Home / News / Local / Lalong blasts Sango, PDP over alleged financial mismanagement, says allegations mere diversionary diatribe

Lalong blasts Sango, PDP over alleged financial mismanagement, says allegations mere diversionary diatribe

Gov. Simon Lalong
Gov. Simon Lalong
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has ‎described the allegations of mismanagement of funds against his administration by the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Damishi Sango, as a malicious, ridiculous diatribe and mere diversionary tactic employed by the opposition in the state to score cheap political points.
Sango had on Tuesday alleged, among others, during his maiden press conference in Jos, that the Lalong-led APC government received over N115 billion as revenue from the Federation Account and bank loans‎ and diverted the funds to private use.
Reacting to Sango’s claim, the Governor, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mark Longyen,‎ said the PDP chairman’s allegations were aimed at diverting the people’s attention from the expected findings of the recently inaugurated Judicial Commission of Inquiry he set up to investigate all the financial transactions of the immediate past PDP administration of former governor Jonah Jang.
The statement reads:
The attention of the Plateau State Government has been drawn to media reports credited to the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Damishi Sango, who at a press conference on Tuesday, reportedly made wild and largely unsubstantiated allegations cum fabrications, ostensibly to cast negative aspersions on and maligning the person of our indefatigable Governor, the Rt Honourable Simon Lalong, and the APC-led administration in the state, just to score cheap political points.
Ordinarily, the APC Government would not have dignified Sango and his PDP cohorts with a response because even the least informed Plateau common man knows that the allegations are just wild allegations that, by and large, put logic on its head and curiously devoid of documentary evidence, and so should be ignored by all right-thinking individuals.
In fact, joining issues with the PDP and its leaders, who are clearly bent on drowning with their dying party, is tantamount to over-flogging a dead horse, which PDP represents. But our response is to set the records straight for posterity and expose Sango’s diatribe as the ranting of the leader of a political party which requiem mass the APC Government in Plateau State is already celebrating.
It is indeed not difficult for any discerning mind to decifer that the timing of the PDP press conference, which is coming barely a week after the Governor inaugurated a 6-member Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe the immediate past PDP government of former governor Jonah Jang over alleged multi-billion naira profligacy, is a mischievously orchestrated opposition falsehood and diversionary tactics aimed at deceiving the public, unwittingly gaining public sympathy, and settling political scores with the Governor over the inquiry.
The good people of Plateau State should, therefore, not allow themselves to be deceived, used and dumped by these same leaders of a party, which is best known with the acronym of “People Deceiving People,” whose obnoxious agenda is a sinister move to divert attention from the multi- billion naira looting sleaze that the PDP and its leaders bequeathed to Governor Lalong, which the Judicial Commission of Inquiry he recently constituted is about to unearth and make public‎.
Now, to address the issues raised by Sango one by one, the former Sports Minister, who is on record to have been unsuccessfully contesting for the governorship of the state since 1999 and has perennially been woefully losing on all occasions on account of his huge unpopularity, is said to have claimed that the Lalong administration has received over N115 billion as revenue from the Federation Allocation and loans since inception and has squandered all the funds by diverting same to private use.
This is both malicious and ridiculous because it is a clear demonstration of how Sango and the PDP are twisting facts and figures in order to paint the Lalong administration black, a sort of Pull Him Down syndrome, something akin to giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
The net payments accruing to Plateau State from the Federation Account on a monthly basis, after the multi-billion loans taken by the Jang administration are deducted, are available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance, and one would have expected Sango and his PDP co-travellers to visit the site and confirm the figures. As a matter of fact, the state’s average monthly allocation is less than N2 billion, which can hardly settle Plateau’s wage bill of about N1.5 billion, before going to press, but they deliberately failed to do that and instead churned out imaginary figures.
The PDP chairman, who made the allegations in his maiden press briefing, also claimed that he was set to reposition PDP and reclaim the governorship seat from APC in 2019, and falsely stated without proof of documentary evidence, that the APC government spent N4.5 billion on the purchase of luxury cars for selected government officials “at a time pensioners and civil servants were being denied their pay package.”
