By: Valentine Adese (JP),
The Spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Plateau State chapter has described the Press Release of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), dated the 20th of June, 2022, and titled: “Of Governor Lalong’s Rising Corruption Profile and Insensitivity”, as “Reckless and Shameless” as it is simply aimed at de-marketing the APC and Governor Simon Bako Lalong.
According to the Rejoinder signed by the APC Publicity Secretary, Hon.Sylvanus Namang, dated 24th June, 2022, made available to REALITY, the APC would have ignored the display of rascalism and total disregard for decorum and its libelous nature, but “It is being compelled by the need of not allowing gullible minds to believe the lies told by the PDP many times could easily be passed for the truth”.
Hon. Namang added that, the press release is an indication however that, the PDP in the state is being hunted and haunted by its past.
“The social media space has in the past one week been awash with the usual fictitious scripts by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Plateau State.
“Its reckless and shameless releases are ostensibly aimed at de-marketing the ever focused and hardworking Governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
“The APC would have ignored this display of rascalism and total disregard for decorum and libelous scripts by the party’s so- called image maker, who is unmindful of appending his signature on any garbage prepared for him by some paid commercial junk writers posing as journalists.
“However, the APC is compelled by the need of not allowing gullible minds to believe that lies told by the PDP many times could easily be passed for the truth.
“More importantly, the PDP in the state is being hunted and haunted by its past as demonstrated by its spurious and unsubstantiated allegations in its 20th June, Press Release, titled: “Of Governor Lalong’s Rising Corruption Profile and Insensitivity”.
“What it did wrongly and what it failed to do while in office for eight years and which the APC government since 2015 has been doing its best to correct has been a source of sleepless night for the PDP.
“Its grandstanding, which is boundless, should not be allowed to persist, as our people deserve the right to know the difference between fiction and realities hence, this response.
“Before then, the right thing would be that, the PDP should be more concerned with the issue of its shooting itself on the foot which led to its non-participation in the last local government election an issue which still dangles like the Sword of Damocles.
“We are watching keenly the manipulation and all the desperate antics by the party to deceive the electoral umpire to believe that all is well with it even in the face of its multiple and ceaseless litigations which still put its fate on the edge.
“If the PDP is a responsible party, it should be concerned about putting its house in order rather than embarking on a journey in a wonderland”. The APC stated in part.
READ THE FULL APC RELEASE BELOW:-
24th June, 2022,
APC PLATEAU STATE CHAPTER,
YAKUBU GOWON WAY,
PLATEAU PDP: A PARTY HUNTED AND HAUNTED BY ITS SORDID PAST.
The social media space has in the past one week been awash with the usual fictitious scripts by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Plateau State.
Its reckless and shameless releases are ostensibly aimed at de-marketing the ever focused and hardworking Governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The APC would have ignored this display of rascalism and total disregard for decorum and libelous scripts by the party’s so- called image maker, who is unmindful of appending his signature on any garbage prepared for him by some paid commercial junk writers posing as journalists.
However, the APC is compelled by the need of not allowing gullible minds to believe that lies told by the PDP many times could easily be passed for the truth.
More importantly, the PDP in the state is being hunted and haunted by its past as demonstrated by its spurious and unsubstantiated allegations in its 20th June, Press Release, titled: “Of Governor Lalong’s Rising Corruption Profile and Insensitivity”.
What it did wrongly and what it failed to do while in office for eight years and which the APC government since 2015 has been doing its best to correct has been a source of sleepless night for the PDP.
Its grandstanding, which is boundless, should not be allowed to persist as our people deserve the right to know the difference between fiction and realities hence, this response.
Before then, the right thing would be that, the PDP should be more concerned with the issue of its shooting itself on the foot which led to its non-participation in the last local government election an issue which still dangles like the Sword of Damocles.
We are watching keenly the manipulation and all the desperate antics by the party to deceive the electoral umpire to believe that all is well with it even in the face of its multiple and ceaseless litigations which still put its fate on the edge.
If the PDP is a responsible party, it should be concerned about putting its house in order rather than embarking on a journey in a wonderland.
Now to the issues raised by the PDP, which we feel should be put in their proper perspective.
The PDP in Plateau state is notorious for quoting outrageous and unsubstantiated figures purportedly to blackmail the Government of the day.
First, it alleged that the APC Government in 2015 spent a whooping N11, 476, 000 000 on fertilizer, which was contracted on 5th August 2015 to POPULAR FOODS LIMITED AND MBS MERCHANTS LIMITED, which it claimed only 1250 bags an equivalent of two trucks were supplied!
In another twist, it stated that no single bag was supplied to date.
This is nothing, but a grand deception. This was supposed to be three months into the APC administration in the state whose monthly allocation hovered between N2billion.
How feasible could about five months revenue allocation to the state be spent on fertilizer purchase, only three months into its tenure as alleged by the spendthrift PDP government, which handed over only N96m to it?
For the records, the fertilizer expenditure and distribution to the end users in the state for the 2015 farming season and other seasons for that matter, were carried out in the most transparent manner.
MBS Merchants Limited was on 5th August 2015 awarded a contract for the supply of 300 trucks of fertilizer made up each of 150 trucks of NPK and Urea at the unit cost of N6,250/bag totaling, N1,125 000 000.00 which it supplied.
POPULAR FOODS LIMITED was awarded a contract for the supply of 350 trucks made up of 175 trucks of Urea and 175 trucks of NPK at the unit price of N6,250/ bag at the sum of N1, 312, 500, 000.00
The exercise was carried out by the state Ministry of Agriculture in a very transparent manner through ward heads and security agencies.
All transactions were carried out with Bank Guarantee by UBA. The store receipt vouchers, SRV are available for the lazy PDP, which thrives in frivolities or to anybody, who cares to verify.
This is against the haphazard and scandalous distribution system employed by the immediate PDP administration, which saw the commodity as an avenue for dishing out of patronage to its party members and cronies.
The clueless PDP also accused the APC Government of spending N4.5 Billion, more than two months allocation of the state on what it termed luxury cars for the Governor, his Deputy and some few officials in 2015.
This is a typical case of the PDP being haunted by its past. On being unceremoniously sent out of office, the PDP administration hurriedly carted away all vehicles in its possession without following due process.
Under the new APC Government, a contract was awarded to Kifiano Global Concepts, whose owner is now a defector to the PDP to supply official vehicles to the Governor, his Deputy, Principal Officers of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries at the cost of N1, 210, 199, 700. 00, in order to enable government functionaries perform their function.
The PDP equally alleged that, the newly inaugurated government expended N1.4 Billion on GPRS tracking device on 100 cars.
On 27th August, 2015, Organized Global Ventures was awarded the contract for the supply of tracking devices at the cost of Eight Million Naira (N8, 000 000.00) ONLY, after going through the Standard Procurement Process again, unlike under the past administration where their principal’s children operated car shades in a West African country and supplied all government vehicles without following due process.
Let them ask their present ‘big catch’, who supplied the vehicles the true position of that contract.
The PDP is irked by the zero potholes project of the Governor Simon Bako -led Rescue Administration. Under its watch, potholes took over the entire Jos and Bukuru metropolis, while over N50 Billion of over N70Billion it claimed it spent on road construction were concentrated in their principal’s domain where some of the roads, which were nylon- tarred don’t have vehicles plying them till date.
What Lalong’s administration did to address this inconvenience to motorists and the lopsidedness was the earmarking of N525, 675, 696. 00 for the rehabilitation of 24.4 km of roads by the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) under Direct Labour and not 4 km roads as alleged at N500 Million to a family member. The roads covered all parts of Jos and Bukuru metropolis.
We don’t blame the PDP, as it was and still is the party of family and friends, a subject which we reserve for future discourse.
The PDP assaulted the sensibilities of the very knowledgeable people of Plateau state when it alleged that, during Lalong’s first year in office, the Government wasted N97 Billion without being accounted for.
There can be no pulling of the wool across the eyes of discerning minds than this.
Under the last administration where oil sold for over $140 per barrel, financial recklessness was the order of the day.
Under the Lalong Rescue Administration, all necessary processes to block loopholes and leakages have been put in place.
Since 2015, the State Government has been publishing its financial statements to date hence, we advise the lazy PDP to go to the state’s website instead of the tissues of lies it feeds the public with.
It also accused the APC Government of its inability to give account of the state’s present Debt Profile in the last Seven (7) years. This is a crass demonstration of ignorance by the PDP, If not, it ought to know that, domestic or foreign debt repayment is a continuous exercise from one administration to the other.
The Government inherited a debt of N101 Billion, which it has been trying its best to settle.
The Government defrayed arrears of eight months’ salary and nine months’ pension/gratuity left by the preceding PDP administration.
The PDP in the State, as part of its being hunted and haunted by its past, left a legacy of nepotism, clannishness and squandermenia on its trail and would obviously frown at genuine legacies, which the current Government wants to leave.
The Lalong administration under the well conceived “Lalong Legacy” in 2018, awarded to Bleneson Services Nigeria Limited, contract for the construction of 8No. Primary schools, 6No. Secondary schools and 6No. Hospitals at the cost of N59,883, 614, 363.13.
On 24th August 2020, the Government decided to re-scope the project at the cost of N29, 999,998,626.97, due to the current economic realities.
The contract was terminated due to poor performance by the contractor.
It was re-awarded to United Integrated Ltd, on 17th June 2022, at the cost of N 26,611 202,408.73, after a careful assessment and deduction of the work executed by the past contractor.
