution working with the security agencies, engage the youths in community policing to protect their environment and have a sense of belonging to their society. ”

He further stated that all stakeholders with competence in security, regardless of political affiliation, should be consulted because we are all Plateau sons and daughters before any political party. He also stated that the security agencies have not been adequately compensated for the enormous efforts they make, and that if he is given the opportunity to govern the state of Plateau, he will provide good welfare to the security agencies. “we must take care of their welfare if we want them to give us the best” he said.

When challenged about rumors that he is being funded by the current administration, he flatly denied them, stating firmly that he is solely responsible for his campaign and has no outside support. “Whether you like it or not, the business I run brought me here; I as a person have the potential to come out and sponsor myself; no one is funding me,” he remarked.
He was pressed by the journalists on his past business dealings with the present administration and possible grudges he might still harbour. He said “I dont have any anger with anybody, if you want to lead the affairs of Plateau State and you come with anger, you have already failed. I have never insulted this government any where and you the investigative journalists can do your research. How can I be angry with someone who gave me the platform to be able to contest today? If the governor fails, Plateau fails. The reason South Africa is successful is because Nelson Mandela never exerted revenge on any of the people that incarcerated him, I want to discuss issues about Plateau and find solutions, I am a Christian and hold no grudges against anyone. A leader must accommodate everybody regardless of their conduct, that is my mindset and I have nothing against the governor and I pray he finishes his tenure and may the best man come and advance the affairs of Plateau State.

“Plateau State is not a civil servant state” he lamented. He emphasized the significance of developing other industries such as agriculture, tourism, the entertainment industry, and sports. He believes that instead of focusing on white collar employment and political office holders, youths should engage in entrepreneurship to better themselves. “The richest people on the Plateau are the Hausa and Igbo people” he said, He urged residents of the state to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, saying that this will be possible through the youth empowerment program he will implement in all local governments to help youths succeed in business, and that this will be a long-term benefit for the state because these businesses will pay taxes to the state government.
He concluded the press conference by stating his humanitarian efforts and challenging members of the press to question all other potential candidates about their community service.
“Sincerely, I have a passion for this state, as an individual I have exhibited that, when I look at Plateau I see backwardness and poverty and so I help when I can, but my resources are limited and so I want to harness the bully pulpit of the government to impact people’s lives because I don’t have that money, the government can be a wealth creating state and not a civil servant state. I say this with every sense of responsibility but am not challenging any candidate, where were they before? what have they done for their community and the people of Plateau? we must begin to ask people these questions and I enjoin the journalists to ask these questions. I have given back to the state, my NGO has treated more than 50,000 people, we have completed comprehensive surgeries for over 3900 people, we have over 2000 widows that are being fed by my NGO programmes, we have done over 200 surgeries for glaucoma patients, to take the burden off their children who end up as care givers for their blind parents, I have also freed prisoners who cannot afford bail regardless of menial offenses, this is what humanity stands for and this is what I can do for people if given the chance to lead the affairs of the state”
He ended with the need for a new way of thinking, more vibrant ideas to create independence for the people of Plateau. He said the economy of every nation is driven by %70 of the private sector and he stressed the need for more private sector development.

“People of Plateau, the time of waiting for months end to collect salary has come and gone and should go for ever”
He acknowledged the journalists and other stakeholders who had attended the conference, and was greeted with loud ovation at the conclusion. The organizers praised him for coming and stated that he was the only candidate who had accepted the NUJ’s invitation.

Pictures from the Press conference

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