Again, this is another case of the opposition PDP deliberately twisting facts and figures in the most malicious and shameless manner imaginable. The records are there to prove that the Lalong administration inherited a paltry N96 million sum and had to take a bank loan of N4.5 billion in June 2015 for the purpose of settling a part of the eight months unpaid salaries of striking workers and nearly one year of pension arrears,and did not use it to purchase exotic official vehicles as claimed.
Sango further accused Governor Lalong of taking commercial bank loans amounting to over N18 billion with nothing to show for it, adding that “yet Lalong has been crying out loud that he inherited crippling loans from the immediate past PDP administration of former governor Jonah Jang.
Again, this is another false claim clearly aimed at rubbishing the Lalong administration to score cheap political points. It is on record that this administration inherited a quantum of multi-billion naira abandoned or uncompleted projects from Jang’s government and in its wisdom decided to continue with them in the belief that government is a continuum. As such, it accessed a Federal Government backed infrastructure facility of N10 billion tied to the excess crude account. It also received another Federal Government intervention sum of about N10.5 billion, as bailout, to clear the remaining arrears of workers’ salaries, which it has paid with only July and August , 2016 salaries outstanding at the moment. How on earth would someone with access to information about all these claim that Government has nothing to show for such funds?
The PDP also accused Lalong of purchasing and installing GPRS car tracking devices for 100 new official cars at a whooping sum of N1.4 billion, which he claimed, translates to a cost of N14 million to track one car for one year!
This is particularly laughable, as there is no iota of truth in the claim, a blatant lie fabricated in Lucifer’s Kingdom of hell, as this too clearly stands logic on its head again. Let nobody be deceived, the car tracking devices cost the state a total of N8 million only at a unit cost of eighty thousand each. We challenge the opposition to come up with documentary evidence about such a transaction and publish theirs so as to controvert this figure for posterity.
Sango further alleged that the Lalong administration spent over N500 million on the patching and rehabilitation of roads within the Jos metropolis in the last one year, with many potholes still adorning the roads.
It is true that at the onset of the Lalong administration, the sum of N500 million was expended on the rehabilitation of about 18 metropolitan roads in Jos through the state’s Direct Labour Agency, to the admiration of many commuters in Jos, who gave government a pat on the back for it, so what is wrong with that? The amount is meagre, a mere drop of water in an ocean, considering the enormity of the challenges of road rehabilitation and attendant cost implication of rehabilitating the remaining roads. Government cannot start and complete all road rehabilitation over night.
According to Sango, who is a former Chairman of Barkin Ladi LG, the Governor Lalong administration also “diverted Local Government funds, and things could worsen in the months ahead with LG staff being owed up to a year’s wages.”
This, without doubt, is pure fabrication from the pit of hell, as Governor Lalong has, time and time again, reiterated his resolve never to tamper with local government funds, has kept to his words to date, and has virtually cleared almost all arrears of salaries which he inherited from the PDP government. Again, we challenge the opposition to publish their facts, if at all they have any.
Sango further took a swipe at the Lalong Government for keying into the Federal Government’s Agricultural Ranching Policy, describing it as “selling of the dignity and inheritance of the people of Plateau on the altar of seeking for relevance from Abuja in the name of a rejected grazing reserve policy.” What a blackmail after investigations revealed that the PDP and its stalwarts instigated the people who wantonly demonstrated mainly to demonise the policy and the people against the government, a move that boomerangeg on them like a devastating tsunami.
From this it is clear that the PDP and its chairman are living in the past and speaking from the perspective of an uninformed position because the Lalong government has since keyed into the Federal Government’s Ranching Policy, not Grazing Reserves Policy as claimed, and the people have already overwhelmingly embraced Ranching, which is a lucrative, modernized form of livestock farming, after series of wide consultations, and is now awaiting implementation.
Let Sango be reminded that Grazing Reserves and Grazing Routes were gazetted by the Jang administration in 2009, and even financial allocations made for same in the state’s 2014‎ budget under him. Governor Lalong considers Jang’s Grazing Reserves and Routes as archaic and socio-economically inimical to the interest of Plateau State, hence the Ranching option.
Government, therefore, calls on the PDP opposition in the state to desist from distractive, dirty politics and join hands with the Lalong administration in moving the state forward by either making valuable contributions, or alternatively, remain as a genuine, sincere vibrant opposition party that will strengthen democracy in Plateau State.

About Global Patriot Staff

Check Also

Nigerian Editors vehemently condemn ‘provocative, primitive, anti-people, anti-press freedom’ bill

  The Guild of Nigerian Editors, NGE, has risen from its Standing Committee meeting in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *