Gyang Bere, Jos
The Chairman of Langtang North Local Government Council, Hon. Ubandoma Joshua Laven, and political son of the pioneer National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the late Chief Solomon Lar, has said that Governor Simon Lalong has never tampered with Plateau State Local Government funds.
He noted that apart from the statutory deduction for funding of Plateau State University Bokkos, state security outfits, Operation Rainbow and Universal Basic Education in the State co-sponsored by the state and local government, Lalong does not interfere with local government finances.
Hon. Laven, who is the only surviving PDP Local Government Chairman in Plateau State, stated this in an interview in Jos to mark his 100 days in office after a legal tussle that restored his mandate.
“Since I resumed office as Executive Chairman of Langtang North over a hundred days ago, Governor Lalong has given me free hands to operate, he carries me along despite the fact that I was elected under the platform of the PDP,” he said.
“I went through a lot of legal tussles after which I became victorious at the Appeal Tribunal. Governor Simon Bako Lalong, who is a man of repute, gave me the oath of office on the 9 October 2019 and, on January 2020, I marked my 100 days in office which coincided with his victory at the Supreme Court.
“We have enjoyed a good working relationship with him, [and] what I thought he is, is not what I am seeing. He has always given us free hand to run the local government administration, he allows us to use our resources for the development of the people apart from the frontline and second lines charges which are statutory deductions to run projects co-sponsored by state and local government.
“We are grateful that the Governor has allowed us to use our VAT; for [the last] 100 days in office, nobody has touched our VAT. We use it for the projects that bring development to our people. The Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs only monitor the projects to avoid reckless spending by some of the Chairmen.”
Laven rejoiced with Lalong on the affirmation of his election victory at the Supreme Court and said that though he will always have points of disagreement with him as a member of the opposition party, they will always agree on issues that will bring meaningful development to Plateau State.
He said he has worked in collaboration with the security agencies to mop up arms in the hands of criminals which has brought peace to the local government area.
Laven said he has not contemplated switching over to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party and has vowed to remain in the PDP to build on the party that the late Solomon Lar left years ago.