Prepare to hand over Plateau to PDP in 2019– Sango to APC

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4 years 5 months ago #7 by patrickd
The Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Plateau State Chapter, Hon Damishi Tongson Sango, on Monday, August 29, 2016, address party faithfuls at The Party Secretariat in Jos.

Read full text below;

TEXT OF MAIDEN PRESS BRIEFING BY THE CHAIRMAN, PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP), PLATEAU STATE, HON DAMISHI TONGSON SANGO, ON MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 2016, AT THE PARTY SECRETARIAT,JOS.

Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Plateau State
Members of the State Working Committee
Members of the State Executive Committee
Precious members of the PDP
Beloved members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen

I bring you warm greetings from the entire family of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State.

On behalf of the party leadership at all levels, elders, critical stakeholders, members and admirers, I Honourable Damishi Tonson Sango, the new Chairman of the party in Plateau State, hereby announce that PDP is fully back, back in mission and absolutely re-aligned to serve the good people of Plateau State.

The past is gone but the lessons learned. We know and understand what our people want and desire, and we are more determined to fulfil their aspirations and assuage their fears.

Esteemed members of the media, you must have noticed the inescapable fact that PDP in Plateau has successfully conducted her Congresses right from the Ward to the Local Government, culminating in the State Congresses where party patriots willingly and joyfully gave me and my fellow colleagues the mandate and trust of leading the party.

Not only that, the state’s position was further enhanced at the national level with the election of Honourable Theophilus Dakas Shan as Chairman of the PDP, North Central Zone. This feat will continue to give Plateau the strategic leverage to engage and contribute meaningfully and strongly in the national affairs of our party.
We can therefore confidently assert that the present leadership of the party at all levels in the state has thus taken its rightful position along our three Distinguished Senators, six Honourable members of the House of Representatives, ten Honourable members in the House of Assembly and the 14 Local Government Council Chairmen and Councillors in consolidating the leadership role of the PDP in the affairs of the good people of Plateau and Nigeria in general.

I must at this point appreciate those individuals and groups that have contributed to these significant successes. I assure you that we will not betray your trust.

We also appreciate and commend the leadership of the party at the national level for their sacrificial efforts in stabilising our great party.

In our determination to rebuilding our party, and after due and widespread consultation, we, as a team have set for ourselves two strategic but all-encompassing goals: To reconcile the party…and to prepare PDP for the return to purposeful and more result-oriented governance in 2019.

Therefore, we say to our members who have been hurt in the course of running the affairs of the party in the past: Welcome back home, welcome back to where you had always belonged; the door is open for our collective struggle to restore dignity to Plateau and honour to the original party owners – the people themselves!

And to the association that has accidentally found itself in government, both at the state and federal levels, we hereby serve you notice: Your tenancy is almost ended – prepare to handover to the authentic lovers of Plateau in 2019!

FLASHBACK
Gentlemen of the Press, you are not unmindful of the following facts:

Plateau is the home of PDP. It was here it was formed, nurtured and marketed across the nation, leading to our revered and selfless political father and enviable statesman, Chief Solomon Daushep Lar, (of blessed memory) becoming the first Chairman. In him, we saw the party ride into government at the onset of the current democratic dispensation with overwhelming national support. In 1999, PDP had secured 214 House of Representatives seats, 71 of the Senate and had 21 governors, thus establishing majority dominance from day one. This position was significantly improved upon when in 2003, the PDP had 223 seats in the House and 76 in the Senate while the number of its governors rose to 28!
2. Thus, from 1999 to 2015, PDP stabilised our national politics, involved Nigerians in the conduct of the affairs of their lives, and very critically, kept the military in the barracks. Through the combined tenures of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua (of blessed memory) and Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, PDP gave leadership of a total of 16 glorious years and attained some of the finest political landmarks of this country. We conducted truly conclusive elections, congratulated even opposition members who won their elections, respected and promoted personal freedoms, observed the rule of law and avoided chasing people into exile. We grew our economy to be the largest in Africa, and third fastest growing in the world!
3. PDP has proved and endeared itself to the people of Plateau as a resourceful, unifying, business-minded, people-focused and result-giving party, turning the state into a huge construction site, opening up communities, organising and enriching our farmers through unique agricultural projects, promoting democratic participation in the local governments and taking developments to the doorsteps of the people. PDP remains the political first love of the people of Plateau State.
4. The PDP governments in Plateau over the years have worked tirelessly to safeguard the integrity and uniqueness of the people. We were admired by many, emulated by many across the nation and outside the country, but we were also hated by many – only because we chose to be different!
5. The unmatchable legacies of the preceding PDP governments in Plateau have been aptly captured in the Handing Over Notes to the current administration in the state. We are intensely proud of these legacies – and we challenge the present government not to make light of these achievements, but to try to match, or surpass them – if it can!

