THE Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, are at each other’s throats over plans by Governor Simon Lalong to spend N18 billion on British-American flyover. The PDP, which is contending that government should tackle insecurity in the state, alleged that the project was a ploy for siphoning state resources.
State Publicity Secretary of the Party, John Akans, in a statement in Jos titled: “As Lalong spends N18 billion on British-American Flyover: Kidnappers take over Plateau”, accused the governor of inflating the cost of the contract.
Akans said: “The Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is continuously worried with the reckless way and manner Governor Simon Lalong is running affairs of the state. Reliable information is that the governor has earmarked a whooping sum of N18 billion for the recently announced British-American flyover when he is yet to complete other projects on ground.
“It is believed that the governor inflated the cost of the less than half- kilometre bridge to siphon money as he prepares to hand over in the next one year. This is happening amidst the overwhelming and escalating insecurity in the state where people are being killed and kidnapped almost on a daily basis without succour because he has also refused to help the security agencies do their work. The proliferation of criminals in the state which has resulted in rampant killings, kidnappings and ritual activities is wreaking havoc in the state. People are no longer sleeping with their two eyes closed, including our traditional leaders who are the worst victims because of fear of criminals. Why a road construction in Plateau State should cost higher than that of Borno State where Governor Zulum awarded similar construction of such flyover bridge at the cost of N1.6 billion, while Abdulrahman of Kwara also awarded the construction of 34.5km road at the cost 3.7 billion.”
But in a swift reaction, the ruling APC rebuked the PDP for raising such allegations, saying the PDP is “either suffering from crass ignorance or it has totally lost focus of governance process barely seven years after it was sacked by the electorate from governing the state.” Sylvanus Namang, the State APC Publicity Secretary in a reply asked the opposition party to note that “The mega project will cover design, compensation for land and property, geophysical surveys, soil test, load test and the main construction of the interchange (flyover) at the British-America Junction and dualisation from the junction to Lamingo Junction totaling 1.7 kilometres.”
According to him: “Our attention has once again been drawn to a press release by the sleepy PDP in Plateau state. The press statement could have been simply ignored as one of its usual mischief except for the need to put the records straight for the reading public and for posterity. Going through the statement, it could be observed that the party is either suffering from crass ignorance or it has totally lost focus of the governance process barely seven years after it was sacked by the electorate from governing the state.”
“The Honourable Commissioner of Works, Pam Bot-Mang on 18th December, 2021, issued a press release detailing the public on what the whole project entails. For the sleepy PDP’s information, the mega project will cover design, compensation for land and property, geophysical surveys, soil test, load test and the main construction of the interchange (flyover) at the always very busy and congested British America Junction and dualisation from the junction to Lamingo Junction totaling 1.7 kilometers.
“The easy route for the PDP mischief to make its allegation look convincing is the reference to the project being inflated by the governor in order to divert the funds to personal use. This cheap blackmail cannot fly in the face of the Plateau State government’s recent winning of the international prize for transparency in governance in faraway South Korea.”
Namang added, “The party alleged that the insecurity being witnessed in the state is because the state governor has “refused to help the security agencies to do their work.” Nothing can be further from the truth as no governor under the present democratic dispensation has funded and provided the enabling environment to security agencies as governor Lalong.
“Let the point be clearly made, security is everybody’s business and when we ignore this fact, we shall all become victims. The APC government in Plateau State has invested greatly on security with innovation such as the Plateau Peace Building Agency, PPBA which is copied by several states.
“It has consciously mended the broken fences of ethnic rivalries. Why can’t the PDP commend the security agencies when necessary rather than the crocodile tears and orchestrated lamentation by its leaders