Instead of commending the government for the bold step it took in terminating the contract, the PDP is ironically blaming it.
This is curious as a contractor, who clearly defrauded the state would be defended by the opposition party.
We are aware that, some PDP members, who took part in the botched contract, are having sleepless nights because, they have nothing to ‘chop’ from again since the conduit pipe has been blocked.
Also and as earlier stated, the bottom line is that, the PDP is jolted, as the completion of the Lalong Legacy Projects will silence or dwarf everything they claimed to
have achieved during their wasteful eight years of mismanagement of our commonwealth.
Let them be rest assured that, the Legacy Projects would be completed in time under the new contractor and not a friend of some members of the PDP, who did everything to frustrate government’s efforts by taking money without delivering on its contractual obligation.
In order to rubbish or blackmail the Government, it also stated that no contractor has been mobilized to sites.
The Government, based on due process is still processing the work to enable the full and seamless take -off of the projects.
The re-awarded contract sum was computed at the market rates, taking into cognizance the current exchange rate.
The issue of the Governor spending N14.3 Billion on chartered flights is as mischievous as it is laughable. Perhaps the PDP is referring to what the immediate past governor under its watch expended on such chattered flights as it is common knowledge that, his family operated for the purpose of siphoning government resources chattered airline in faraway South Africa.
The truth is that, the Governor worked hard and brought the services of Max Airline to fly the Abuja – Jos route, as a cost saving measure and to reduce the hardships of Plateau citizens, at a very affordable rate and which the Governor patronizes a lot till date.
The outrageous amount alleged by the PDP, can purchase several aircrafts, which is never the priority of the APC Government in the state.
On the allegation of the rebuilding process of the Jos Main Market, which got burnt down in a very suspicious manner in 2002 and which former Governor Jang was never in support of its rebuilding, he refused to have anything to do with it except it was relocated to his community.
Now that the rebuilding contact is about to commence, the PDP has embarked on a wild goose chase with the fathomed allegation of N4 Billion being spent on the demolition of the wreckage.
The true position is that, on 4th February, 2019, the contract for the demolition/implosion of the burnt Jos Main Market, was awarded to MAMKO INVESTMENT AND ENGINEERING LTD at the cost of N1,188, 000 000. 00. After due process.
The MoU is about to be signed for the construction of one of the once most expansive and most beautiful markets in the West African sub region, which instead of receiving commendation from the PDP, it is surprisingly condemning it.
When reconstructed, this once reputable edifice will revamp the economy of the state and boost the income of its citizens and residents thereof.
Again, the PDP is not comfortable with the mechanisms put in place by the Lalong Administration and would prefer, the old ways of doing things where leakages and other financial malfeasances were the order of the day.
The Lalong administration has put in place several machinery of ensuring checks and balances.
This is the first time in the history of Plateau state that, the Audited Financial Statement of the state from 2015 till date has been published consistently online for both local and international audiences including, embassies of foreign governments, which have been commending the Governor Lalong’s administration.
Also, the Local Government Final Account for the year 2021 has been audited and is presently online, which again we refer the cantankerous PDP image makers to visit.
The Lalong Administration has also strengthened the Fiscal and Financial Policy by working very closely with the World Bank to achieve the State Fiscal, Transparency Accountability and Sustainability ( SFTAS) Program For Results.
The state budget has been refined which has earned it award by the World Bank.
Also, the State Accounting System has been tightened through the Federal Government’s policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Other commendable policies embarked upon by the government include, the creation of Debt Management Arrears Framework, Open Government Partnership (OGP), Efficiency Unit, Passage of the Public Procurement Law and the constitution of the Liquidity Management Committee, among several others.
The PDP in the State, which swam in excess crude oil, Paris Club refunds in addition to other cheap funds, is blaming the State Government for borrowing money to pay salaries.
This is not peculiar to Plateau State as based on the current global economic meltdown. Many states including the Federal Government have recently resorted to borrowing to pay workers’ salaries.
With regards to Plateau State, the State Government inherited from the Jang administration, as earlier mentioned, a balance of a meager N96M in all Government Accounts in the midst of eight months backlog of salaries, which the present Government cleared in its first few months in office leading to the workers giving Governor Lalong the nomenclature of “Governor Alert”.
Regrettably, due to challenges being faced by the NNPC, the Government, which has been reputed for prompt payment of workers’ salaries, has challenges, which has led to delay which it is working in earnest to settle.
The Plateau State Government sees workers’ welfare as a priority.
Finally, the APC strongly advises the PDP to desist from its notoriety of spreading falsehood and play the role of an opposition party in the state with decorum.
The APC is amenable to genuine criticism instead of the destruction antics and distractions, which has become the bane of the ailing PDP in our beloved state.
Hon. Sylvanus Namang,
APC State Publicity Secretary.