Plateau Governor, Minister Bicker Over Buhari’s Visit



Simon Lalong, the Plateau state governor, and the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, have bickered over president Buhari’s visit to their state.

The minister on Monday accused the governor of refusing to carry him along in the president’s visit, saying the visit was “mismanaged”.

Dalung also accused the governor of “misinformation”, by making the president commission a fly-over bridge located at the Secretariat junction in Jos, which he claimed had already been commissioned by ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan.

“The governor should realize where we are coming from and save the state from further drifting into chaos. I have been quite supportive of the governor and his administration despite his repeated turning down of advice.”

“Former President Goodluck commissioned federal secretariat bridge, why did Governor Lalong mislead the president to re-commission it again?” he queried.

The Sports minister further accused Lalong of mismanaging $2 billion, obtained by the state from the African Development Bank for the development of a potato factory.

In his response, however, Lalong said the loan had not been released to the state, and that the figure involved is being blown out of proportion.

“On the matter of the loan, it is still being processed and not released. This can easily be confirmed on the bank’s website. The amount secured by the Federal Ministry of Finance is 11 million dollars and not 2 billion dollars being bandied.

“The facility was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of Wednesday, July 26 2017. The loan was secured from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the development of the Irish potato value chain, and the project is expected to create 60,000 jobs,” he replied.

Saharareporters reports that there have been speculations that the minister is interested in contesting against the governor in next year’s gubernatorial elections. But Dalong has refuted the claim, saying he has no political ambition.

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