The governor of Nasarawa State, Sule Abdullahi, has denied accusations levelled against him by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of using his visits to high profile federal government functionaries, including Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, to lobby for a favourable judgment at the governorship election petition Tribunal.
This governor offered this rebuttal at a press conference addressed by his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Peter Ahember in Lafia, on Sunday. The visits to some government officials in Abuja, Ahember said, are clearly to seek partnerships for the benefit of the State.
“First and foremost, the PDP leader and indeed, members of the public should note that the recent working visit to the FCT Minister by Governor Sule was mainly to solicit for further collaboration with the FCT Administration for a metro line from Apo to Keffi, as well as a partnership to build the 13,000 hectares Gurku/Kabusu Mega City that is only about 5km away from Maitama ll.” These projects, the SSA noted, are important because of the proximity of the State to the Federal Capital Territory and the fact that more than 40 percent of workers in FCT reside in Nasarawa State.
Ahember alluded to other visits that are capable of bringing gains to the State. “A day before the visit to the FCT Minister, the governor was visited by the Hon Ministers of Police Affairs, as well as the Health and Social Welfare in company of GAVI at the Nasarawa Governor’s lodge in Abuja, while the Governor also visited the Hon. Minister of Minerals Resources the same day, all with the aim to attract development to the State.”
While questioning the PDP’s concern about the welfare of the people of Nasarawa State, the governor aide said “an opposition party that has the interest of the people at heart and is interested in propelling good governance through constructive critisms will applaud the Governor’s initiative to timely seek partnership with the new FCT Minister because it is a right step in the right direction,” rather than impugn genuine efforts to bring about rapid development of the State.
The government challenged the PDP chairman, to shed light on the activities of his Party bigwigs. “Mr. Francis Orogu should rather tell the people of Nasarawa State why himself and other PDP leaders in the State suddenly relocated temporarily to Abuja since commencement of proceedings at the Tribunal and have been moving from one retired Military General to another with the evil intention to get the mandate freely given to Governor Sule by the electorates upturned. The PDP Chairman should be reminded that political power under a democratic setting cannot be acquired through the backdoor.”
He said the governor and his Party, the All Progressives Congress have no worries regarding the outcome of the tribunal judgment, as the mandate was freely given by the people. He described the PDP as Party that had been defeated four times in a bounce and on the brink of another defeat
Also speaking on the accusation that kidnapping is spiking, Ahember noted that kidnapping is not peculiar to Nasarawa State. He said however that “Nasarawa State is rated many times as one of the most peaceful States in Nigeria is because of the way and manner Governor Sule has continued to deal decisively with security threats in all parts of the State,” noting that “The PDP leaders should rather commend Governor Sule that,[sic] despite not having control over the security agencies, the Governor has been able to restore peace in all parts of the State through effective synergy with the Federal Government and security agencies which is why the citizens, including leaders of the opposition party and their private jnvestments in many parts of the State have remained secured.
Governor Sule is therefore “focused on the task of governance for the overall benefit of the State and will never allow his government to be distracted by the antics of the opposition,” Ahember said.