After we watched with dismay, the pathetic spectacle of perfidy spewed by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State in his interview with TVC immediately after he was named Director General of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Campaign Council, in which he mentioned Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara and Engineer Babachir David Lawal by name, Rt. Hon. Dogara had cause to counsel him via text message thus: “YE, you know that your remarks on TVC interview are totally untrue. I advise you don’t invite us to join issues with you. Just do your job and leave us out of it, pls”.
It now appears that Governor Lalong, in a display of cowardice, decided to adopt Hon. Yakubu Datti as his pen name in order to continue attacking Rt. Hon. Dogara with inanities. We are quite aware that Yakubu Dati and a few cronies of his principal have constituted themselves into a ‘cabal’ inflicting terror and deceit on the good and peaceful people of Plateau State, who in the past seven years have suffered maladministration, oppression and nepotism.
We understand this character called Yakubu Dati is usually high on some cheap stuff and it serves no use responding to issues raised by some inebriated person. We, therefore, choose to unmask the masquerade, who himself is a lapdog, instead of addressing his sick puppy. Hence, moving forward, every punch thrown at the Rt. Hon. by Governor Lalong or any of his lackeys would be decisively countered.
Why is Governor Lalong obsessed with Rt. Hon. Dogara, one may ask? First, it was his house in Jos and now it is his character that he is fighting hard to impugn. This is even as Rt. Hon. Dogara is not known to and cannot be quoted as having ever spoken ill of the Governor, despite his proven remarkable all round ineptitude.
How dare you compare terms that turned Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa-Balewa Federal Constituency into a massive construction site to Governor Lalong’s two terms of pangs, pains, devastation, anguish and death on the Plateau. Where on the Plateau has Governor Lalong constructed an 82 kilometer road? We counsel him to check out Bauchi – Tafawa Balewa Road only before talking about an injustice done because a Legislator was returned for a 4th term. After all, his constituents are not daft to have elected Rt. Hon. Dogara for four consecutive tenures when no House of Representatives member from the constituency had ever won a re-election.
To put it mildly, Rt. Hon. Dogara has always won his elections despite fierce opposition from more entrenched self-conceited megalomaniacs than Governor Lalong. He has willingly given up the seat and while doing so, insisted that it moves to another Local Government Area. He has refused to back any Christian aspirant to run for the ticket in his party in the spirit of justice, fairness and inclusiveness which he has always and still preaches. We challenge Governor Lalong to provide evidence that this is not the case.
To assert that Rt. Hon. Dogara attempted to remove someone who cannot be traced on the order of national protocol from office without saying why or providing any shred of evidence to back up such wild claims is a skill deployed only by schmucks. Which elephant out there wastes its time fighting ants?
It takes only a coward to cast the rejection of same faith ticket as Rt. Hon. Dogara and Engineer Babachir David Lawal’s position. Where was Governor Lalong when the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) publicly warned against and later denounced it? What is the position of the Roman Catholic Church on the matter? What of ECWA, COCIN and majority of Nigerian Churches that have made their positions public? How many Islamic clerics and Northern leaders have openly denounced it? Why are Governor Lalong and his clowning strumpets not attacking CAN, the churches and notable Islamic clerics and Muslims who have reacted the same way? Why the obsession with Dogara and Babachir? Despite all these, we all knew the magnitude of the lobby he put in just to be appointed the DG and when his attempt to use the name of the Pope to justify his appointment failed, he turned his venom on Rt. Hon. Dogara to continue to be relevant in his new found position.
We dare say that if Lalong had any shred of honour he would never have accepted to be Tinubu’s Campaign DG, not because of the same faith ticket which he had the misfortune of dragging the Holly father’s name into, but on account of what he said against Tinubu when he was promoting, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Ameachi in the run up to the primaries. Plateau delegates who voted for Tinubu were hosted at our office before they moved to the convention venue where everything Governor Lalong said to the delegates against Tinubu was narrated by them. We won’t state them here as we want him to enjoy the pot of porridge that has been set before him. But only God knows how he reconciles his conscience when he now promotes someone he never believed in to be the president of our beloved country. Does he hate Nigeria that much? There is a word for those who glorify people they know are villains and vilify heroes; and it is not a good word.
Truth must be told that all through his political sojourn, Lalong has been a lapdog whose owners feed with straw, not even bones, let alone solid meat. He is a perfect misrepresentation of the proud, courageous, sophisticated, spirited and patriotic Plateau people.
What have his years of genuflection at some political altars yielded for Plateau people in terms of plump appointments and provision of critical infrastructures, if we may ask? Posterity will judge him for dragging Plateau State backwards for another 20 years. Well meaning people should continue to pray for Plateau. Deliverance is near.
Now that his owners have forced him to wallow in mendacity and even profanity, we hope he would be smart enough to demand for solid meat instead of the straw he is used to being fed. For now, Lalong seems to be operating like the woman sitting on a scarlet beast; covered with blasphemous names and drunk with the blood of the saints mentioned in the Book of Revelation. We can only hope that he does not turn the campaign into an active crime scene just like the hill at Rayfield from which moral vandalism flows. If Lalong does not embrace rectitude, our fear is that just like the woman in the Book of Revelation was brought to ruins and left naked, so his portion may be.
However, we freely counsel Lalong to take the part of honour and stop denigrating people or unleashing his puppies on others for taking a position on issues, especially when those people have not poured invectives on him for taking his own position. This is more so that some of us are even struggling to find any reason to defend the little respect we have left for him.
Governor Lalong would do well if he talked to us about why he thinks the Tinubu of today has metamorphosed into an angel after casting him as a demon just months ago; if he talked about how the greed induced divisive ticket which he lobbied and paid for to be appointed to elevate above the needs of many, can engender unity in a diverse, multicultural, multi- ethnic and multi-religious country like Nigeria. He should tell us where any people have ever built a State without first building a nation, that’s if he understands what that means. We want rational conversations, not some uninspiring, cheap and self deprecating street talks about individuals.
In any case, as the campaigns get underway, we challenge Governor Lalong to organise a public issues-based debate at a place of his choosing anywhere on the Plateau for us to thoroughly canvass our positions on national politics, most especially on the stale meat he begged to hawk for his ilks to buy. We earnestly await the date, venue and time of this public debate on the Plateau.
Finally, we hope reason and common sense, though not common, will prevail over this brand of shameless brinkmanship now being promoted by a lapdog and his lapdogs in the name of APC campaigns.
● Mr Turaki Hassan is media aide to Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara.