The above story which was published one year ago, in July, 2016 by an online platform was yesterday again shared by someone on some social media platforms, particularly Plateau Intelligentsia and MOPPLAH, and for a casual reader, on face value, it appears to be a new story or fresh loan, whereas it is not and so should be disregarded forthwith.
It, notably, smacks of political chicanery cum mischief for an opposition politician -all in the name of opposition politics -to go to the extent of lifting a story which was published by Dailypost exactly a year ago and sharing same on Social Media platforms with the intention, as it were, to create a false impression that it is a new story or fresh bank facility. It is clearly a clandestine subterfuge aimed at both deceiving gullible members of the public who do not read between the lines, as well as maligning the Governor and Government in power in order to score cheap political points.
Yes, it is true that the said loan was taken as ‘Infrastructure Loan’ by Government with the unanimous approval of the state House of Assembly under a Supplementary budget in late 2015 as statutorily required. This was necessitated by the need and resolve of the Governor to go ahead with and complete all the multi billion Naira projects that were inherited from the preceding PDP government. And these funds were judiciously channeled into the projects some of which have since been completed while others are ongoing.
It is on record that, despite the paucity of funds: 1. The Secretariat Flyover Bridge was completed 2. The Plateau Hospital Roundabout -Dogon Karfe Link Road was completed. 3. The Plateau Geographical Information System (PLAGIS) was completed. 4. The Jos Metropolitan Roads project was completed. 5. The Plateau State University (PLASU) campus road network project was completed. 6. PLASU’s Multimillion Naira Ultramodern e-Library was equally completed. 7. The College of Health Technology Zawan Multimillion Naira e-Library was also completed. 8. The General Hospital Riyom was also completed. 9. The Kanke General Hospital is now completed. 10. General Hospital Mabudi is near completion. 11. The Multibillion Naira Olympic Size Zaria Road Stadium is near completion, etc, etc. Plus numerous other multi billion Naira worth of ongoing projects for provision of infrastructural facilities at various stages of completion, besides numerous newly awarded contracts -all of which are visible to the most incurable opposition critics, as well as to the blind and audible to the deaf and dumb.
All these cannot be completed overnight even if government has all the money to pay since such projects are also time-bound. If it were not so, then the preceding government would have completed all their projects without bequeathing them to the Lalong Government. The opposition should therefore focus attention on helping a sick PDP recuperate to become a virile opposition party instead of dissipating energy on political blackmail like this. Government welcomes constructive criticism laden with intelligent suggestions, solutions and advice from all quarters which can add value to governance as opposed to this ‘Pull-Him-Down approach.
It is noteworthy that one of the grounds that earned Governor Lalong an award to be bestowed on him in August as the Best Performing Nigerian Governor is his decision to continue and or complete his predecessors’ abandoned or uncompleted projects! This is a rare and exemplary leadership style worthy of wide acclaim and emulation globally.
The opposition should focus more on telling the people something else that they have on offer ahead of future elections that can sell their candidates and party instead of the futile and cheap recourse of trying to paint the Governor and his Government black knowing that Plateau people who are wiser more than ever before are 100% with the governor.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity.