By: Valentine Adese (JP)
The Plateau State Government has advised the Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District at the Upper chambers of the National Assembly (NASS) Sen. Jonah David Jang, to stop being rude by talking down on the same citizens of the state he had caused pains, hardship and sufferings, owing to his alleged inhuman policies that he ran for eight (8) years in the state as a governor.
The State Government in a Press Statement made available to REALITY, also advised the Senator, to put in more efforts and concentration on his case currently been prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and return alleged looted funds.
The Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr. Yakubu Dati, gave these advices, while reacting to alleged comments attributed to the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Jonah Jang, where the former governor was allegedly quoted saying that, “Governor Simon Lalong governs the state from Abuja”.
The former governor was also reported to have said that, “he did not build the Government House at Little Rayfield for Governor Lalong to occupy”.
Dati, who expressed shock at the comments made by the former governor at what he described as the ‘poorly attended’ rally of the PDP in Mangu, said, “it is unfortunate that Jang could face the people of Plateau and make claims to good governance when his tenure as governor has been one of the worst in the history of Plateau State”.
The Commissioner said it is rude of Jang who has been charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for the theft of Plateau money to talk down on the same people he had caused untold hardship and suffering to through the harsh policies of his administration which recognized only family and friends and to remind them of the arrogant and divisive manner he had governed the state.
Dati said, people expect the former governor to be contrite and show remorse for the damage he had done to the state and to hide his face in shame for allegedly failing to live up to the promise he made before he became governor, that he will not loot the treasury until such a time when he has cleared himself of all the allegations of graft standing against him.
The commissioner said the comments by the former governor at Mangu, in Mangu Local Government Area of the state, “come as a reenactment of the arrogance, high handedness, contempt and insensitivity to the plight of the people the previous administration was known for, which had thrown the state into crises and caused Plateau so much pain and agony while giving a few in the former governor’s family circle the opportunity to plunder the state”.
Mr. Yakubu Dati in part said:-
“You will recall that the former governor had made a similar boast when he was in office to the effect that he will not hand over the keys to the new Government House to anyone outside his family circle, but the people of Plateau in 2015 reminded him through their votes that 1) he did not build the Government House with his money and 2) that they know the essence of democracy and cannot allow one man dictate to them who should govern them”.
The Commissioner said it is also rather sad that a man who has been governor for eight years will speak of governance in the most pedestrian manner.
He said while it is not true that Lalong governs Plateau from Abuja (whatever that means) the point should be made that the importance of getting the support of the federal government to complement the efforts of the state government towards bringing development to the state cannot be downplayed.
He said: “Governor Lalong, well aware that the state stands to benefit from interfacing with other tiers of government has not shied away from taking the Plateau Project to a higher level and exerting his skill of persuasion as a lawyer, to attract attention and development to the state.
“That is why in less than two years after he assumed office, Governor Lalong has been able to complete the projects abandoned by the former administration, clear the backlog of 7 months salaries, pension and gratuity left by the Jang administration, reopened the Fertiliser blending plant and Plateau State University, revived the Highland bottling company, Panyam fish farm, supply tractors and fertilizers to farmers and achieve sustainable peace in the state.
“These are welcome departure from the tenure of Jang where, due to lack of capacity and inability to interface beyond clannish cleavages, the state was thrown into needless crises to the extent that many agencies and parastatals of the federal government with presence in the state were being relocated to other parts of the country.”
“Plateau people have not forgotten that under his watch, a serving Senator and and Hon. Member of the State Assembly were killed in questionable circumstances”.
The commissioner said Governor Lalong runs an all inclusive government and that unlike his predecessor, does not in any way regard himself as being above the people of the state so cannot dictate to the people.
He said if however, recent developments in the state are anything to go by, then Jang should be reminded that the people of Plateau have rejected him and his party and that the disgrace and humiliation they suffered in 2015 would be a child’s play compared to what would come to them in the next elections.
“Many prominent members of his party and those in his close circle have left and have joined the APC, while many are on their way. This is a way of telling him that the people have not forgotten the years of bigotry and parochialism, sleaze and avarice as well as unnecessary divisions that reigned during his tenure as governor and that they wouldn’t want a repeat of such,” Dati stated.
The Commissioner added that, “the former governor was also reported to have said that after being governor for eight years that nobody knows the ‘secret’ of winning elections in Plateau better than him. Governor Lalong on the other hand does not believe there’s any ‘secret’ or act of voodoo to winning elections other than serving the people well.
“It is obvious that Jang believed more in this secret way of winning elections in the past and that was why he neither served the people well, nor submitted to their wish and that was why he suffered a humiliating defeat in 2015.
“Lalong is serving the people well through well thought out programmes and policies of his administration and has been able to put viable projects in place, endearing him to the well meaning people of the state. There is no other ‘secret’ to winning Plateau other than this,” he said.
“With the gradual relocation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their original places of abode, Lalong has again moved the bar of leadership a notch higher”, Dati concluded.