Plateau Decides: How Gov. Lalong squandered N20bn crisis rehabilitation fund to rig polls – Useni

News Politics

Barely four days to the gubernatorial supplementary election in Plateau State, the candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State, Senator Jeremiah Useni, has accused the incumbent Governor of the State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using the sum of N20 billion meant for the rehabilitation of victims of crisis in the state to buy votes.

He also said the party will not use some of its agents who compromised their positions in the last round of elections held in the state.

Useni disclosed this while briefing journalists in Jos, the State Capital.

He said, “Some agents we agree were useless; and we have taken action by making sure that we don’t involve them in anything again.

“We have made very good arrangement to ensure that we have agents that know what to do; those that would be firmed, and would not be bought over.

“Because what APC does is going round spending lots of money; and don’t forget this money is our tax money.

According to him, “This money is the N20 billion given to the state to help in rehabilitating those affected by crisis in the state, and the state government has not done anything.

“They went and published in newspapers that they have rehabilitated two thousand, and some on air to say look, we are among the victims and we have not been rehabilitated.

“So is the N20 billion given to him that he used and still using in this election.

“And they were giving as much five to ten million naira to buy votes”, he alleged.

“Look at the state, what has he done in four years? He asked.

“He said no money, then suddenly there is money now; its the money given to him to rehabilitated people”, he maintained.

“I want to assure the people of Plateau that I am still very much in the race, and I will lead in the most responsible manner.

“Furthermore, I want to assure the people that I will only spend one tenure of four years, because I believe it is not a matter of how long you stay in office but how much you can do within a short time;

“Therefore, I cannot turn my back now when we are coasting home to victory; the whole election is about the soul of Plateau; its heritage and its People.

“I therefore call on our stakeholders and supporters to stand taller and even stronger than before as we approach the supplementary election”, Useni stressed.

The PDP candidate caution against the deployment of security personnel that will “harrass and intimidate” the electorate at their polling units and collation centres, urging the security agencies to remain neutral and stick to their constitutional roles.

“I call on our people not to give room to fear”.

Reacting to the allegations raised, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, and a member of the State APC Campaign Council, Mark Longyen, said, “The statement credited to the obviously already defeated PDP governorship candidate is simply tantamount to the last kick of a dying horse.

Longyen maintained that, “It is merely a last ditch political propaganda by a desperate politician who has clearly lost out in the election but has refused to call and congratulate the winner and concede defeat so he could redeem his bruised ego and reputation.

“For sure if he had documentary evidence of any funds that were diverted for the purpose of rigging the election he would have published it long before the election date, or even right now.

According to him, “The retired General should rather restrict himself to licking the wounds of his already imminent defeat in the rerun election instead of engaging himself in fabricating falsehood that would further eclipse his already damaged reputation within the state”.

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