WHAT IS THIS?
Gentlemen of the Press, I must comment on some happenings as far as the governance of our beloved Plateau is concerned. It is known to everyone that when the current APC government took over the reins of power in the state over one year ago, their focus was the self-declared RESCUE. They said they were on a Rescue Mission. They said they would pay salaries timeously; develop every part of the state; give employments liberally; free the state from indebtedness; run a government of greater inclusiveness; provide quality education; secure our people and be more prudent in the management of state resources. Very well said! But is it the same as Very Well Done?

We have since discovered that what they said about Rescue is very different from what they meant by Rescue. Their practice of Rescue is Personal Pocket Rescue; Family and Friends Rescue!
First, rather than quickly settling down to work for the good people of Plateau, they chose to create unnecessary distraction by constantly engaging in whipping up sentiments and controversy over the Handing Over Notes from the previous administration. It was clear to us as a party that the incoming government at the time of taking over was so flabbergasted by the unparalleled achievement of the PDP government that it experienced “performance paralysis” – in other words, it did not know where, and how to start working on its own programme. The only option it had was to start a needless and empty controversy over what was done, or what was not handed over to it in order to buy time. Fortunately, today, Plateau people know much, much better!
Then, rather than drawing the attention of the people to what projects they were executing for their good, they went on a spending spree – wasting Billions of Naira on uncontrolled purchase of exotic cars for personal use, and for cabinet appointees – when names were nowhere near being submitted for appointment at that time.
With more than one year gone, the lives of our precious Plateau citizens are still sadly crippled by the manacles of corruption, segregation and chains of tribal and political discrimination by the APC government in Plateau. Today, our people are living on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of vast federal allocation and internally generated revenue. Today, very few can afford to eat according to the 1-1-1 formula, as majority now live on either 1-0-1 or 0-1-0. What a shame!
We make bold to say that the state government received over Ninety-Seven billion Naira as revenue in the past one year, yet these sums were not utilised toward alleviating the suffering of the people. More than one year gone, and the people are still languishing in the corner of APC’s mismanagement. We therefore have no hesitation in exposing the deep-seated corruptive tendencies of this government, and calling off their pretention to being a Rescue Team.
Let me place the following posers in the public domain:
a. How has Governor Lalong improved the welfare of the people of this state with the over 97 Billion Naira he collected as revenue in the past one year two months?
b. How has he developed Plateau with the nearly 18 Billion Naira he took as loans from commercial banks (while at the same time crying out loud that he had inherited crippling loans from the previous administration!)?
c. Why was a whopping 4.5 Billion Naira spent on luxury cars for selected government officials at a time pensioners and civil servants were being denied their pay package?
d. Why is Lalong spending 1.4 billion Naira to purchase and install GPRS Tracking Devices on 100 cars?. This translates to N14million to track one car for one year.
I ask: HOW MUCH IS A CAR TRACKER THAT LALONG WILL SPEND 1.4 BILLION NAIRA TO INSTAL THEM ON JUST 100 CARS? AND WHAT IS THE UNIT COST OF ONE CAR THAT WOULD WARRANT THE EXPENDITURE OF MILLIONS OF NAIRA TO SECURE IT FOR JUST ONE YEAR? And mind you, this amount does not include the 155 Million Naira that has been committed on INSURANCE for the 100 cars! Haba, jama’a!
e. Over 500million Naira is also said to have been committed to “Rehabilitation/Patching of some roads within Jos Metropolis”. Yet, potholes on our roads even within the city are permanent features of our driving experience.
f. We state here very confidently that we are also very much in the know of the massive diversion of Local Government funds by the APC government in Plateau State. This is the main reason why local governments are facing difficulties in the payment of their staff and in ensuring smooth administration at that level. We wish to alert Plateau that the situation could worsen in the months ahead with LG staff being owed up to a year’s wages.
Gentlemen of the Press, I could go on and on about the litany of profligacy of this corrupt and deceitful government in power in Plateau State. There is certainly a lot more to say than I have stated. But let the people chew these few facts, ponder on the posers and hold the lessons dearly.
Rescue to them means endless borrowing of billions of Naira for invisible projects; Rescue means unwillingness to pay salaries and pensions for months despite receiving bailout funds in billions of naira; Rescue means impunity by a lawyer and a one-time head of the state legislature in illegally dissolving Constitutionally-elected and established local government councils; Rescue means selling off the dignity and inheritance of the people of Plateau on the altar of seeking for personal relevance from Abuja in the name of a clearly rejected Grazing Reserves Policy. Who did they consult? Does APC have any land in Plateau? Does the Rescue administration really think that it can avoid sitting with landowners in dialogue and decide on whatever they want to please and be in the good books of their Abuja masters? This is Plateau!

