The rivalry between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State has intensified lately with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, our correspondent reports.
Prior to the outbreak of the disease, also known as COVID-19, the verbal ‘political warfare’ between the APC and the had PDP greatly subsided, especially after the Supreme Court judgement which upheld the 2019 governorship election victory of Governor Simon Lalong of the APC against Senator Jeremiah Useni of the PDP.
But the coronavirus pandemic has triggered a fresh wave of rivalry between the two parties. Suddenly, they have found their voices against each other again; accusations and counter-accusations, as well as claims and counter-claims, thus became the order of the day.
As the coronavirus began spreading into states, all the state governments, including Plateau, began taking measures to contain the pandemic.
In Plateau, the government took measures like partial lockdown of the state during which places of worship were regulated with a directive that no more than 50 worshippers should congregate at one time. Markets and relaxation joints were ordered to close, commercial vehicles including tricycles were restricted in the number of passengers to carry, medical equipment were purchased and social distancing measures were announced.
Then the state government later announced a total lockdown of the state for one week to enable it to fumigate the entire 17 local government areas against the disease. The fumigation exercise was conducted with a flag-off from Jos, the state capital by the governor himself before it extended to the local government areas.
Announcing the lockdown at a press conference in the Old Government House in Jos the state capital, Lalong unveiled measures being taken by the state to check the pandemic.
But regardless of all the efforts and measures the government said it has taken, the PDP appears to see things differently as it picked holes in the government’s measures.
Our correspondent also gathered that PDP officials were asking people across the state if their areas were actually fumigated or if they received any palliative from the government. The party’s inquiry was obviously to get facts on the government’s claims.
PDP launched its first attack via a press statement by its Publicity Secretary, John Akans, in which the party alleged that the response of the government to the pandemic was weak.
But in its response to the PDP’s allegations, the APC Publicity Secretary, Chindo Dafat, said the PDP was trying to use the COVID-19 issue to stage a comeback to power after suffering defeat in 2015 and 2019.
Before that dust settled, PDP threw another political missile by demanding an explanation from Governor Lalong over the state’s disqualification from the N 43.4 billion World Bank grant (SFTAS) under the International Development Agency/International Finance Agency which was shared among 24 states in the country, via a statement by its Publicity Secretary, John Akans.
APC was however also yet to react to this latest attack from the PDP.
Meanwhile, our correspondent gathered that PDP was planning more attacks on the government on coronavirus handling. So, intriguing days in that respect are ahead.
As the APC and PDP continue to biker and trade blames, there has been only one confirmed case of the disease in the state, which is that of a female infected person who came into the state from Kano State, at the time of filing this report.
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