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General News of Sunday, 26 June 2022

Source: www.mynigeria.com

I am not desperate to be Tinubu's running mate - Gov Lalong discloses

Simon Lalong Simon Lalong

The Governor of Plateau State Simon Lalong has publicly debunked a report by Sahara Reporters titled “How Governor Lalong Abandoned Plateau For Lagos, Desperately Lobbying, Squandering State Resources To Become Tinubu’s Running Mate – Sources”

In the report, it was alleged that he has left governance to chase the ambition of being a running mate to All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Governor Lalong however debunked the reports as he claimed that he is not desperate for any elevation in life.

He made this known in a statement issued by Makut Simon Macham, PhD, the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State.

Please read the full statement below:

The attention of the Governor of Plateau State has been drawn to a story published by Sahara Reporters on its online platform dated 24th June with the caption “How Governor Lalong Abandoned Plateau For Lagos, Desperately Lobbying, Squandering State Resources To Become Tinubu’s Running Mate – Sources” which is being consumed and circulated by innocent persons that are unaware of its falsehood, mischief and bad taste.

This report which is the perfect case study for fake news, yellow journalism, sponsored hatchet job, and irresponsible reporting totally does not deserve a response, but for the sake of saving right-thinking members of society from being misled by this horrible product that is an epic case in abuse of the noble journalism profession.

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.

To put the records straight, 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.

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.

We challenge the “Source” to come up with the details or at least show pictures of Governor Lalong in the “relocated” part of Lagos if he has 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.

We cite a few of Governor Lalong’s engagements after he returned from the APC Primaries in Abuja:

1. After a visit to the Villa to meet with Mr. President along with other Governors, the Governor was in Ekiti for the APC Governorship campaign rally.

2. The Governor attended the Combined Convocation of the Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin Ladi together with Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State.

3. Visited the Polo roundabout and the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Jos affected by tanker accident.

4. Attended Inter-denominational Church service to mark June 12 at EYN Church Jos.

5. Swore in 4 High Court Judges and 1 Khadi of Plateau State Judiciary.

6. Presided over State Executive Council Meeting where approval was given for completion of Legacy Projects

7. Attended the funeral of former Military Administrator of Plateau State Col. Musa Sheikh Shehu rtd. in Abuja

8. Attended the final meeting on the rebuilding of Jos Main Market with Jaiz Bank in Abuja

9. Inaugurated new NASCO Multi-billion naira production plant in Jos

10. Presided over another State Executive Council meeting in Jos.

11. Attended the wedding of the son of Sir. Joseph Ari, DG ITF among several others.

We wish to refer the public and Sahara reporters to the official handles of the Government and the Governor’s Directorate of Press (https://www.facebook.com/plsgdoppa; https://www.facebook.com/PLSGov) for stories and pictures of these and many other engagements of His Excellency.

On the “billions” purported to have been spent by the Governor, it is not worth losing sleep over because such cheap allegations are without substance. Little wonder the so-called “source” could not quote a figure even after the claim of having collaborators at the office of the Accountant General.

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 a 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.

Finally, 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.

Since 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”, it is clear that Sahara Reporters has availed the enemies of Lalong their platform for misinformation and mischief.

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 continuously looks up to his creator for the next step. Those who are in the contest for VP should please make effort 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 losing sleep over him because God has blessed him enormously.

He served as Speaker for 7 years; Governor for 7 years; Chairman Northern Governors Forum for 4 years; Chairman, Conference of Speakers 4 years; Conference of Former Speakers till date. As of today, he is the APC Senatorial Candidate for Plateau South Senatorial District in the forthcoming general elections.

If God says he will be the next Vice President of Nigeria, nobody can stop it. 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. Head or tail, Lalong wins!

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