March 7, 2018
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Plateau State Chapter, heartily welcomes Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on his State to Plateau.
We understand that during this visit, the President will be commissioning the Fly Over at the Secretariat Junction and the dualised road from there through Yakubu Gowon Way to Mararaban Jama’a roundabout.
Another project for commissioning is the Miango Road – Kufang – State Lowcost, Rantya and Wild Life Park –Rafiki Road, while some units of tractors under a government – private arrangement will also be launched.
We learn too that, Mr. President will unveil a “Plateau State Road Map to Peace”.
As welcoming as this visit is, we note that, Mr. President was long-expected to have visited the state to condole the people on all the daredevil attacks visited on very peaceful communities since the inauguration of the current administration.
Plateau people are still mourning the killing of dozens of peaceful and hospitable people of Irigwe people in Miango Chiefdom of Bassa Local Government (and the attacks are continuing!) and the murder and displacement of more communities in Riyom, Barkin Ladi, as well as, Bokkos Local Government Areas.
So, while the President unveils the Road Map to peace, we remind him that, as at the last count, over 44 villages were under forceful occupation by Fulani herdsmen in some LGAs in some parts of Plateau, and we have not seen any federal efforts to either recover them or reconstruct communities destroyed by the herdsmen.
In addition, any serious attainment in peace, as is being claimed by the Lalong administration should naturally have led to the conduct of our long-awaited Local Government elections, which is the rightful yearning of all Plateau people.
So, any road map to peace that does not take cognizance of and commit to justice and equitable treatment of the Internally Displaced People of Plateau, as well as, uplifting of democracy, will only be a roadmap that is short-sighted, empty and pretentious.
The attention, Mr. President has paid to the environment and displaced persons in the North East should be rightly extended to the displaced of Plateau.
It is heart-warming that President Buhari is commissioning projects that were initiated and being executed by the PDP administration in Plateau.\
The Secretariat junction fly-over was already at about 87 percent completion when the PDP government handed over power in 2015.
We wonder why the APC administration is cutting off the Secretariat Junction – British America Junction dualisation as part of the overall dualisation plan for the Secretariat junction – Mararaban Juma’a roundabout.
Completing that whole stretch of road would have made more meaning to the image of Plateau than the president being given an incomplete portion to commission.
Unfortunately, a similar situation is also found playing out on the Miango Road – Rafiki road project.
The PDP government had designed it and awarded the contract to make it a dualised road not a patchy, rough and temporary affair as all can see.
Similarly, Plateau people now understand that their gratitude for the state low cost -Tudun wada road project should go instead to the businessman Dangote, who has given a handsome One Billion Naira(₦1bn) as part of his company’s Corporate Social Responsibility, for the work on this road that is being claimed by an over-excited Lalong government!
PDP is also rather both amazed and amused that the road projects slated for commissioning could be tagged as abandoned.
PDP left no abandoned projects – they were on-going projects right up to the Handing Over of the reins of government.
What the Lalong administration needs is a focused mind to avoid confusing itself and keep sustaining the PDP vision of complete infrastructural turn around for Plateau State.
On the speculated 400 units of tractors to be launched, it will be helpful to ask Plateau people, if they have indeed seen such a large number of tractors.
We have seen just a few. Unless if the tractors have an inherent capability to multiply themselves!
In addition, it is really tragic that this government has shown crass incapacitation to continue and raise to the next level the Agricultural Services Training Centers (ASTC) that was the hallmark of agricultural turnaround in the North of Nigeria.
The vision, was to make agriculture a joyful and fruitful money spinner for our rural poor and motivate the youth to return to the farm and thus deal a mortal blow on poverty and unemployment.
Now, by bringing in only units of tractors and abandoning the ASTC ready-made infrastructure which contains complete agricultural specialist services, Plateau appears set to making other people, not farmers, instant millionaires at the expense of the struggling people of Plateau.
In conclusion, we make bold to state that among the many projects initiated and under construction by the PDP administration, the Lalong government has chosen only two to continue to various levels of completion - the Secretariat Junction Fly-Over and the dualised road from there to Mararaban Jama’a roundabout and the Miango Road and Wildlife Park to Rafiki Road.
Now, take away these projects from the President’s schedule, then we can ask ourselves: what has Governor Simon Lalong really achieved for Plateau State in his 33 months in office?