Governor accused of abandoning State, following Tinubu for Running Mate slot reacts

Governor accused of abandoning State, following Tinubu for Running Mate slot

The Director of Press and Public Affairs to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state, Dr. Simon Makut Macham has refuted the news spread by the Sahara Reporters that Lalong left Plateau for Lagos to lobby Asiwaju Tinubu for the position of running mate.

Dr. Macham in a statement released to newsmen in Jos, stated that the Plateau state government has been made aware of a story that was published by Sahara Reporters on its online platform on June 24th with the caption “How Governor Lalong Abandoned Plateau For Lagos, Desperately Lobbying, Squandering State Resources To Become Tinubu’s Running Mate – Sources” and that is being read and shared by innocent people who are unaware of its falsehood, mischief and bad taste.

In order to prevent right-thinking members of society from being misled by this terrible product, which is an epic case in abuse of the noble journalism profession, Dr. Makut Macham described the Sahara report as a perfect case study for fake news, yellow journalism, sponsored hatchet jobs, and irresponsible reporting.

“The story is anchored completely on a fanthom “anonymous source” that provided wonderfully packaged fiction and lies claiming that Governor Simon Lalong abandoned Governance in Plateau State and relocated to Lagos in search of being nominated as Asiwaju Tinubu’s Running Mate”

“The “Source” also claimed that the Governor is spending billions of the State’s funds for the said endeavour.”

While clarifying things, Dr Macham said,”Governor Lalong has not been to Lagos in the last couple of months. The last time he was in Lagos was during the inauguration of the Dangote Fertilizer Plant and the new Murtala Mohammed International Airport Terminal which was performed by President Muhammadu Buhari and attended by many Governors”.

According to him, “We wonder where the so-called “source” got his imagination from about Governor Lalong relocating to Lagos but could not provide the date, time, mode of movement or address where he allegedly relocated to in Lagos. Of course he cannot provide such details because they do not exist even in his fictional contraption.”

He challenged the “Source” to provide more information or, at the very least, provide images of Governor Lalong at the “relocated” area of Lagos if he possesses any.

On the contrary, “We have many reports of official engagements of the Governor in Jos and Abuja where he performed his official duties that were widely reported by the media. The “source” who perhaps lives on another planet has either chosen to demonstrate total ignorance or go on with his mischief.”

He provided a few examples of Governor Lalong’s engagements following his return from the APC Primaries in Abuja.

According to Dr Macham , after the governor visited the Villa to meet with Mr. President along with other Governors, Làlong was in Ekiti for the APC Governorship campaign rally and also attended the Combined Convocation of the Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin Ladi together with Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State after which he visited the Polo roundabout and the Vertinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Jos affected by tanker accident.

” Lalong Attended Inter-denominational Church service to mark June 12 at EYN Church Jos, Swore in 4 High Court Judges and 1 Khadi of Plateau State Judiciary, Presided over State Executive Council Meeting where approval was given for completion of Legacy Projects and attended the funeral of former Military Administrator of Plateau State Col. Musa Sheikh Shehu rtd. in Abuja.

“In addition, Macham said Attended the final meeting on rebuilding of Jos Main Market with Jaiz Bank in Abuja and Inaugurated new NASCO Multi billion naira production plant in Jos and as well Presided over another State Executive Council meeting in Jos and on Saturday, this weekend, Attended the wedding of the son of Sir. Joseph Ari, DG ITF among several others.”

Regarding the “billions” the governor is alleged to have spent, Dr. Macham stated it is not worth losing sleep over because such flimsy claims lack merit. Not surprisingly, while claiming to have accomplices at the Accountant General’s office, the so-called “source” was unable to provide any figure.

“We again challenge him to bring out the figures and any other evidence at his disposal or make such available to law enforcement since he is alleging crime. If and when he does so, we will respond appropriately. For now, we urge members of the public to disregard the fabrication which is totally false and another gimmick sponsored by opponents of the Government.”

” we advise Sahara reporters to at least uphold the most basic tenet of journalism which is fair hearing and balanced reporting which demands that two sides of every story are presented to the public always.

“In this case, it is highly disappointing and regrettable that they failed woefully by not giving the Government of Plateau State an opportunity to respond to the allegations by this anonymous “source”. Rather, they quoted him copiously as though his fabricated lies were the gospel truth.

“Because they did not indicate in their story if they attempted getting a reaction but failed, we are left with no option than to believe that they are hands in glove with the so-called “source” and are all out to damage the hard earned reputation of the Governor and the Government of Plateau State. “

He continued, that it is clear that Sahara Reporters has given the enemies of Lalong their platform for misinformation and mischief because the opposition party in the State had issued an embarrassing official press statement making similar allegations and even giving the Governor an ultimatum to return to the State before this whitewash story was published based on information provided by the almighty “source.”

“On the final analysis, we wish to remind those behind this hatchet job to calm all the way down over Governor Lalong’s name being considered for running mate to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC Presidential Candidate. It is not a coincidence or matter of lobby that his name keeps resonating. He fits the post and is ably qualified in his own right.”

“Lalong has never campaigned for the said position and is not desperate for any elevation in life. His destiny has been driven by God throughout his life and he continously looks up to his creator for the next step. Those who are in the contest for VP should please make efforts and leave him alone. “

“Lalong was not born with any position and will never tarnish anyone’s image to get one. Even if he does not occupy any office again, he is a fulfilled man. His political pedigree is towering above many who are loosing sleep over him because God has blessed him enormously. He served as Speaker 7years; Governor 7years; Chairman Northern Governors Forum 4years; Chairman, Conference of Speakers 4years; Conference of Former Speakers till date. As at today, he is the APC Senatorial Candidate for Plateau South Senatorial District in the forthcoming general elections.”

According to Macham, If God says Lalong will be the next Vice President Nigeria, nobody can stop it as It is up to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the APC family to decide, “Lalong together with his colleagues have done their part in insisting that power goes to the South.”

“Let everyone remember that it is God who gives power to whomsoever he pleases. No amount of paid propaganda can change anything”saying Head or tail, Lalong wins.

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