Governor: Claims are frivolous
Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State has challenged the governor of the state, Mr. Simon Lalong, to explain how it spent over N97billion he received in the first year of his administration, N18billion taken as loan from commercial banks, N4.5billion he spent on exotic cars, and why his government could not commission a project in two years of the administration.
But Lalong has immediately dismissed the figures touted by PDP and the allegations as frivolous and mischievous, aimed at scoring cheap political points.
Addressing journalists yesterday, the state Chairman of PDP, Mr. Damishi Sango, said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration in the state is marked by uncanny excuses for non-performance, and was always eager to take loan from banks.
â€œLalong tried to disparage his predecessor by setting up a judicial commission of inquiry, but where is the result to show for his own flagrant waste of state resources? Two years into governance, Lalong report card shows him on fall and low on credit.
â€œThese are figures we can authenticate, APC should come out and contest it if they feel what we are saying is out of context. These are figures we can defend, we are engaging them with facts, let them come out,â€ Sango challenged.
He added: â€œSo bad is it that they cannot even celebrate fifty years of the existence of the state. Instead, commercial prayers sessions were organised. In addition, funds are being wasted on celebrating carnivals in a state where basic amenities cannot be provided; we have followed development in other states where golden jubilee celebrations were used to commission special projects. The Plateau State government, to the contrary, has nothing to commission.â€
But Lalongâ€™s Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Dan Manjang, said the PDP in the state was being economical with the truth and frivolous in its claim.
He challenged the party to come up with documentary evidence of all the money they alleged government had collected.
He added that there are a lot of projects completed by the Lalongâ€™s administration awaiting commissioning, and that it was not compulsory for the government to include commissioning of projects as part of the celebration of his two years in office.
â€œCommissioning is an item on its own which will soon be done in all the 17 local government areas of the state. Life does not begin and end with commissioning of projects; there are projects ready for commissioning across the state and that would be done at appropriate time.
â€œWe refuse to be stampede by the so call opposition party, especially the PDP. We would not join issues with them because it has more problems at hand and my advice to them is to come up with constructive criticism that would advance democracy and governance in the state,â€ he advised.