Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba State and the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have continued to trade words over the prolonged stay of Governor Darius Ishaku outside the state.
Ishaku had travelled out of the state since December 22, 2019 and is yet to return to the state since then. This has attracted condemnations from the APC, the main opposition party in the state.
APC had among other sundry allegations accused the state government of not paying salaries of civil servants as at when due thereby calling on Taraba State House of Assembly to proclaim the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Haruna Manu, as acting governor.
APC Chairman in the state, Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim El-Sudi, who made the allegations while presenting relief materials donated by APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to internally displaced persons in the state, maintained that Ishaku’s prolonged absence from the state has crippled government activities as well as brought untold hardship to the people of the state.
But, PDP, in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Inuwa Bakari, accused APC of peddling false claims against the governor and the state government, particularly over allegations that ministries in the state have been deserted by civil servants due to the governor’s absence.
PDP berated the leading opposition party in the state of peddling deliberate falsehood aimed at igniting tension and pitching the governor against the good people of the state.
“The claims by Taraba State Chairman of the APC that ministries in the state have been deserted by workers and salaries are not paid as and when due by the PDP-led administration in the state was a figment of his imagination, because no right thinking Taraban or a leader of thought will condescend so low to making such baseless and unfounded claims before the world, knowing fully well that he is lying,” the statement alleged.
Insisting that the governor’s absence has not in any way affected the smooth running of government business, Bakari stated that records indicated that the government business has never seized to function optimally including the holding of weekly Executive Council Meeting.
The ruling party added that contracts are being awarded particularly the ongoing Gada-Lasheke-Pantisawa road as well as Wukari-Ibi and Mararraba-Baissa-Abong road projects including the dualisation of Jalingo Airport to Pantinapu which was awarded recently.
Maintaining that the governor has been working ceaselessly for the betterment of the state, PDP drew the attention of APC and its leaders to the recent visit of Ishaku to the World Bank and the Japanese Embassy where he met with her Ambassador to Nigeria which was aired on national and local networks.
Bakari noted that the Ishaku administration has never owed workers a dime of their salaries since coming on board, adding that negotiations have reached advanced stage on the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage as well as employment of hundred new hands into the state civil service.
The PDP explained that the leadership of Taraba State House of Assembly and its esteemed crop of legislators are responsive and patriotic democrats who are partners in progress to PDP government in the state and would therefore not enmesh themselves into such a wishful thinking of those he described as absentee politicians who relish in sowing the seed of political discord at every given opportunity.
The party, therefore, urged the people of the state to disregard what it termed APC’s undemocratic antics and looked towards the future with brighter hope with the Rescue Captain, saying Taraba State would continue to remain an undisputable home ground for PDP.