….Lawmakers Embark on indefinite Strike Over Non -Payment of Allowances
Yakubu Busari, Jos
The Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung has described as allegations the statement by APC chairman in Plateau state, Latep Dabang that he has never responded to any invitation to APC party meetings in the state since he became minister.
Special Assistant on Media to Dalung, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, in a statement said stakeholders of the party in the state do not recognise Dabang and debunked his statement that Dalung has never responded to any invitation to APC party meetings in Plateau state since he became minister.
Dalung described the as an allegation Dabang statement, which appeared in one of the national dailies.
He said; ”The statement credited to Latep is unfortunately not correct because I have attended two party functions in the state when I was invited to attend at the government house in Jos. It is also common knowledge that since I became minister, the party in the state has not extended any invitation to me because according to Latep and Lalong, I am not their candidate for the Ministerial slot and since I am not their nominee, they have nothing to do with me.”
Dalung recounted that during a scheduled state prayers for President Muhammadu Buhari, Latep declined participation.
“When Mr President was sick and we, Buhari’s Friends Network organized a joint Muslim and Christian prayer in Jos, Gov Lalong was informed from the State House in Abuja and he accepted but when all the friends and supporters of Mr President gathered in Jos, Latep came to the prayer ground and told the gathering that they were Atiku’s people and cannot pray for Buhari. The Governor did not show up at the payers neither did any of his EXCO members. If such a person who claims to be a Christian can hate a fellow human being to that extent and refuse to pray for him when he was sick, then what will he not do for his selfish interests?”Dalung queried.
“I do not recognize Latep as a party chairman because there was no Congress where he was elected. As a lawyer, the constitution of the party and the guidelines for congresses are very clear. If Lalong has bought the whole nomination forms while those who even bought forms were not allowed to participate, then how can I endorse such illegality? So, there were no congresses in Plateau state and Latep is not the Chairman of APC in Plateau state.
“Latep is a chairman of an organization called Vote Lalong Again and not APC Plateau state and should desist from claiming so”.
Following allegations by Dabang that he was in Daura, Katsina state, during the ward congresses, Barrister Dalung described said the statement was incorrect
” On the day of the purported congress, I was not in Daura with the President as claimed by Latep. I was at an international sports event, Okpekpe 10km Road Race where I participated with other government dignitaries.
“On the day of the aborted state congress in Plateau state, I was in Gazum trying to resolve an ongoing crises which led to the loss of many lives and property. “The primary responsibility of every responsible government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens which Lalong’s administration has failed to do. Since my direct intervention in the crises , peace has returned to Gazum Chiefdom. Has Gov Lalong ever visited any crises affected community in Plateau state to directly engage with the people or sympathize with them? Governance is neither child’s play nor drama but a serious business which Lalong and Latep lack. And that is why Plateau state is bleeding. I challenge them to concentrate and deliver the dividends of democracy to Plateau state instead of fanning the embers of discord”.
Meanwhile, eight members of the Plateau State House of Assembly have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike action to press home in their demand for the release of allowances and constituency projects for the past three years as legislators under Governor Simon Bako Lalong administration.
Our correspondent gathered the plight has made to go into hiding to avoid visiting their constituents.
According to investigations from this medium the Lawmakers who have refused to seat for their legislative businesses since Tuesday.
A visit to the assembly premises on Tuesday and Wednesday saw members moving around and sitting in their offices complaining over the non release of their entitlements
Sources said the members of the House of Assembly led by Peter Azi have been under pressure from their constituents since their inauguration their over non-execution of constituency projects
A lawmaker who spoke under condition of anonymity said it was shocking that the current governor who was a former speaker and lawmaker in the assembly for eight years is then exhibiting such attitude and character by denying members of their frightful welfare package
He said efforts to make the government through the ministry of finance to release funds have proved abortive, hence the strike option
However a staff in the assembly denied the strike actions saying its all lies and arranged by the opposition party who don’t mean well for the assembly.