By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos
The Plateau State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has taken a swipe at the State Governor, Simon Lalong for visiting Gashish district, Barkin Ladi local government area of the State five months after coordinated attacks in the district and others left not less than 300 people dead, many injured and thousands of people displaced from their ancestral homes.
Lalong visited Garshish on Tuesday and inspected the site donated for the proposed Mobile Police unit and assured the people he would ensure displaced persons are returned to their homes and the lands returned to them.
The PDP Publicity Secretary, John Akans faulted the Governor’s visit saying “it is most disgraceful and unfortunate that five months after the gruesome massacre of hundreds of people and the destruction of their homes, as well as forceful occupation of their villages and towns under the watch of the APC government, it is only now that our dear governor would be visiting one of the many scenes of this dastardly crime.”
He asked, “how could he have stood on the graves of these people and hoped that he could still have their support? Have their killers been arrested? Or was he taking condolence messages to the dead and deserted homes?
“Lalong would not even condemn the acts of sustained and bloody terror against his people; he would not even stay at home and mourn with his people in their critical moments; he relished instead in gallivanting and playing the Executive Personal Assistant in the Presidential Villa in Abuja – and he expects anyone to take him seriously?
“Where is his sense of constitutional responsibility and commitment to Plateau which he swore to uphold in May 2015? Is everything simply fair to Lalong because he wants to return to Government House in 2019? Is he really totally devoid of any form of compassion, and thus turning a preventable tragedy into a political opportunity?”
In a reaction, Lalong’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mark Longyen said the criticism was unfortunate and mischievous as the Governor ought to be commended for the steps he is taking to return the State to the path of enduring peace.
Longyen in a statement issued in Jos yesterday said, “Our attention has been drawn to a statement by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, condemning the Governor’s visit to Gashish District and environs. The opposition party’s criticism to say the least is very unfortunate, uncharitable, mischievous, nauseating and smacks of pure political shenanigans aimed solely at scoring cheap political points.
“It is sad and sickening and, indeed, the height of insensitivity and political chicanery that the opposition will give political coloration to a visit that was aimed at staving off the spate of attacks and ameliorating the sufferings of the IDPs by returning them to their ancestral homes.