Toklen Sam Deshi, popularly known as Sam Tokz,hails from Dang,Wokkos district of Pankshin local government area. Born into the modest family of late Deshi Toklen,a former member northern House of Parliament in the first republic,he is the last of his father’s children and can only imagine the memories of his dear father who passed on while he was still tender.
This particular experience was not a setback to him,rather it was a propelling force that taught him selflessness, resilience, hardworking and perseverance,especially from his mother who worked passionately to fend for the family.
Determined to have all her children receive quality education, the young Sam Tokz was enrolled into Government College Staff School Pankshin,but due to paucity of funds to pay for his fees,he was later withdrawn. He later enrolled into Holy Cross primary school Pankshin to continue his studies. As a visionary,helpful and enterprising child, Sam sold bean cake ‘moi moi’ in the nooks and cranny of Pankshin in order to raise his school fees,nothing can deter him from being educated.
Being a brilliant child,he secured admission for secondary education to FGC Ogbomosho,NMSS Panyam and the famous BSS Gindiri, however, he couldn’t resume immediately because he was financially handicapped. He therefore took to helping his mother on the farm at such a young age when most of his age mates were already in secondary school just to raise his school fees. Unrelenting in her quest to educate him,his mother folded up her kerosene business and sold all her wares in order to raise money for his tuition. Thus,he knew the value of hard work and responsibility from his family.
At BSS Gindiri,he distinguished himself both academically,spiritually and physically. He was exceptional in the sport of football and took part in the school’s annual Spartans endurance exercise. He was also a dedicated member of the Boys’ Brigade. Little wonder,he was found worthy to be appointed House Prefect and later headboy Catering. Upon graduation from Bss, he applied to study law but could not secure the admission. He was still undaunted,he used the challenge to his advantage by enrolling for a diploma in Law at Unijos and later an Advanced Diploma in Public Administration at the Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin-Ladi while striving to study law,a course he could give anything for. God was merciful to him,in 2005,he was admitted to study law at the University of Jos. While in the university, Sam Tokz was deeply involved in unionism with the sole aim of alleviating the pains of students by promoting their welfare. Thus,he was elected in 2007 as the institutions SUG President where he ingrained his footmarks in the sands of time. He was selfless and dogged. He led several protests against the school management for many unstudent policies, notably is his ensuring that there was reactivation of the moribund school bus shuttle from hostels to lecture halls, fought against indiscriminate increament of school tuition, ensured e-payment of school fees against the old way of doing it, great improvement in power supply as a result of various protest against PHCN then, partnering with banks like Skye bank, Diamond bank, Zenith bank,Eco Bank and others to make banking easier for Students on Campus, ensuring that Plateau State Water Board restored water supply to Village Hostel, purchase and fixing of security lights to reduce cases of attacks on students, he also joined forces with the students of the newly established Plateau State University,Bokkos, over the needless shutting down of academic activities by the then Plateau State Government. During his term as SUG President, he had the privilege to be selected by the American government for a program at the United States Institute to study Movement of the Civil Rights in American South in 2008. This experience sharpened his leadership skills and exposure. Little wonder his network of relationships cut across the barrier of race,tribe,religion and nationality. He accepts without discrimination and gives honour to all.
He was called to Nigerian bar in 2012,completed his Master of Laws degree in 2018 and currently undergoing his PhD 2018/2019 session at the University of Jos. As a philanthropist, he is engaged in several community service and peace building efforts,as well as providing mentorship to youths especially those that need counseling. He is also a gospel artist,teacher and a discipler
As the chairman of the Federal low cost community,where he served as a community leader, he led the Coalition of Plateau Residents and Consumers of JEDC to protests against the exorbitant tariff bills, uncerified meters and estimated billig charged by the Jos Electricity Distribution Company which same,caught the attention and intervention of the Honourable Minister of Power,Works and Housing.
His vision for a Reactivated Plateau State will be contained in Part 2 of this article.
Written by Manang Jabbe,ESQ (08134069256).