By: Valentine Adese,
The Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Plateau state, Hon. Letep Dabang has finally come out to explain to the people of Plateau state that his reaction to the comments of the Minister of Sports, Barr Solomon Dalung, during and after the visit of President Buhari to the state, was not connected to any personal grievance but, the alleged sad and condemnable attitude of the Minister and his insult on President Buhari and Governor Lalong in his comments.
Hon. Letep, while answering questions in a live political programme today on Rhythm 93.7 Fm Jos, monitored by REALITY said the Minister, who was supposed to be among those welcoming and being with the President during the visit, chose rather to be on a radio programme and was insulting the President, the Governor and his guests.
Hon. Letep said the most annoying thing the Minister did was that he was even lying to the people in most of his alleged facts that cannot be verified.
“We have checked all platforms of authority, we have looked at the website of the Ministry of Finance and that of the Debt Management Office yet, we cannot find his claims.
“While the President, who gave out bailout funds to state governors to pay salaries was commending the Governor for paying, his aide, the Minister was on the other hand saying that payment of salary is not an achievement. What an insult to Mr. President and the Governor!
“We were even looking for him at the airport when Mr. President was to leave and we could not find him because he was not there. That was why in anger when I was addressing the pressmen, who were there I made those comments. I don’t really have any personal issue with the Minister! Hon, Letep had explained.
You would recall that Hon. Solomon Dalung had taken to his facebook page to slam accusations on the administration of the ruling APC administration in Plateau State led by Governor Simon Lalong, under the title: #SundayCorner. When Silence is No Longer Golden, SO I HAVE TO SAY THIS!
Dalung in that four page series in part said: “Governor Lalong accused the previous administration of leaving a debt burden of #240 billion, but failed woefully to account for the loans he collected including bail out and Paris club funds.
“Were all these monies spent on payments of salaries or pensions or completion of projects? Why was Lalong silence about $2 billion loan equivalent of #720 billion collected by the state government from African Development Bank for potatoes processing factory. The FEC approved the loan for the state in November 2017, payable in 25 years. What about the #2 billon collected for the completion of Zaria road stadium? The debt profile of Plateau as it stands today is getting to a trillion Naira if not more. What infrastructure does Lalong administration has to show for the ADB loan and other loans collected locally? This is worrisome beyond mere praise singing.
“I am not opposed to Lalong’s second tenure because it will be determined by the people of plateau but I will not fail in my responsibility as a social critic to speak the truth which is my trademark because I am involved. I am a founding member of APC but will not condone injustice which was the basis of change. I opposed Dariye and Jang, if I will be silence now then it means I am a hypocrite. Another disaster of the President’s visit was the renaming of Yakubu Gowon way to Muhammadu Buhari way. To say the least, it is embarrassing. Gowon was the President’s boss how can he be stripped of a 40 years privilege and honour in his home state? This is the worst thing that can happen to a man like the elder statesman. I believed that General Gowon is feeling betrayed and abandoned by his own people.”
Reacting to these allegations in the programme, \hon. Letep, called on the people of Plateau state to cross check the facts presented to blackmail the governor by themselves since the world is now in a computer information age.
He explained that Dalung as a lawyer failed to know the difference between approval and release and that the AfDB that he claimed was N3billion and not the amount he blackmailed the Governor with and that it is still an approval yet to be released.
According to the Chairman, “Because we are also embarrassed as a party, we have written the President, the Debt Office, the Ministry of Finance and the state Governor to furnish us with this information. We have also written the party to intervene and sort out the matter and discipline Dalung where he is found wanting.”