By: Valentine Adese (JP),
As the “Total Shutdown” of Plateau State by Governor Simon Bako Lalong and his administration entered its third phase, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has called on the administration to put the people of the state first before embarking on alleged inhuman policies.
The PDP in a press statement, dated, 25th April, 2020, signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Hon. John Akans, after evaluating the ongoing shutdown order stated that, it would not go into blame game, but rather, call on the administration to be more proactive, with the confirmation of its first Index Case in the state.
According to the release, Hon. Akans stated that, “The leadership of the People’s Democratic Party,(PDP) Plateau State chapter, under the leadership of Hon Yakubu Gwott Chocho has keenly scrutinized the response of government towards the COVID -19 Pandemic and after our independent monitoring as critical stakeholders in the affairs of the state, couple with the seriousness of the threat to lives, the Plateau chapter of the people’s Democratic party (PDP) will not go into blame game:
“However, considering the sensitivity of this scourge and our concern because of this one (1) confirmed case and the level at which the spread is fast on the increase in other states, the state government needs to be more proactive in its efforts to curb it’s spread in the state. It shouldn’t be treated with knee jerk response as it used to be doing.
“The government needs to step up to its weak response towards the testing capacity and other facilities and be more proactive with the provision of adequate equipments and health personnel like what other serious states are doing such as Ogun, Lagos, Rivers, Oyo, Edo and Cross River and Benue.
“It is a known fact that Plateau is a state that is in dire need of serious improvement on its health care delivery.”
The PDP also knocked the administration on the alleged failed distribution of palliatives to the needy in the state.
PDP stated that, “We are saddened today at what took place in some parts of Jos municipal. Governor Lalong had promised to give palliatives to the people by today Saturday 25th of April 2020 during his broadcast to the people, his failure to keep to this promise has again, proven to his failed leadership, with this total display of lack of touch with reality, he has again failed to address the issue of palliatives to the people leading to mass protest today. It is more painful that government could not address the immediate needs of its people in the face of these challenges in line with the primary purpose of Governance which is the welfare and health of its citizens.”
These comments did not go down well with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, as the party through its Publicity Secretary, Hon. Chindo S. Dafat, fired back at the PDP, as an alleged disgraceful party, which simply want to distract the administration of Governor Lalong and the APC, from focusing on the fight against COVID-19.
According to the State APC’s reaction, dated the 26th of April, 2020, a day after PDP made its public, the APC stated that, “The good people of Plateau State, and indeed the APC-led Rescue Government has been inundated by the disgraceful and futile attempt of the moribund People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to not only distract the Governor from focusing on the fight against COVID-19, but also hoping to make cheap political capital from the pandemic. SAD!
“Ordinarily, the Plateau APC would have ignored the shenanigans of the collapsed PDP that has been in the Intensive Care ever since the discerning people of Plateau unanimously rejected it in 2015 and 2019. Since then, the party has continued to attempt to re-invent itself through its old tricks of lies, propaganda, and deceit.
“Most disgusting is the fact that they have been desperate in trying to use COVID-19 (a global health emergency) as their comeback strategy having lost their last bid to gain any relevance as the Supreme Court finally buried their lost ambition by affirming the mandate that the people of Plateau State entrusted in the Rescue Governor, Simon Bako Lalong.”
While explaining the situation on ground in the fight against and control of COVID-19 in the state, the press statement of the APC in part read, “The world is on the edge because of the catastrophic impact of the Corona Virus Pandemic, which is not only threatening the lives of people, but the economies of nations and dramatically changing livelihoods.
“No doubt, these are precarious times that have put Governments across the world, including Nigeria on their toes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ensure treatment of those infected as well as find a cure.
“Since the first index case was reported in Nigeria, the APC-led Rescue Administration in Plateau State under the leadership of Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong took proactive steps to ensure that the disease does not infiltrate the State, and in case of any eventuality, the State is able to respond quickly and robustly to deal with the situation.
