The attention of the Plateau State Government has been drawn to media reports about a statement credited to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House, to the effect that government spent about forty million naira on the purchase of various items for the welfare of our Muslim brothers during this year’s Eid-El Kabir festival.
This was made available to our correspondent from office of Mr Mark Longyen the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity in Jos .
While the government wishes to confirm the veracity of the report, it also wants to disabuse the minds of the people against the unnecessary attention that it has drawn, as it is a mere case of making a mountain out of an anthill.
The State Government would like to warn the public to beware of harbingers of negative insinuations and pessimists who see nothing good in any action of the government, no matter how well-intended it may be, just because they belong to the so-called opposition group.
For the sake of the uninformed and the purpose of elucidation, Plateau State has 17 LGAs and this would amount to spending a meager sum of over two million naira for the welfare of all the Muslim Ummah in each LGA.
Also, it is at the discretion of the government to decide what constitutes the welfare of the people and how much it should commit to it at any time and, in any case making the figure public was in line with the government’s policy of transparency, without any intention to blow its own trumpet.
In as much as government understands the sentiments arising from the amount spent, especially against the backdrop of the current financial challenges, it is noteworthy that this was done in the typical Plateau spirit with the benevolent intention of treating Christians and Muslims in the state equally, as they say, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
Furthermore, government would like to remind its detractors that, the people-minded administration of Rt. Hon Simon Lalong, which inherited a salary backlog of about eight months from the Jang administration, has already paid the arrears of six months and is about clearing the remaining two months and pension arrears soonest.
Also, based on available records, while the immediate past administration used to spend nothing less than tripled the said amount for the same purpose annually, the present government decided to prune it down in line with its deliberate policy of prudent management of the state’s resources vis-à-vis current economic realities.
The general public is therefore advised to strongly guard against malicious insinuations and speculations emanating from those who do not wish the administration well, so as not to swallow hook, line and sinker, the enemy’s pull-him-down subterfuge targeted at rubbishing or discrediting every government policy and decision.