By: Valentine Adese and Frank Agbai
The face-off between the present All Progressive Congress (APC) administration led by Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong and the immediate past Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration then led by Senator Jonah Jang, over the level of debt in Plateau State and the way and manner to recover the alleged stolen or diverted funds of the state is taking another turn, as some youths in the state are calling on the APC administration in the state to leave Sen. Jang alone and be rather focused in delivering the dividends of democracy to the people.
You would recall that a group under the aegis of Integrity Group (IG) last week, under the platform of the APC, in a press briefing, had called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to commence probe into the allegations against the former governor of the state, Sen. Jonah Jang and his administration to enable Plateau State recover some of its alleged stolen funds.
You would also recall that the Governor of the state, in several fora, has continued to tell the world that he has reported the debt situation he met in the state amounting to over N222bn to the EFCC, and that to date, the EFCC is yet to act to assist the state in recovering the alleged stolen funds.
In another development however, it was widely reported that Sen. Jonah Jang had honoured an invitation by the EFCC recently. He was said to have spent few hours in the office of the EFCC and later allowed to go.
The said invitation of the former governor, was herald by his Senior Legislative Assistant, Bar. Olivia Dazyem to the world even before the date slated on the invitation letter.
However, in a swift reaction, a group of Plateau State youths under the aegis of Concerned Youths, in a press release made available to REALITY, dated 16th April, 2016 and signed by one Izam Jacob and Nemfot Andrew, as Chairman and Secretary respectively, have called on the APC administration in the state to be focused on its campaign promises on delivering the dividends of democracy to the people, instead of giving itself to the current distraction by the IG to start investigating and probing the Jang led administration in the state.
The youths in their press release, questioned the integrity of the IG, knowing that they were mostly part of the administration they are now calling the EFCC to probe.
According to them, “Those members of the IG, calling for this probe, should be bold to give account of their stewardship to the state during their appointment under the PDP administration led by Sen. Jang because, we know some of them bought and built houses, bought cars and lived very large during Jang first term in office.
“Secondly, they should tell the people of the state, their role during the infamous impeachment of Joshua Dariye then as governor and what they finally gained after it.”
The release in part reads:
“Our attention has been drawn to a press conference statement issued by a group of people under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), who are calling on the EFCC to commence the probe of the immediate past administration of PDP in the state then led by Senator Jonah David Jang.
“To us, it is not coming as a surprise as the culture of not respecting our past leaders in the state has continued to be one of the bane of our slow development in the state. We say it happen right from the days of late J. D. Gomwalk, to late Solomon Lar, then to Sen. Joshua Dariye.
“We wish to condemn this behaviour and call on the state administration of the APC currently under Governor Simon Lalong to rather concentrating in delivering its electioneering promises to the people. The people are suffering and needs economic empowerment, education and food on their table.
“A reliance on debt recovery to provide the needful to society by this administration would indicate that the administration never had a plan before coming to power.
“As an advice, we call on the governor to check the track records of those who are calling on the EFCC on his behalf and see their roles in other past administration including the Jang administration in question.”
You would recall that the APC Chairman in the state, Hon. Letep Dabang, had in an interview with REALITY, told the world that the Lalong’s administration in the state would not be stampeded into taking rash decisions especially, to be used as an administration to actualize vendetta in the state.