Jang’s tenure worst in history of Plateau – Gov. Lalong

 Simon Lalong

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has described the administration of the immediate past Governor of the State, Senator Jonah Jang as the worst in the history of the state.

It would be recalled that last Tuesday during the flag off Campaign of the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the state, the former Governor and Senator Representing Plateau North, Jonah Jang, while addressing supporters in Mangu LGA of the state, had claimed that his successor, Governor Lalong, governs the state from Abuja.

Jang also said he didn’t build the state’s new Government House for Governor Lalong to occupy, saying that the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the state should get ready to move into the new apartment by May 29, 2019 as the APC-led government would be voted out of power.

Lalong while reacting through his Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yakubu Dati, expressed shock at the comments made by the former governor during what he described as a ‘poorly attended’ rally of the PDP.

Dati said, “It is unfortunate that Jang could face the people of Plateau and make claims to good governance when his tenure as governor has been one of the worst in the history of Plateau State.

He added that, “It is rude of Jang who has been charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for alleged theft of Plateau money to talk down on the same people he had caused untold hardship and suffering to, through the harsh policies of his administration which recognized only family and friends and to also remind them of the arrogant and divisive manner he had governed the state.

The Commissioner maintained that, people expected the former governor to be contrite and show remorse for the damage he had done the state and to hide his face in shame for failing to live up to the promise he made before he became governor; that he will not loot the treasury until such a time when he has cleared himself of all the allegations of graft standing against him.

According to him, the comments by the former governor at Mangu was a re-enactment of the arrogance, high handedness, contempt and insensitivity to the plight of the people the previous administration was known for, which had thrown the state into crises and caused Plateau so much pain and agony while giving a few in the former governor’s family circle the opportunity to plunder the state.

“You will recall that the former governor had made a similar boast when he was in office to the effect that he will not hand over the keys to the new Government House to anyone outside his family circle, but the people of Plateau in 2015 reminded him through their votes that firstly; he did not build the Government House with his money and secondly; that they knew the essence of democracy and cannot allow one man dictate to them who should govern them”.

Dati further stated that it is also rather sad that a man who has been governor for eight years will speak of governance in the most “pedestrian” manner.

However, Dati said, while it is not true that Lalong governs Plateau from Abuja (whatever that means) he said that the point should be made that the importance of getting the support of the federal government to complement the efforts of the state government towards bringing development to the state cannot be downplayed.

“Governor Lalong, is well aware that the state stands to benefit from interfacing with other tiers of government has not shied away from taking the Plateau Project to a higher level and exerting his skill of persuasion as a lawyer, to attract attention and development to the state.

“That is why in less than two years after he assumed office, Governor Lalong has been able to complete the projects abandoned by the former administration, cleared the backlog of 7 months salaries, pension and gratuity left by the Jang administration, reopened the Fertiliser blending plant and Plateau State University, revived the Highland bottling company, Panyam fish farm, supply tractors and fertilizers to farmers and achieve sustainable peace in the state.”

“These are welcome departure from the tenure of Jang where, due to lack of capacity and inability to interface beyond clannish cleavages, the state was thrown into needless crises to the extent that many agencies and parastatals of the federal government with presence in the state were being relocated to other parts of the country “, he claimed.

“Plateau people have not forgotten that under his watch, a serving Senator and a Hon. Member of the State Assembly was killed in questionable circumstances”.

The commissioner said that Governor Lalong runs an all-inclusive government and that unlike his predecessor, does not in any way regard himself as being above the people of the state so cannot dictate to the people.

“Lalong is serving the people excellently through well thought-out programmes and policies of his administration and has been able to put viable projects in place, endearing him to the well-meaning people of the state. There is no other ‘secret’ to winning Plateau other than this.

“And With the gradual relocation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their original places of abode, Lalong has again moved the bar of leadership a notch higher”, he stressed.