In this interview with the Plateau PDP Deputy Governorship Candidate in 2019, Dr. James Dalok revealed why he joined politics at the age of 12 and, his emergence as the PDP flag bearer even as he gave a response to allegations of bribing his way through the PDP stalwarts, alleged receiving of N50 million from ITF Director-General to serve as a spy for the APC government among others.
He also spoke on crisis bedeviling the PDP both at the National and states even as he condemned the poor management of conflict where he expressed confidence that the party will resolve all and move on stronger to grab the 2023 power.
Can we know you?
My name is Dr. James Dalok
When you are nominated as Deputy Governor Candidate in 2019, most of the people in PDP were wondering how you emerged, since you have not been in politics and some even said you are not popular?
Right from the onset since I was 12 years old I develop an interest in politics, I joined politics at the age of 12 and I had this belief that one day I would become a leader. I used to be an errand boy to Senator Ibrahim Nasiru Mantu, as we pace posters for him on the streets, that is when I developed an interest in politics which my grandfather always says one day you are going to govern people and that also inspired me.
My political prowess even began when Ex Director-General of Industrial Training Funds, ITF, Prof Oku Akirojora left office, that I began to campaign for Plateau man to take over the office, then, I used politics to bring a plateau indigent Prof Longmas Wapmuk to emerge as the Director-General, who was the first indigenous Plateau person to occupy the seat.
Was it true that you are sent by your former boss Sir Joseph Ari and that he even gave you N50,000 million?
That is not true, Joseph Ari didn’t have any idea about my ambition and we even fought with him and he told me that I want to fight his brother Lalong, he asked me, so you want to leave right now, we are not in talking term with Joe Ari because he saw me joining the opposition party against his wishes.
The crisis that is happening in PDP what is the cause and how will you proffer a solution to it?
The crises emerged as a result of lies created against the former Minister, Damishi Sango which was aimed at using it to discredit him.
I want Plateau people to understand the crisis is a result of national intervention because when Sango explained, they’re not ready to listen to his explanation. However, the national leadership has already appointed the former Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki to intervene and we are waiting for the outcome of the discussion.
The former Senate president committee would ensure that there is fairness and that will unite the PDP as one family to foster unity and we can capture government in 2023.
Are you aspiring for any position come 2023?
Yes, of course, I am contesting for the governorship position in Plateau State because of the zoning arrangement and I hope to emerge as the PDP flag bearer.
Sincerely speaking if given the mandate I would unite every tribe, Fulani, Berom, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo all ethnic nationalities, and residents here on the Plateau. I want you all to know that I’m for the masses, by God’s willing with my experience we shall foster unity amongst all religious and ethnic tribes in Nigeria.
In the area of security the former Governor Jonah David Jang has established an outfit, “Operation Rainbow “, each community would be trained including the local vigilante to work for the peaceful coexistence especially those that live in a particular area for 10 years will be brought together to form a security network in tackling insecurity in their communities.
In term of infrastructure, Lalong has nothing on the ground left, or could it be his legacy projects, Plateau people are yet to see the dividends of democracy, roads are completely behind, well Lalong tried in the area of welfare but we are getting to 3 months where workers of local Governments including Teachers have not received their salaries.
People See You As Someone That Can’t Give What Is Your Take On That?
yes, I can’t dish out money just because I want to woo people but my concern is to focus more on those that need genuine assistance, for instance, those who are sick and, I can’t be going to beer parlors to drink and share money just like that, what I want Plateau people to understand is that I’m a free giver.
I welcome strangers at my home and ensure that if anyone is sick I can go out of my way to borrow money and treat that person.
As it is there are two factional groups of PDP in Mangu LGA but as a grassroots politician, my campaign would canvas the support from the people by getting closer to the right people especially those that are in control of all delegates ahead of the primaries.
Some say you are a fool, some said you can’t be a leader, some call you names what is your take?
Sincerely speaking if it comes out from people, some are envious of me, while some are looking for the same position your looking for and to just discredit you by all means, but by all mean if your progressing they will hate you.
I always believe in myself, they call me a fool, but that fool rose from the office of a clerk to the top position, let attend examination together with them and see if I can’t pass them. I was the first Plateau State indigent to obtain a Ph.D. in Accounting and Fellow of Accounting in Nigeria, ICAN, and so leadership is given by God, not by a mere mockery of the person.
Most of my fellow aspirants always abuse me, but God is grateful, and from my choice of being the Deputy Governorship candidate to Senator Jeremiah Timbut Useni I have learned a lot from him, he is somebody that gives you strong advice or sympathize with someone that is in trouble. Useni is a cheer giver that encourages those around him.
I remembered when I was in ITF some of the staff mocked me, Longmas Wapmuk made me the Area accountant later Joseph Ari posted me to Ikeja in Lagos state in charge of revenue where I inspected more than 10,000 companies and most of the managing directors respected me a lot.
However, some said I can’t be able to achieve but I continued to trust in God Almighty up to now nobody has broken my records in ITF, it was there that I met with Atiku Abubakar, Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, and Dangote, as well Airline companies, multinational companies, etc for a fool to be responsible to inspects and verify their accounts is quite unfortunate.