By Dogo Danmalam
There’s one funny and asinine piece being circulated by the Miinister of Sports, Solomon Dalung and his aides, titled, ‘Governor Lalong, between absenteeism and governance.’
When I first saw the piece and read through its opening paragraphs, I was put off by the illogic and circumambulating inanity that I put it away, but I was compelled to read through the hogwash when I again saw it on the minister’s Facebook wall.
This to me means that the minister not only agrees with its riotous incoherence but promotes its mediocrity because as I suspect, the Minister may have written the piece and only chose to use the name of one of his aides to hide his face.
But if anybody is in doubt who the writer is, the person only has to look at the characteristic errors associated with the minister to know who the true writer is.
Much as I don’t want to believe that a Minister of the Federal Republic would be that low in IQ even if the minister had made serious blunders in the past, I was compelled to have a change of mind given his antecedent and penchant for faux pax.
The much I could take out from the piece is the claim that the Plateau State governor has been traveling to Abuja to lobby for the removal of the minister from office.
But I ask, how stupid can the writer be to allege that?
Why would Governor Simon Lalong, a serious minded governor, travel to Abuja and spend valuable time on something that would neither add any value to the State nor serve any useful purpose.
As it is, everybody knows Lalong is busy trying to develop Plateau and make life better for the people. This is a 24-hour project that requires concentration, tact and diplomacy to achieve that the governor cannot allow such silly distractions.
It is public knowledge that in the process of developing Plateau, that the governor is building bridges of friendship across the state and has invited those with good ideas to come and join him build the state.
The governor has never claimed to know it all but has been relentless in mobilizing the best brains on the Plateau to join him to move the state forward and he has said that he owes the achievement he has been able to put on ground so far to the contribution of these leaders and stakeholders who have stood by him.
From these, it is evident that the governor, appreciates the significance of having indigenes of the state in vantage positions including the federal executive council and would not relent to use any indigene of the state in good positions for the advantage of Plateau because Plateau has been his concern all along.
But for somebody to sit and think that the governor would waste one minute lobbying for the removal of a minister from the state either shows the person’s lack of grasp of issues concerning governance or that the person is just trying to spin attention to his side seeing the commendation and applause the governor is receiving lately.
From the much I know of Lalong, he does not in any way regard the minister as posing any threat to his second coming as governor as the minister is a serial loser in elections who Lalong has defeated before and would no qualms defeating over and over again.
Besides, the governor is well aware of what the two states that lost their ministers due to one reasons or the other went through before they got a replacement and would not want Plateau to go through that, so he cannot waste his time doing what cannot attract dividends to the state.
But one has not failed to notice that since the visit of Buhari to Plateau, the minister and those around him have been struck by envy and have not hidden such jealousy and have been trying all they could to diminish the essence of that spectacular outing first by making spurious allegations that the name of Yakubu Gowon was replaced with that of Buhari on a major road which turned out to be a wicked and embarrassing lie, to other issues like reeling out figures allegedly owed by the state that do not exist.
Since the state government gave a clear picture of both, everybody has applauded Lalong and his team but the minister is trying to sustain the controversy to divert attention from his many blunders and allegations of malfeasance at the sports ministry.
The most unfortunate things is that the minister deludes himself that he is speaking for the masses when judging by his electoral value and lack of support base he has never had any mandate beyond his person.
It is clear that he is only trying to cause disaffection in the Plateau APC since he cannot get the APC governorship ticket.
There are allegations that he is supporting one of the aspirants in the PDP in Plateau because they’re from the same place.
It is this ambition that moved him to insult President Muhammad Buhari the other day saying the president does not deserve a road to be named after him and tried to cover his hatred by claiming that the road had already been named after Yakubu Gowon when no such thing existed.
Why would Lalong waste his precious time trying to remove a minister who every Nigerian knows is the greatest liability of the Buhari administration going by his thoroughly embarrassing comments and actions?
Was it Lalong who asked the minister to bungle the early preparation for World Cup qualifier?
Was It Lalong who asked the minister to say that Argentina is one of the football clubs in Nigeria?
On the political plane, was it Lalong who asked the minister to mobilize his colleagues to demand for more pay from Mr. President or was it the governor that asked the minister to criticize the naming of a road after the president?
The bit about the minister getting his appointment without the help of the governor does not even arise as it serves to discredit the claim that he moves with a popular mandate.
The real test of popularity,everybody knows, is the one that the governor subjected himself to many times over and was victorious and that is by contesting and winning election.
Lalong won his seat to the House of Assembly, became its speaker, contested for the APC governorship ticket and won and submitted himself in the general elections beating a ruling party for the coveted prize.
That is the true test of popularity unlike the minister who had been beaten at the PDP House of Reprentatives primary election by Chief Solomon Lar’s daughter in a clear case of betrayal. He suffered another humiliating defeat at the APC guber primary election. Dalung’s highest political attainments is Transition chairman of a Local Government Area under an illegal government.
Please we should not dignify an underachiever by claiming that somebody above him would try to remove him.
This is another low for the minister.