Plateau Guber 2019: Test of strength between Lalong and Useni
Plateau State governorship race is going to be between the incumbent governor, Simon Bako Lalong, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Jeremiah Useni, a former military strategist who rose to the rank of a Lieutenant General in the army.
The two are optimistic to clinch the governorship seat at Government house, Little Ray Field in Jos. This testimony came to light at the gubernatorial flag-off campaigns by the two parties.
While the governor flagged-off his campaign on Friday, January 4, at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium Jos, that of Useni took place on Tuesday, the January 8 at the Mangu Mini-Stadium of the state.
The two parties recorded impressive crowds as the two stadia were almost filled to capacity by supporters of the two candidates.
At the APC flag-off, the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiohmole commended the Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong for the prompt payment of workers’ salaries because the primary purpose of governance is the welfare of the people.
Oshiomhole added that by so doing, Lalong has given practical expression by responding to the yearnings and aspirations of the people according to the “Progressives” logo of the party, showing that is progressive and pro-people.
According to him, “to be progressive is to be pro-people, to be pro-persons, to be focused, to be pro-poor for the good of the electorate.”
He said that Lalong has ensured that there is justice and fair play in his administration, which he said has guaranteed some measured peace in the state, compared to what obtained during the reign of his predecessor in the state.
The national chairman, therefore, urged the electorate to vote en masse for the governor to consolidate his present achievements in the general elections.
Characteristically, Oshiomhole picked holes in the presidential candidature of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying that both Presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate are all businessmen because one was a former customs man while the other was a former trader.
According to Oshiomhole: “Atiku said he would put Nigeria on sale. And he would sell NNPC. “Are you going to vote for traders? Are you going to support Nigeria being on sale?” the chorus was ‘no’ from the crowd.
On his part, the Director-General of Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi who is also the Minister of Transport, said that all campaigns should be issue-based without acrimony, bitterness, hatred and name-calling.
However, Amaechi admitted that people are complaining of hunger, but said if PDP government had returned the huge money it stole, Nigerians would not have been hungry.
“If the over N2b that was stolen had not been stolen and was left in the government coffers would people be complaining today?” he asked.
FORMER Governor of Plateau State and Senator representing Northern Zone, Senator Jonah Jang urged Nigerians to vote massively for presidential candidate of PDP, Alh. Atiku Abubakar to end suffering in the country.
He said PDP was destined to rule Nigeria and urged the masses to vote out APC that is a deceptive party. Jang disclosed this during the campaign flag-off of General Jeremiah Useni (rtd), held at Mangu Stadium in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.
“Atiku is an experienced politician who will end the suffering and hardship of Nigerians. PDP was doing a very good job in the country until some people brought something called APC, which has driven the country to destruction,” he said.
He vowed to lead General Useni’s campaign against APC in Plateau and urged the incumbent Governor to start packing his load and vacate the new Government House in Ray Field as it was not built for him.
Useni, the PDP Governorship candidate, said he would die defending Nigeria and Plateau State and not an individual.
He urged Nigerians to vote massively for PDP and protect their votes at the polling unit, saying any security man who shoots at anyone will be held responsible.
“We are driven by a conscious and patriotic zeal to address the ill that bedeviled the state in the last three and a half years. My contract with Plateau people is to restore what is lost,” he said.
Former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Nasiru Mantu said that APC is dead on the Plateau and vowed to unite with the PDP to send APC and Lalong out of power.
Mantu, who was represented by his biological son, Umar Mantu said Atiku Abubakar has wide acceptability in Nigeria and deserves the support of the masses to dislodge APC on February 16.
North Central Zonal Chairman of the PDP, Hon. Theophilus Dakas Shan urged Nigerians to end the deceit of APC by voting Atiku Abubakar and Sen. Jeremiah Useni.
The Chairman of PDP in the State, Hon. Damishi Sango also described as “irresponsible” the statement credited to the Governor of Plateau State, Lalong, that he was going to die for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sango said Useni will not die for any individual but will die for the people of the state and champion the cause of the wellbeing of the people to greatness.
He said Lalong made some unpleasant remarks at the Rwang Pam stadium last Friday during the flag-off of the APC that, ‘he was going to die for an individual, and when asked why he said so, he said because Buhari is a helper.”
He however asked the crowd whether they have any other helper than God, to which they all said ‘no.’ He used the forum to appeal to the party faithful to remain committed and work assiduously to ensure victory for the party.