Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barr. Solomon Dalung, has described as ‘shameless and coward’ the action of the Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state and other state governors crying to the State House over the attack of their people.
Dalung, who dropped the hint while dispelling the rumour that he was planning to contest against Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, argued that the position of governors in Nigeria was not for the feeble-hearted crying to the State House even as the chief security officers of their states with so much money at their disposal.
Fielding questions from newsmen, in his office, in Abuja, on Tuewsday, Dalung said: “I have not made up my mind whether to contest any election in 2019, not even Councilorship let alone governorship.
“I don’t know where the speculations of my contesting for the governor of Plateau State is coming from.
“One office I don’t envy in my life is the office of the governor in Nigeria. I told the governor of Lagos State so. The responsibility of the governors is so enormous and anybody occupying that office should know it. He has the responsibility to protect the lives of Nigerians living within his territory. He has the responsibility of developing policies that will move the state forward and the responsibility of developing economic policies that will fast-track economic development in the state.
“The governors are the custodians of lives in the whole state and hold it in trust for the people. They also collect and manage monthly statutory allocations including what the APC government introduced like the Paris Club bailout. The governors just manage this for the benefit of those living in the state,” he noted.
Speaking specifically about the ‘weeping governors’, Dałung said: “I shed tears when I heard a governor lamenting that his people have been attacked. If the governor should lament that way, then the people in the state should park and run away. This is a man that collects monthly subventions. He is the chief security officer of the state and a General of the Army, yet he is crying.
“Let me commend the people where there have been attacks and the governors are crying. They are still around. It shows that they are courageous. They deserve commendation, but it is cowardice for the governor to cry.
“To worsen it, the situation has given room to the varieties of terrorism that have been domesticated in Nigeria now. We have spiritual terrorists found in worship places responsible for instigating people with hate speeches they preach.
“Why would a governor, who collects billions of Naira, be running to Abuja to cry in the State House? He did not come to the State House with the Paris Club bailout, but came alone to cry. It is shameful and I don’t want to be among the governors that will come and be crying before the President.
“Despite all the monies we have been collecting, education has failed us in the Middle Belt states. There are no schools, no hospitals and no roads yet they stand on the pedestal of their non-performance to enumerate our problems.
“Spare me the agony of becoming a governor because I don’t want to die of high blood pressure. Most of these states have collected a lot of money yet they are so indebted that if I become governor I will be carrying building machine around,” he quipped.