“CORONA VIRUS CANNOT REVIVE YOUR POLITICAL IRREVELANCE”, APC FIRES BACK AT PLATEAU PDP.
The world is on the edge because of the catastrophic impact of the Corona Virus Pandemic, which is not only threatening the lives of people, but the economies of nations and dramatically changing livelihoods.
No doubt, these are precarious times that have put Governments across the world, including Nigeria on their toes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ensure treatment of those infected as well as find a cure.
Since the first index case was reported in Nigeria, the APC-led Rescue Administration in Plateau State under the leadership of Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong took proactive steps to ensure that the disease does not infiltrate the State, and in case of any eventuality, the State is able to respond quickly and robustly to deal with the situation.
For Governor Lalong, this emergency requires all hands to be on deck, as the virus does not discriminate against its victims irrespective of gender, tribe, religion, ethnicity, economic status, or even political affiliation.
That is why he has continuously engaged all stakeholders in fighting the pandemic and boosting the State’s preparedness. Typical of his all-inclusive Governance style, he has carried all stakeholders along and galvanized the support of all well-meaning citizens of Plateau State in the fight against COVID-19, not minding what divide they belong.
However, the good people of Plateau State, and indeed the APC-led Rescue Government has been inundated by the disgraceful and futile attempt of the moribund People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to not only distract the Governor from focusing on the fight against COVID-19, but also hoping to make cheap political capital from the pandemic. SAD!
Ordinarily, the Plateau APC would have ignored the shenanigans of the collapsed PDP that has been in the Intensive Care ever since the discerning people of Plateau unanimously rejected it in 2015 and 2019. Since then, the party has continued to attempt to re-invent itself through its old tricks of lies, propaganda, and deceit.
Most disgusting is the fact that they have been desperate in trying to use COVID-19 (a global health emergency) as their comeback strategy having lost their last bid to gain any relevance as the Supreme Court finally buried their lost ambition by affirming the mandate that the people of Plateau State entrusted in the Rescue Governor, Simon Bako Lalong.
The APC deems it inevitable to put the records straight and clear the doubts of the people of Plateau, Nigerians and the International Community who have followed with admiration the doggedness of Governor Lalong and the Rescue Administration in taming the COVID-19 monster from ravaging the State.
Perhaps the PDP has stayed for so long in the ICU and in so much slumber that it woke up in hallucination with an incoherent, disjointed, poorly written and empty “so-called” Press Statement issued by one of its factional Publicity Secretaries by name John T. Akans on Saturday 25th April 2020.
In the concoction, it spewed ignorance; outright falsehood; total disrespect for the health and safety of the people and Plateau State; outright disregarded to minimum moral standards; and even attempted to “claim and pretend” that they care.
They began with a monumental gaffe that they have “independently monitored” the response of the State Government to the Corona Virus Pandemic.
How laughable can the PDP be when it is crystal clear to even a toddler that since the outbreak of the disease, they have been busy junketing and casting aspersions on virtually every step taken by the Government in combating the disease without offering a single suggestion, talk more of solution.
The PDP not only failed to convince itself on what it meant by the need for “proactive steps” to be taken by the Government, but equally betrayed its hidden agenda by citing States like Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, Oyo, Edo, Cross River and Benue which it claimed have “adequate” health facilities and personnel for COVID-19.
What a travesty! Quick questions to ask the Plateau PDP are: When did they carry out this analysis and came to this sumptuous conclusion? How did they go about this assessment despite the lockdown in Plateau State and the States they claim to have assessed? What were the criteria for the assessment? Who validated it? Why did they fail to specify the “fantastic” facilities in these States? Why did they not point out what Plateau State lacks for responding to COVID-19?
Let us now educated and shame the PDP who in 16 years damaged and left in ruins every sector in Plateau State before the coming of the Lalong Rescue Administration. For starters, the APC Government has been busy trying to revive the near-dead health facilities across the State since assuming office and it has largely succeeded. Were it not for the past destruction of the PDP, the State would have been far ahead in all facets including the health sector. Nevertheless, Governor Lalong has remained undaunted in rebuilding most health facilities, and even initiated World-Class Health Projects under the Lalong Legacy Projects located in the three senatorial districts of the State.
The PDP knows but refuses to acknowledge the fact that apart from taking many strategic decisions, Governor Lalong visited the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos University Hospital and Bingham University Teaching Hospital to ensure that the Isolation facilities are ready for the fight against COVID-19. During that visit, he directed the immediate purchase of more Ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment, medicines and other accessories for treatment of Corona Virus. All these have been delivered. In addition, he directed that health personnel should be trained and retrained on the Corona virus disease to make them battle-ready.
