Plateau State Diaspora Development Association (PSDDA) in the United States of America (USA) have warned the Plateau State Government headed by Simon Bako Lalong to ensure their concerns are addressed before signing a contract for the reconstruction of the Jos Main Market (JMM).
According to the group, they have not endorse any Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the reconstruction of the market adding that the way the government is pushing the project is supecious.
A statement issued by the Secretary, PSDDA, USA, Moses Dachen on 10 August 10, 2022 said: “We want to warn that any attempt by the handlers of this state government to ignore our concerns, would be at its own peril.
“We also want to warn any contractor that would deliberately accept to work on a contentious project such as this to have a rethink. There will be consequences if the concerns of our people are thrown to the wind.
“We want to warn any government official or individuals against pushing this project as is with no modification to accommodate the concerns of our people. Any attempt to ignore our concerns and the general outcry of our people would be met with stiff resistance. It would be in the interest of those in government to continue to explore dialogue on this subject, ” the group said.
While calling on their people to continue to support meaningful and people oriented projects and government policies, the diaspora group said they will never be cowed into submission to agendas clearly designed to continue to subjugate their collective interest.
“We the members of Plateau State Diaspora Development Association in the United States wish to express our position on the ongoing decision by the Plateau State Government (PLSG) to initiate the rebuilding of the damaged Jos Main Market (JMM).
“First, we commend any effort towards such a venture and we appreciate every step taken to actualize this goal. We also recognize that a public venture such as this requires the buy-in of the public.
“We believe it is with this desire that the PLSG initiated stakeholders consultations to gather opinion and suggestions from the good people of Plateau.
“It is our common knowledge that the majority of our people disagrees with the terms of reference as contained in the MoU for the reconstruction of the JMM.
“As major stakeholders in the Plateau project, we also had the opportunity of voicing our strong opposition during a virtual town hall meeting we had with PLSG as to the terms of contract contained in the MoU.
“We flatly rejected several aspects of the contract and offered an alternative solution to our state government, ” the group said.
The group said they proposed to PLSG to work with its sons and daughters in Diaspora to generate the funds needed for this project.
“We assured our government that we are willing to crowd fund the needed resources amongst ourselves and we hoped this gesture would be allowed to be tested.
“We ended our meeting with assurances from the officials of PLSG that they would look into all the concerns we raised and our position as well as the position of many well meaning Plateau citizens. We were assured that consultations are ongoing and concerns raised would be considered before any decision would be taken.
“However, it is with great dismay that we are reading in print media a position put forward by the PLSG claiming that“Stakeholders endorse the rebuilding of JMM.”
“We wonder, if all the concerns raised were already addressed? Who are the stakeholders that endorsed the project? And if our position as stakeholders doesn’t matter, why did the officials of PLSG consult our opinion in the first place? Why would the PLSG refuse the offer from those of us in Diaspora without any cogent reason? Is there any hidden motive why the state government is ramming through our throats a project we clearly are not in support of?
“Is the PLSG indebted to an unknown benefactor and are using the JMM project as a ploy to pay back its debts? What is the State government hiding from the good people of Plateau state? These and many more questions deserve answers and it will behoove our state government to honestly address these concerns first before pushing through with an unpopular project, ” the group added.
Leave a Reply