Plateau crisis: Gov. Lalong accused of denying IDPs access to Victims Support Fund - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Monday, December 10, 2018

Plateau crisis: Gov. Lalong accused of denying IDPs access to Victims Support Fund

Simon Lalong
A gubernatorial candidate on the platform of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Plateau State, General Jonathan Temlong (rtd), on Monday alleged that the incumbent Governor of the State, Simon Lalong, should be blamed for denying the Internally Displaced Persons access to the Victims Support Fund.

He said the Governor had in different fora claimed that the state was peaceful; hence, didn’t approach the Victims Support Fund for assistance.

Temlong made the disclosure while addressing journalists at the party secretariat in Jos, the State Capital.

He said, “Many highly-placed Nigerians have been calling me that you are there what are you people doing that Plateau is suffering like this; and I said look I don’t have an entry point.

“Even if I’m allowed to give advice, the person in power might not have to follow what I said.

“So, if Governor Lalong is giving assurance after three and half to four years, that now he is going to return the IDPs to their ancestral homes, take it with a pinch of salt because elections are coming in two-three months time.

“If there were no elections, he wouldn’t have thought of taking them back.”

The retired Army General added that, “Let me tell you, out of shear concern, I approached the Victims Support Fund (VSF) because of the plight of our IDPs on the Plateau, and the answer I was given was that, your Governor said there is peace on the Plateau and there is no problem and he has not approach her for assistance.

“So the Victims Support Fund is meant for victims, not just victims in the North-Eastern part of the country, but allover.

“And I believe you people know the chairman of that fund, who is one of our illustrious sons, General TY Danjuma.

“And there was no way he wouldn’t have assisted if Plateau had gone with a request and this number of IDPs that require support, because they are victims of crisis too, unfortunately nothing like that was done.

“There are other well-meaning individuals, who have been intervening in the North-East and even Benue; they would have intervened here if we had a government that is responsive, a people centred government; foundations both within and outside this country would have come to our aid.

“Even in constructing of the accommodation of the displaced persons”, he maintained.

“Now if you give a dateline of December, 2018, how realistic is it? He asked.

“The challenges of these IDPs are more than political statements, these are serious problems that deal with peoples lives and I’m well equipped, because I have the experience to tackle them.

According to Temlong, who was the first Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force between 1998-1999, that restored the territorial integrity and civil administration in the Lake Chad Basin, “This is why my promise to put Plateau first to restore the dignity of Plateau State through a Citizen Centered Government is anchored on a three point agenda.

“Which are security and sustainable peace, good governance and development.”

He assured that all displaced persons would be returned to their ancestral homes and adequate security provided to protect them from experiencing the horrors they went through, if given the mandate come 2019.

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