Barely 48 hours after his demand for the declaration of a state of emergency in Plateau State, Taraba, Benue and Zamfara States, the Minister of of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has come under fire with the Middle Belt Conscience Guard (MBCG), warning him to desist from such “in his own interest.”
The organisation said that by calling for emergency rule in the states over alleged “continuing” killings, the minister was up to mischief.
“Dalung cannot deceive anybody anymore. He has continued to lick his wounds from the terrible defeat he suffered in the hands of Gov. Lalong during the 2014 Plateau state All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship primaries and feels the Governor should never be allowed to govern the state in peace”, MBCG emphasised.
The President of MBCG and renowned civil rights activist, Prince Raymond Enero, in a statement on Monday night in Jos, accused Dalung of “painting a non-existent, gloomy picture of violence and killings in the region”, which he claimed was the motivation of the call for the state of emergency.
He said, “The minister, no doubt, sounded hollow by these submissions. It marketed him, as a lawyer and high profile government official, but very deficient in the requirements of the law on extent or magnitude of violence and killings to compel the Presidency to declare a state of emergency anywhere.
“What MBCG can infer from Dalung’s shameful outing and outburst are veiled continuation of his personal political bickering with Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong. It has pushed him to seek to oust him from office through the backdoor with the instrumentality of state of emergency.
“We are aware of Minister Dalung’s clandestine instigations of youths to take to arms in order to create chaos, anarchy, violence and killings in the state by his strong promotion of the “indigene/settler” syndrome in Plateau.
“The latest pockets of killings on the Plateau are attributable to the designs of the likes of Dalung in cohort with other dark minds to discredit and ridicule the APC administration of Gov. Lalong in the state as well as the government of President Muhammadu Buhari on security.
“Unfortunately, these antics by Dalung have failed to create the needed confusion, since they have not dimmed Lalong’s eagle eyes, as massively affirmed by the people. They have seen and felt the impacts his policies and actions in terminating the reign of terror he inherited in the state, which became synonymous with the name of Plateau.”
Enero said Dalung’s resort to state of emergency appeared to be his last option in the attempts to clip the wings of governor Lalong, his political foe, adding however that his plots dissolve every time since he has launched an unpopular war on a popular leader.
The MBCG statement reads further: “Dalung has been in leadership for years; first, as appointed Caretaker Chairman of Langtang South Local Government Area. Most importantly, from 2004 to 2007, he chaired a civil society group known as Plateau Peace Movement for the Sustenance of Democracy.
“These is the period the crises on the Plateau were hatched and nourished to its peak for years, before Gov. Lalong appeared on the scene; resolved the thorny issues and enthroned peace and security.
“While the crises really blossomed with ceaseless violence and killings, Dalung never remembered to call for the declaration of state of emergency, as he delightedly does now. This is unadulterated mischief and very feeble methods to adopt in attacking a political opponent. It is senseless and immoral to play politics with the lives of innocent Nigerians.
“We have no option now than to warn Mr. Solomon Dalung to restrict his gaffes to the Ministry of Youth and Sports development, for the days he has left in that office, where he has buried the prospects of sports and youth development of Nigeria. He should desist from venturing into specialized fields, such as security, which is the strangest of all to him with such unguided and reckless statements.
“It has not escaped our eyes that Dalung’s dragging of other states into his call for a state of emergency is to diffuse his real intentions and focus, which is on Gov. Lalong. But the people of Plateau cannot buy his gibberish and self-centeredness anymore.
“On the Plateau, the people appreciate Gov. Lalong’s conciseness and precision in handling security issues to Dalung’s celebrated cluelessness on security in the state. Dalung’s incompetence and lack of foresightedness has regrettably obligated him to abandon his job of Minister at the federal level and channels his energies to rule Plateau by proxy.
“It has become absolutely necessary for MBCG to alert Nigerians on the in-house sabotage of people like Mr. Solomon Dalung. It is also important to inform President Buhari on the inherent dangers in retaining him as a cabinet minister.
“In the last three years, Dalung, has proved himself more as a failure, destroyer, saboteur, ethnic jingoist, mischief maker and has corruption allegations dangling on his head. And he is a bloodthirsty man with an unbridled appetite for violence.
“By every stretched of reasoning, after a careful scrutiny of the actions of Minister of Sports, Dalung, which are unbecoming of a federal cabinet member, it is lucid enough to run the conclusion that he personifies one of the many black sheeps in the system.
“It is disturbing to our people that Minister Dalung is using one hand to light the fire of brushfires on the Plateau; whilst trying to use another hand to quench the same fire. He cannot fool all the people all the times and the demand to uproot him from the leadership plane now is stronger than ever.
“It is curious that Mr. Solomon Dalung piteously abdicates his official responsibilities in the ministry of Youths and Sports. His pronounced incompetence, tactlessness in handling official assignments and alleged corrupt tendencies are frustrating the drive of the Presidency to register strong presence in youth and sports development in the country, as done in other sectors.
“Dalung is a minister who has a barrage of ignoble outings, such as his demand for ‘kickback,” as reflected in the 2017 petition by Kingdom Human Rights Foundation, on behalf of their client, Solbec Ltd was awarded a N182 million contract by his ministry of a youth development centre at Ojongbodu, Oyo state.
“Furthermore, his failure to account for millions of naira government released to his ministry for disbursement to different sports federations, leading a House of Representatives Committee on Sports probe are some of Dalung’s many shortcomings.
“Besides, Dalung’s insistence that the Amaju Pinnick led NFF should infuse members of the Chris Giwa faction into the NFF Executive Committee only advertised his corrupt mindset.
“This was after the world football governing body, FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), recognised the Amaju Pinnick-led Nigeria Football Federation as properly elected. These are some of the corrupt contemplations aligned with Dalung as Minister, which have caused the nation international embarrassments’ and lowered the rating of the ministry.
“However, while he displays this helplessness’ in even in understanding the demands of his official responsibilities, as minister, he is very keen on uttering suggestions on security, which he knows very little.”