The Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday reacted to Governor Simon Lalong’s interest in another term, saying that the governor’s administration had not made much progress.
The party’s spokesperson in the state, John Akans, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Mr Lalong declared his interest in a fresh tenure at a meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) stakeholders in Jos, on Friday.
The governor, while seeking the endorsement of the members of the party, said he needed four more years to consolidate on his achievements in the areas of security, infrastructure, agriculture and education.
But Mr Akans said Mr 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,” Mr Akans said.
He advised Plateau voters to reject Mr Lalong in 2019 and vote for a leader that would be there when needed.
Mr Akans accused the governor 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.
Mr Akans further claimed that many Plateau voters had regretted voting mr Lalong into office, and advised the governor to use the remaining one year to address security issues that had bedeviled the state.
Reacting, Chindo Dafat, spokesperson of the APC in Plateau State, said 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.
Mr Dafat said that Plateau people would decide Mr Lalong’s fate at the right time, and particularly commended the governor 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, Mr 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.