By: Lebel M. Daniel,
Former Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly (PLHA), Rt. Hon. Michael Dapialong, during the impeachment era of Senator Joshua Dariye, then as governor has stated that he would perform better as governor of the State, if given the opportunity to serve by the people.
Speaking exclusively to REALITY today, the former Speaker (between 2006 and 2007), who took time to assess the incumbent administration in the state, gave the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), led by Governor Simon Bako Lalong, below average performance, while emphasizing that he can do better.
According to Rt. Hon. Dapialong, “Having served the state previously, I think I have a lot to offer to the state based on my past experience. I believe there is room for many corrections to be made to the betterment of Plateau citizens and that will best be done only when I am there”.
Rt. Hon. Michael while expressing his aspiration for the number one seat and on the hope that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party would give him the opportunity to be their flag bearer, said, “In politics, once you are already a politician you will always want to represent your people. Sometimes you as an individual will like to go on sabbatical but, people will come and say what is happening and naturally you cannot do it on your own and at that stage one cannot turn down the request of his people in trying to see that you represent them well, for me, I am telling you that, I will certainly be out to contest election so long as, my party’s formula of doing things will enable them win elections. So, if the zoning arrangement of my party warrants me, then certainly I will perform better as governor of my dear state come 2019.”
“Quite a number of things are not happening within the expectation of the people. You would recall that when the state government started or embarked on its campaign, they were full of promises and hope creation. They said that they were going to offer change and the change was supposed to take us from what was alleged to be seemingly bad to where we feel it should be an improved status in the welfare of the people. But, unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the issue today.
“We have seen a number of heavy resources been doled out in the name of bail out and Paris Club deduction.
“All these things are been released to government but, when you go down and check the records, you will find that the money is not physically on the ground. I doubt if the resources are meeting the purpose for which they are meant for!.”
“We expect that, with the Paris club and bailout funds by now most of the backlog of pension arrears and gratuity should have been liquidated but, the whole thing is not like that.
“Small businesses are also not growing. I think the government is not doing what the people expected. Unemployment is also on the increase on the Plateau, with a lot of graduates staying idle at home without jobs after years of studies.” He stated.
On the security situation in the state and the peace which the government of the day have so much leveraged on, Rt. Hon. Dapialong who has been in the PDP since it was formed in the state said, “The security situation in our dear state is the most worrisome today. People are been killed. Pockets of killings are going on in the state, day in day out, which has become unabated. The most unfortunate thing is that, the government is not attacking that aspect of it, all they are good in doing is giving the impression that peace has returned and the APC led administration severally have kept on denying that there is a problem on the Plateau. Unfortunately, the town hall meeting with President Buhari during his visit to the state was like a form of stereo type arrangement were people where handpicked to sing praises of the government instead of giving him our true situation in the state”.
“Moreover the APC led administration after spending a lot of state resources in printing election materials and logistics, postponed the election in the name of security challenges, a situation the continued to claim that have controlled in the state. To me the whole fact is that they were afraid of the PDP, knowing fully well that the PDP will clinch almost all the Chairmanship seats in the state.