“For Governor Lalong, this emergency requires all hands to be on deck, as the virus does not discriminate against its victims irrespective of gender, tribe, religion, ethnicity, economic status, or even political affiliation.
“That is why he has continuously engaged all stakeholders in fighting the pandemic and boosting the State’s preparedness. Typical of his all-inclusive Governance style, he has carried all stakeholders along and galvanized the support of all well-meaning citizens of Plateau State in the fight against COVID-19, not minding what divide they belong.”
Not contented with the ruling APC’s explanations to its questions in relation to the effective management of the state in a COVID-19 infested environment, the PDP released its reactions to the response to its press statement dated the 25th of April, 2020, below:-
PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP), PLATEAU STATE CHAPTER. 20/2 YAKUBU GOWON WAY OPP JOS
Monday 27th April 2020.
The People’s Democratic party(PDP) Plateau state chapter expresses shock at a statement credited to the Plateau state chapter of the All Progressive Congress(APC) signed by its publicity Secretary who just returned from long political oblivion, in which he fictionally accused the People’s Democratic Party for expressing its democratic professionalism and its desire to positively contribute towards the fight against this global Pandemic ravaging humanity as critical stakeholders in the affairs of plateau state.
Statement from the PDP was made available to pressmen on Saturday 25th April calling on the attention of the plateau state government to be proactive and inclusive in the fight against this dreaded virus just like other states and nations are doing, a close example is in Bauchi state where the Governor appointed traditional and religious leaders and religious associations like CAN, JNI, etc and political stakeholders(APC inclusive) in the COVID -19 Palliative committee for holistic disbursement, and prudence. Our position in our previous statement was simple: That,the government should assist plateau citizens by coming to their aid at this critical time, our emphasis was that the APC should not use this COVID-19 as a gateway for its personal profit which it is known for.
But to our greatest dismay even in the face of failing to holistically come to the aid of the citizens with palliatives as promised by them, they still went on issuing an unbundled statement full of fiction and lies, this further sows its unquenchable thirst for power even to the detriment of people’s lives.
The ruling party must stop claiming monopoly of governance at this critical time that all stakeholders are supposed to come together to fight this unseen killer.
However, we are not in anyway surprised at this statement coming from APC knowing fully well that it’s a political party that celebrates mediocrity as its achievements at all times,a party that lacks ideology of democratic governance, that has so much broken the records of disgrace and leadership incompetence in a democratic era, the party “APC’ we all know was largely put together by those who were selfishly discounted with the performance of PDP under President Goodluck Jonathan which is a known fact today that they were not working on for ideological political vehicle, but for greed and nepotism, this is proven after exhibiting a colossal failure in its management of public resources and political affairs for the past five(5) years now, this facts has been adjudged by the citizens, as the most failed and wasteful years of leadership in the history of Nigeria and Plateau in particular.
It is unfortunate that the ruling APC has allowed itself to be eluded by sheer desperation to monopolize all aspects of political and professional governance at this critical period that needs all hands on deck to fight this unseen enemy ravaging humanity,
As a party that believes in the ultimacy of the people :a party of the people ,for the people, at every point in time, will not go into much politicization of this war against COVID-19 as stated times without number that this virus is a killer that does not respect any political party. Our concern is the welfare, health and security of the people which APC as a party has failed to address, and we will never relent to remind and tutor them of their responsibility.
We therefore at this critical time appreciate and commend efforts put by the people of plateau state by obeying directives of the government/taskforce, but warn the ruling APC to desist from its continuous insensitivity and undemocratic path of playing politics with everything that comes its way especially dealing with lives, welfare, health and security of its citizens. We call on the public to disregard APC’s statements as they are best known for deceits, lies and propaganda coming from political desperadoes. We urge the APC to always learn from the most experienced and best performed democratic political party the “PDP”.
John .T. Akans,ksm, fica JP
State publicity secretary (PDP)