Plateau State government has donated vehicles to both the Senate and House of Representatives members from the state to aid their movements in the course of performing their official assignments both within and outside the state.
The donations have been generating controversies and sharp criticisms among the people of Plateau, while some people saw it as a welcome development, there is cross section who perceived it as a misplaced priority.
It was learnt that the senators got Prado jeep each while six House of Representatives from the state got Toyota Corolla each, the Senator representing Plateau North Senator Jonah Jang was said to have turn down the offer.
However, attempts to get reaction of Senator Jang proved abortive but one his close aides who did not want his name in print declare thus: “I need to get permission from Senator Jang before I comment on this issue but I can confidently tell you that the state government did not give the former governor any vehicle. We did not receive neither did we reject any offer.”
When contacted, the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Mr Daniel Manjang, confirmed the gift of cars to both the Senate and House of Representatives members from Plateau State adding that it was a donation like any other one, no string attached.
“I don’t know why people especially the opposition are making a noise about it, it is like any other donation. Why were people not talking or commenting when the State Government offset hospital bills of some people or offer financial assistant to people in dare need in one form or the other. This is a clear mischief” he said.
The Special Adviser on Media said the money used to purchase the vehicles was not captured in 2017 budget adding that it was from sub-head under gift and donation adding that the former governor, Senator Jonah Jang, was not given the car because his own is covered by the enactment by State House of Assembly during his administration.
The Interim Coordinator of Coalition of Civil Society Plateau State, Comrade Gad Shamaki, said the gestures to both the Senate and House of Representatives members from Plateau State was a misplaced priority and waste of public fund considering the numbers of issues and sectors begging for attention in the state.
“We considered it as a waste of public fund and misplaced priority, the National Assembly budget covers all these and there is no need of replicating it. If the state is complaining of no fund, this is uncalled for; the money used in buying these cars would have gone into fixing roads and adding value to the state.
“The individual beneficiaries don’t need these cars, they are above the cars, some of them are former commissioners, governors, ministers and so forth, so why wasting public fund” he said.