Gyang Bere, Jos
Danladi Jock-Alamba is the Deputy National Welfare Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He believes that challenging the victory of Governor Simon Lalong at the tribunal by PDP candidate, Sen. Jeremiah Useni, will a waste of time and resources. He claimed that Lalong has been endorsed unanimously by the people of Plateau State through the ballot.
How did you receive the news of the re-election of Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State?
The news did not come to me as a surprise because right from the onset, I realised that Simon Lalong was God’s made and he came full of good will towards uplifting the condition of Plateau State, it is because of that good will that I gave him a vote of confidence right from the beginning and I know that by the grace of God he was going to excel in his performance and make the second term.
Few hours after Lalong was declared winner of the election, the PDP candidate, Jeremiah Useni indicated interest that he was going to the tribunal to challenge the victory, don’t you think that is a big challenge to Lalong and the APC?
The rejection of the victory of APC and Governor Lalong by Jeremiah Useni is not surprising to me, because I still believe that we are suffering from an ungodly characteristic due to our desperate nature as a people because the truth is that, logically Jeremiah Useni cannot defend the basis of making a statement of rejection, this election have been witnessed, have been observed, have been declared in so many quarters as free and fair. If any game is played according to the rule, believe me that there is no need for such ridiculous statement by Jeremiah Useni. Also, it is very rear to find politicians in this part of the world being gallant in losing election and I think that is what our leader is doing. I respect Jeremiah Useni very well, I think he fell into the temptation of refusing to be a gallant loser, mark you the elections as I said were free and fair, Lalong himself never interfered, if that is done, there would have been fire during the supplementary election, nobody would have even have had the confidence to go and vote. Of course, Useni has the right of taking any case up if he believed that Simon Lalong did not win.
But I don’t see him getting any justice because the election was free, fair and credible. There was nothing like rigging or over voting as they claimed, he has the right of going to the tribunal but I think it will be an exercise in futility for him.
It has been alleged that the election was militarised in some parts of the country and even in Plateau, don’t you think that was against the electoral law?
It was not true that government wanted to use the security, the military personnel we have are well trained military and to think that somebody is manipulating them is not true. Therefore, it is unbecoming for anybody to think of using security as a government to manipulate election. In the case of Plateau, you will just be risking the very fragile peace that we are enjoying if you push a security that goes there to generate some tension between them and some area boys, chaos will spark off to the detriment of the people and to the disadvantage of the government and the society itself, so I don’t believe that security was mobilised for that purpose, it was mobilised for the purpose of security.
Many people believe that your party the APC at the centre has not met the expectations of the people, yet the people still voted it into power, what do you think your party will do to address the seemingly poverty in the land?
I assure you that Nigerians have every reason to have confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari and talking about meeting expectations, to what percentage. Most Nigerians are happy, I can assure Nigerians that the APC government is full of goodwill and it means business in terms of performance. One of the things that have been frustrating our development is clearly corruption, now if you just remove one person out of the corrupt people in Nigeria, won’t you just give credit to the APC, that we are less one corrupt person? APC deserves that credit. We must believe and give APC credit for what it has done. The performance of Mr. President at the federal level in terms of infrastructure and social investment, fight against insecurity is encouraging. One of the global fight is about insecurity in Nigeria, for goodness sake, flags were already flying indicating control of certain Local Government Areas by the Boko Haram and today, we don’t have any flag flying anywhere, is that not a sign that Nigerians should have confidence that we are moving forward? There is hardly any time in the past that you heard of any budget for so many projects happening at once like you have heard last year. The budget of the Federal Government is strictly on infrastructure, particularly on roads, I don’t know if you have observed this reality of a government putting down so many roads in its budget to consume billions of naira, these are indicators that this government mean serious business. Also, within the delivery process, you have a lot of things being taken care of. In Plateau State, what were the expectations by our civil servants, they were crying for their entitlements, every month we want to have our salaries, and Lalong gave them that which they had been crying for, for many years.
Also, completion of projects by Lalong government sound very strange to the people, they did not understand the importance behind completion of projects, it shows that Lalong’s government is a very serious minded one that understands the importance of putting in place a firm foundation for future generation, is that not worthy of attracting our confidence within the next four years or even after because of the foundation that he has put on ground? If projects were being completed, hospitals and schools completed here and there, I think we would have been better off today, these are some indicators that are worthy of attracting our confidence on the APC government both in the state and at the federal level.