As the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Governor Lalong led his colleagues in demanding for Testing Centres in the North, which immediately paid off when the NCDC designated the NVRI Vom as a Testing Centre with capacity for over one thousand samples in a day. Indeed, the recent index case for Plateau was detected at the centre and more samples are being tested now. The PDP is blind to all these!
Talking about being proactive, has the PDP pondered to ask themselves, or at least those who can educate them on why Plateau State did not record any case months after the disease spread to more than 20 States? What could be more proactive than holding off for that long despite pressures of cross border transmission from neigbouring States who had recorded cases? If you cannot give credit to Governor Lalong, please do not be desperate to discredit him. After all, he is not looking for cheap praises, but doing his job according to the oath of office he took and the social contract he has with Plateau people.
If the PDP stopped at these unfounded allegations, it would have been mild. However, they have since deployed their antics of mobilizing the people through misinformation where they orchestrated and stage-managed a failed protest over palliatives in some streets of the Jos Metropolis.
Instead of them to cover their faces in shame over this failed attempt, they again made reference to the broadcast by Governor Lalong where he stated that the distribution of palliatives to the vulnerable and weak will commence on Saturday 25th April 2020.
Because they were afraid that the Governor’s directive would be carried out and nullify their campaign of calumny as well as thrash them to the dustbin of history, they quickly circulated messages via social and some mainstream media sympathetic to them to deceive the gullible on and organize their members to protest.
Unknown to them, the Palliative Committee headed by the Dependable and Loyal Deputy Governor Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden had commenced the distribution of the palliatives beginning with orphanages, people living with disabilities, orphans and the elderly on Saturday 25th April as directed by His Excellency the Governor.
When their hired protesters were intercepted and addressed by the Chairman of Jos North Local Government and the Commissioner of Police, they melted away with apologies, and now ready to face the anger of the protesters for deceiving them and taking them on a wild goose chase.
Apart from trying to pitch the people against the Government which has failed woefully, perhaps the PDP thinks that the palliatives will be administered in the character and style which is shabby, selective, embezzling and corrupt as they did with public resources during their years of infamy.
No way! Governor Lalong has never discriminated against anybody and will never do so, especially at difficult times like this. His directive is that every Plateau citizen that falls into the category of the vulnerable will get the palliatives whether he or she is in PDP, APC, or any other political party; religion; ethnic group or any other affiliation. This is the era of CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY, not business as usual of the PDP era.
Talking about transparency, we will not dignify the allegation of the APC for transparency in budget expended by the Government on fighting COVID-19.
Needless to say, the APC Rescue Administration is managing all funds prudently and transparently despite the fact that the PDP looted the treasury when it held sway and left little for governance. The people of Plateau State are assured and know that the Lalong administration remains prudent and accountable as the books are open for all to see. PDP should bear in mind that the National Bureau of Statistics last year declared Plateau State as the SECOND LEAST CORRUPT State in Nigeria in its annual report, thanks to the strategies put in place by Governor Lalong.
The donations towards COVID-19 have been open and announced on all media platforms. The UBA account where the monies are domiciled is in the public domain even though the PDP and all its members have not donated a dime to it.
They are rather eager to generate and propagate lies of the Government spending fictitious 500 million naira on decontamination alone! Kai PDP, ku ji tsoron Allah!
Instead of dissipating energy in chasing shadows and attempting a failed misadventure of recuperation using COVID-19, the PDP should rather join in supporting the Rescue Administration in finding solutions to the pandemic. If they cannot do anything, they can at least assist in making the citizens particularly their members in understanding that this pandemic is no respecter of persons whatever their party, religion, tribe, economic status and other affinities.
Consequently, they can wisely use their time and talent to help members of the public see reasons why they should abide by Government’s directive for lockdowns, restriction of movement, border closure, adherence to hygiene, sanitation and social distancing which are key to defeating the disease.
This will be more beneficial than the unpatriotic act of crying wolf where there is none and trying to make an honest, hardworking and people-oriented Government look bad.
We are facing an emergency that can consume all of us if we do not stand together to fight and defeat this monster that has ravaged even the most advanced countries in the world.
Not everything is politics! In any case, elections have been fought, won, and lost even at the courts.
This is time to govern, and the people’s choice, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong, KSGG, is working hard to ensure that there is no further spread of the disease in the State.
He is not only concerned by the health implications of COVID-19, but also working day and night to ensure the economic survival of the State after COVID-19.
Let us not distract him please, for the sake of the good people of Plateau State. Let’s THINK and ACT Plateau, stay at home and stay safe!
Long live Plateau State.
Hon. Chindo S. Dafat
APC Publicity Secretary, Plateau State
26th April 2020.
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