Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State has given marching order to all appointees in his government wishing to contest 2019 elections in various capacities to resign and face their political aspirations.
Sunday Tribune’s findings revealed that some the top appointees had started making moves at their various constituencies to contest the 2019 elections.
A source close to the government revealed that the governor was quite disturbed that majority of those angling to run for one office or the other among his political appointees have started abdicating from their official assignments and were instead engrossed with the execution of their respective ambitions.
“Go to government house or state secretariats, some of these appointees have turned their respective offices to campaign offices, holding nocturnal political meetings that have no bearing to their official assignments. The common project of returning All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Lalong to office in 2019 is of paramount interest to them,” said the source.
When contacted, the State Commissioner of Information and Communication, Honourable Yakubu Dati, said he was not aware of any political appointee using his office as campaign quarters, but added that anyone wishing to contest 2019 election would have to resign in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the APC constitution.
If Buhari loses in 2019, we will escort him to Daura ―Dalung
He said Governor Lalong had made it clear that those nursing ambitions to contest elections in 2019 were free to do so, but not while in office, adding that they just have to give way so that their aspirations don’t affect governance.
“The governor has made it clear that whoever wants to contest is free to contest. This is democracy, but we don’t expect people with ambitions to continue to hold onto political positions. But now that the programme for the party primary is out, those who want to contest will have to give way to pursue their political ambitions.
“Democracy is an expression of freedom. Everybody has the freedom to operate, but the one and only project that is important now is the re-election of Governor Simon Lalong. Whoever does not share this vision is not fit to hold political appointment under the governor of the state,” he said.
Dati debunked the notion in some quarters that the APC was jittery ahead of the 2019 elections, adding that Governor Lalong had repositioned the party through his performance and people-oriented projects executed in the past three years.
“It is the opposition party that should be afraid. If APC can defeat the PDP, while as the opposition, it would be much more easier for it to floor the same party as incumbent.
“For your information, most of the leaders of the PDP have started making moves to decamp to the SDP. We are not afraid of the PDP. Right now, the PDP is in the dark as to who to field for 2019; we are waiting for them,” he said.