Commissioner for Information and Communication in Plateau State, Hon. Yakubu Dati, has said that the comment by Minister for Sports and Youths Development, Solomon Selcap Dalung, criticizing Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State for naming a newly commissioned road in Jos after President Muhammadu Buhari is a confirmation that he is being used by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to rubbish the gains made by the All Progressives Congress, APC, on account of President Buhari’s recent visit to the state.
The Minister took to his Facebook page to criticise the Plateau State governor and described the naming of the road after Buhari as a disaster.
He said the decision to name the street after President Buhari was borne out of desperation by the governor to secure a second term in 2019.
Said Dalung: “Another disaster of the President’s visit was the renaming of Yakubu Gowon way to Muhammadu Buhari way. To say the least, it is embarrassing.
“Gowon was the President’s boss how can he be stripped of a 40 years privilege and honour in his home state? This is the worst thing that can happen to a man like the elder statesman. I believed that General Gowon is feeling betrayed and abandoned by his own people.
“This is a political decision of Lalong desperately taken to secure 2019 ambition but not the decision of the people of plateau. We condemned this act with all sense of love for Yakubu Gowon as a father, while advising Governor Alert to withdraw this unpatriotic decision and publicly apologized to Yakubu Gowon and the President for embarrassing them.
“If the visit of the president was intended to secure 2019 for Lalong, it has exposed his ambition to great risk and multiply his opponents. ”
Mr. Dati, when contacted, described the comments by the minister as the “gibberish of an attention seeker bereft of logic and fact.”
Dati said the truth of the matter is that the Yakubu Gowon way still exists as no road was renamed.
The Commissioner explained that the “Muhammadu Buhari Way” starts at Mararaban Jama’a round-about through Anguldi and Bukuru Express way then ends at Ta’en round-about.
He said the existing Yakubu Gowon Way starts at the same Ta’en junction through Building Materials – Zarmaganda Junction, Miango – Old Airport Junction, through Secretariat Over head bridge and ends at Plateau Specialist Hospital round-about.
The Commissioner further explained that the D. B Zang road starts from the Plateau Specialist Hospital round-about and ends at Hill-Station round-about.
Joseph Gomwalk Road then starts from Hill-Station round-about and ends at Polo Club round-about.
While Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Way starts at Polo round-about through Kabong (Gada Biu) overhead bridge to new Zaria Road Stadium and ends at Farin Gada round-about
Dati said by giving the impression that the portion known as Yakubu Gowon Way was renamed, Dalung was trying invent lies in order to score cheap political points.
The Commissioner said if the minister had bothered to cross check his facts rather than conspiring with opposition leaders, he would have been saved the embarrassment of ignorant exhibitionism and technological inexactitude.
He said the Lalong administration is proud to name the stretch of road from Maraban Jamaa round about to Taen roundabout after the President because it is the tradition the world over to name projects after the dignitaries that commission them.
He said that explains why the road from Polo round-about through Kabong (Gada Biu) overhead bridge to new Zaria Road Stadium which ends at Farin Gada round-about was named after former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Dati said if the minister had the presence of mind to observe things when President Buhari visited Plateau rather than looking for faults, he would have noticed that the people of the state were jubilant over all the courtesies extended to Mr. President including the naming of the road after him and would not have been asking whether the decision is that of the Governor alone.
The Commissioner said if Dalung has any sense of history and respect for elder statesmen, he would have excused General Yakubu Gowon’s name from his bid to settle personal scores.
Dati said he wonders how anybody of Dalung’s political standing can say Lalong is afraid of him politically when the highest he has gone in his political journey is to be appointed a caretaker chairman of a local government during the illegal administration that was contrived to replace Dariye’s in 2006.
Dati said in all the minister’s political outing he has been floored mercilessly by his opponents including Beni Lar, who trashed him at the PDP primary for Langtang North/Langtang South federal constituency in 2007 and when he was defeated at the APC governorship primary by Lalong in the build up to the 2015 elections.
“This is a minister who has been a monumental embarrassment to Plateau State due to his illogic and asinine comments in the past like when he said Nigeria can never win the World Cup or when he said Nigerian athletes do not need to prepare to win tournaments.
“It is instructive to note that the APC has never won election in his ward or his local government of Langtang South,” Hon. Dati concluded.