The PDP in Plateau on Tuesday reacted to Gov. Simon Lalong’s interest in another term, with its spokesman, Mr John Akans, saying that Lalong’s administration had not made much progress.
Our correspondent reports that Lalong declared his interest in a fresh tenure at a meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) stakeholders in Jos, on Friday.
Lalong, while seeking the stakeholders’ endorsement, said that he needed four more years to consolidate on his achievements in the areas of security, infrastructure, agriculture and education.
But Akans told our correspondent in Jos that Lalong had “largely been an absentee governor”.
“Lalong only appears in Plateau once in a while. He spends most of the time in Abuja attending to party matters or even attending weddings.
“Sometimes, we are told that he has gone abroad to woo investors. A lot of money is invested in these trips with nothing to show for it.
“Just last week, women from Daffo and other attacked communities came to Jos to protest Lalong’s persistent absence from the state since the attacks started.
“We all want to see him in Plateau working for the people, but he is never in the state,” Akans said.
He advised Plateau voters to reject Lalong in 2019 and vote for a leader that would be there when needed.
Akans accused Lalong of “massive waste of resources on frivolous activities that have earned the state more enemies than friends”.
The PDP spokesman claimed that the last three years had been “very bad” for Plateau residents, saying that severe hunger, poverty and want had been their lot.
Akans further claimed that many Plateau voters had regretted voting Lalong into office, and advised the governor to use the remaining one year to address security issues that had bedeviled the state.
Reacting, Mr Chindo Dafat, Publicity Secretary of the APC in Plateau, said that he was “very surprised to hear a Plateau resident accusing Lalong of poor performance”.
“Lalong has performed very credibly; just last month, President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state and inaugurated several projects. Everybody witnessed the inauguration of the projects.
“So, if anyone says that nothing has been achieved, that is unfortunate and not right.
“The accusation is just the opinion of whoever you spoke with, but it is good to be fair to someone that has tried his best for the people,” he said.
Dafat said that Plateau people would decide Lalong’s fate at the right time, and particularly commended Lalong for paying salaries of workers consistently, since he came into office.
“His two predecessors – Joshua Dariye and Jonah Jang – left lots of salaries unpaid, but Lalong has cleared all the arrears and even settled pensions and gratuities 0f retired workers. Such person deserves more years,” he said.
On the attacks in the rural communities, Dafat declared that they were “purely political”.
“2019 is around the corner and politicians are all looking for campaign materials. The attacks are just part of politics,” he said.