By Peter Title
Any government that comes to power, always has its programmes and policies of action.Be it at the National, State or Local Government levels.
The wives of the elected Executives from the three tiers of government are not always left behind .They lend their support to their husbands by forming ‘Foundations’ which is aimed at improving the lives of the citizens as well.
It cannot be different with the wife of the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Mrs Regina Simon Bako Lalong in which upon coming to power came up with her own pet project called “SWITCH FOUNDATION’.
The Foundation according to her is aimed at touching the lives of women, children, indigent, vulnerable people as well as those that are engaged in vices that is inimical to their general wellbeing, most especially the youth that are involved in the consumption of illicit drugs in the society.
The Plateau State first lady five years ago has been working closely with the wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari in ensuring that she achieve her aim which was vividly seen during the Corona pandemic where the first lady distributed food palliatives to widows on the Plateau.
The distributions of assorted food items worth millions of naira took place specifically at Jos International Breweries Limited and Joseph Dechi Gomwalk Secretariat where Mrs Lalong admonished the beneficiaries to utilize it and ensure that it reached the nook and crannies of the state. She also poured encomiums on the wife of the President for always standing in the gap for Plateau State.
Mrs. Lalong did not only stop at the distributions of food items, as a mother, she visited some notable hospitals in the state, most especially the Jos University Teaching Hospital where she sympathised with patients suffering from Sickle Cell Anaemia. At the hospital, she came face to face with the patients, many of which are children below the age’s of 20 years.
The First Lady distributed clothing, assorted food items and paid their hospital bills which was admired by the hospital management, parents of the patients as well as the league of friends of the hospital.
Because of her concern for women with pregnancy and infants as malaria posed a death threat to them ,the first lady in her effort to help in bridging the gap caused by the pandemic was named “Net Ambassador” by the World Health Organization ( WHO).
During the decoration by the WHO,Mrs Lalong distributed millions of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets(LLINs) to the vulnerables where she charged the beneficiaries to always sleep under the net to avoid being a victim of malaria.
She charged them not to sell the nets and that sleeping under the net remained second to none to contracting the disease. WHO officials praised the first lady for working tirelessly for ensuring that malaria pandemic is eradicated.
For the fight against the consumption of illicit drugs,Mrs Lalong took the campaign to Federal and State Low Cost Housing Estates in Jos where her pet project, Switch Foundation gathered the youths and propagated the message of total abstinence from drugs and further empowered them with little resources to help them grow.
During the walk,she told them to refrain from indulging in such vices ,stressing that taking India hemp,Goskolo and other hard related drugs would only harm them which would not make them loss focus entirely.
Mrs. Lalong has done marvellously well for the past years but need to do more and extend the same gesture to rural areas as the consumption of similar drugs is on the rise in the localities which has affected them in one way or the other just as some have met their end(death) as a result of the consumption of the drugs.