By Mark Longyen
1. Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, falsely claimed that it was the Yakubu Gowon Way, which stretches from the Plateau State Specialist Hospital Round About and terminating at TAEN OIL Junction on the Jos-Bukuru Expressway that was renamed by Governor Simon Lalong as the new Muhammadu Buhari Way. However, the new Muhammadu Buhari Way, actually starts from TAEN OIL Junction and terminates at Mararaban Jama’a Roundabout on the (Heipang) Yakubu Gowon Airport Road.
2. Dalung falsely claimed that Governor Lalong took an African Development Bank (ADB) Loan of $2billion (about N720billion), whereas the facility is actually N3.38billion! His mischievously made up figure of $2 billion, which on exchange is the equivalent of about N720 billion is most laughable because it doesn’t just add up and this can be easily verified! The ADB Loan of N3.38 billion was approved in July last year for Irish Potato Value Chain by the Federal Executive Council of which he is a member, so he cannot feign ignorance of the actual amount. The state has yet to access the fund to begin its implementation because of the delay in putting in place certain components of the facility.
3. Dalung also blatantly lied that the state’s debt profile is about N1trillion! As a matter of fact, we inherited a debt of about N222 billion in 2015 and, contrary to his frivolous and spurious claim, this has been reduced to over N100 billion and, again, this can be verified at the Debt Management Office.
4. Dalung also blatantly lied when he falsely claimed that Governor Lalong has executed only one road project, which is the road leading to his private residence at Rantya, while the rest are inherited projects. On the contrary, in the Jos-Bukuru Metropolis alone, apart from the completion of the multibillion naira projects inherited, the Governor awarded new multibillion naira contracts, such as the Angwan Rogo Road Network, the Tudun Wada-Kabong Road Network, the Rantya-Rafiki Road, among others. The Governor also awarded contracts worth about N40billion for the construction of Rural Road Networks in all the 17 local governments of the state, some of which are ongoing, with some at near completion stages.
5. Dalung also lied that the number of tractors procured for the state’s Tractorization Scheme, which President Buhari inaugurated on March 9, 2018, was only 40, not 400! So, because the President was to commission the tractors at the premises of the New Government House, Little Rayfield, and it was practically impossible to bring in all of them from their location for commissioning due to space constraint, Dalung quickly decided to reduce the number of tractors to 10 per cent of the total? Interestingly, it’s noteworthy that, despite being a serving minister from the state, he disrespected the President and absconded from the inauguration event when he was supposed to be beside the President to cut the tape.
6. Dalung, again, lied when he falsely claimed that Governor Lalong deceived the President to commission the State Secretariat Flyover Bridge, which he alleged, was earlier commissioned by former President Goodluck Jonathan. For the avoidance of doubt, the project was one of the multibillion naira projects that the Governor inherited from former governor Jonah Jang and, in line with his zero tolerance for abandoned or uncompleted projects in the state, decided to complete it. The one million dollar question is: how could Jonathan have commissioned a project that was not even completed under Jang?
7. Dalung lied again during questioning by the House of Representatives Committee on Sports about allegations of corruption perpetrated by him in his ministry. His penchant for lying was exposed when he flimsily responded in an excuse which instantly went viral and the Committee members erupted in laughter. “The funds ‘spended’ were properly ‘spended’ because we got them from intervention funds from Mr. President,” he lied.
8. Dalung, in another of his tale of open-ended lies and fabricated falsehoods claimed that on July 14, 2016, he had traveled on sea for two hours to meet with the leadership of the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, in Oporoza, Delta State, saying he received a sealed envelope for President Buhari containing their demands. However, this was swiftly denied by both the NDA and the presidency which both disowned him afterwards. “Niger Delta Avengers can’t stoop so low to send representatives to meet with a common Minister of Youth that doesn’t know his work,” the group had said in a statement in reaction to Dalung’s false claim.
9. When one juxtaposes Dalung’s plethora of lies with his litany of blunders ever since he became a Minister and spice it up with his legion of grammatical humor, then one’s guess is as good as mine with regard to the quality of Minister from Plateau State. If a man of his status can tell lies with so much impunity then he needs to see a psychiatrist urgently. In fact, should Government choose to seek legal redress and damages for all the disparaging allegations and wantonly fabricated falsehoods, he’ll definitely not escape justice.
Mr. Longyen is media adviser to Governor Lalong of Plateau State