The Minister for Sports and Youths Development, Solomon Dalung has descended heavily on Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State for naming a newly commissioned road in Jos after President Muhammadu Buhari.
But the Commissioner for Information in the State, Yakubu Dati, said the comment by the minister is a confirmation that he is being used by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to rubbish the gains made by the APC on account of President Buhari’s visit to Plateau.
The Minister took to his Facebook page to criticise the Plateau State governor and described the naming of the road after Buhari as a disaster.
He said the decision to name the road after President Buhari was borne out of desperation by the governor to secure a second term in 2019.
Dalong said: “Another disaster of the President’s visit was the renaming of Yakubu Gowon way to Muhammadu Buhari Way; to say the least, it is embarrassing.
“Gowon was the President’s boss how can he be stripped of a 40 years privilege and honour in his home state? This is the worst thing that can happen to a man like the elder statesman: I believed that General Gowon is feeling betrayed and abandoned by his own people.
“This is a political decision of Lalong desperately taken to secure 2019 ambition but not the decision of the people of Plateau: we condemned this act with all sense of love for Yakubu Gowon as a father, while advising Governor Alert to withdraw this unpatriotic decision and publicly apologise to Gowon and the President for embarrassing them.
“If the visit of the president was intended to secure 2019 for Lalong, it has exposed his ambition to greater risk and multiply his opponents.
However, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Yakubu Dati, when contacted described the comments by the Minister as the “gibberish of an attention seeker berefts of logic and fact”.
Dati said the truth of the matter is that Yakubu Gowon Way still exists as no road was renamed.
The commissioner explained that the “Muhammadu Buhari Way” starts at Mararaban Jama’a round-about through Anguldi and Bukuru express way then ends at Ta’en round-about.
He said the existing Yakubu Gowon way starts at same Ta’en junction through building materials–Zarmaganda junction, Maiango–old airport junctions, through secretariat overhead bridge and ends at Plateau Specialist Hospital round-about.
The commissioner further explained that the D. B Zang road starts from the Plateau Specialist Hospital round-about and ends at Hill-Station round-about, while Joseph Gomwalk road then starts from Hill-station round-about and ends at Polo Club round-about.
He said that Goodluck Ebele Jonathan way starts at Polo round-about through Kabong (Gada Biu) overhead bridge to new Zaria road Stadium and ends at Farin-gada round-about.
Dati said by giving the impression that the portion known as Yakubu Gowon way was renamed, Dalung was trying to invent lies in order to score cheap political points.
The Commissioner said if the Minister had bothered to cross check his facts rather than conspiring with opposition leaders, he would have been saved the embarrassment of ignorance.
He said the Lalong administration is proud to name the stretch of road from Maraban Jama’a round-about to Taen round-about after the President because it is the tradition the world over to name projects after the dignitaries that commission them.
The Commissioner said if Dalung has any sense of history and respect for elder statesmen, he would have excused General Yakubu Gowon’s name from his bid to settle personal scores.
Dati said he wonders how anybody of Dalung’s political standing can say Lalong is afraid of him politically when the highest he has gone in his political journey is to be appointed a caretaker chairman of a local government during the illegal administration that was contrived to replace Dariye’s in 2006.
Dati also said in all the Ministers political outing, he has been floored mercilessly by his opponents including Beni Lar, who trashed him at the PDP primary for Langtang North/Langtang South Federal Constituency in 2007 and was also defeated at the APC governorship primary by Lalong in the build up to the 2015 elections.
“This is a Minister who has been a monumental embarrassment to Plateau State due to his illogic and asinine comments in the past like when he said ‘Nigeria can never win the World Cup’ or when he said ‘Nigerian athletes do not need to prepare to win tournaments’.
“It is instructive to note that the APC has never won election in his ward or his local government of Langtang South”, Dati said.