It must be very clear as noonday that here in Plateau we have a government disguising itself as one on a Rescue Mission, but we have seen, and do testify that the APC administration is better known for being unprepared, incompetent and rudderless, totally lacking in capacity and seriousness in governance. The ‘Rescuer’ is now in dire need to be rescued!

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON.
This is exactly what is also playing out at the national level. This federal administration has been dogged by success paralysis, incoherence in policy, mortal hesitation, impunity, utter disdain and disregard for rule of law; instilling fear in people; government go-slow and traffic jam; deceit and propaganda, and the very quick resort to the comfort of an incendiary Blame game. Today, Nigerians are worse off for it than they ever have been. Living is a daily challenge, and for some, an impossibility. This is the only time in our country that a whole government is so incapacitated and disbelieved that it carries the heaviest credibility deficit.

And this mood has been aptly captured by the national leader of the APC, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu. In an opinion conveyed through Sam Omatseye, Editorial Chairman of the Nation newspaper, on May 30, 2016, Senator Tinubu, attacked President Mohammadu Buhari over his 365 days of economic “cluelessness and non-performance”.

In his words, “Not many thought the first year of Mohammadu Buhari would look like this. The pump price of petrol at 145, the Naira at 380 to a Dollar, not a single road tarred, the 2016 Budget in Baby Steps, no minister has received a tranche for work, salary backlogs now a routine, herdsmen as killer-squads, Biafra on the rampage, Niger Delta brigands reborn…the Change Mantra muted, jobs: “Where are they?”; the welfare scheme and food for students “Where are they?”…We also know that integrity is good, but no matter how good, it will not put food on the table. There lies the moral dilemma of the Buhari administration so far”.

There is an Igbo proverb which says: when a madman confirms that he is sick, then he is getting better.

It is therefore no surprise that the APC administration is being called, by even its die-hard supporters as One Chance! (They are very bitter that they have been taken for a ride!). In Plateau, the APC supporters themselves raise one finger and proclaim, One Tenure. And they are right!

KEEP MOVING
It is evident that Nigerians have been taken for a ride by a party that had nothing but an ignoble agenda, and was only interested in grabbing power by all means, including the threat to set up a parallel government if it failed to win the presidential election.

We comfort all Nigerians. We share in their pains. And we offer the most credible and respectful way out of the intense wahala we are witnessing in our country for the first time in 25 years. We offer no excuses, but we present PDP for the mass resolve to CHANGE THE CHANGE…AND BREAK THE CHAINS! We offer ourselves as that credible option for the betterment of our great country come 2019.

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