The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung has denied media report alleging rift between him and the sitting governor of Plateau state, Simeon Lalong, describing it as false and malicious.
In a statement, Dalung explained his much criticized attendance at the 2015 cultural festival, insisting he was duly invited and appealed that his presence should not be mischievously interpreted.
“The attention of the Office of the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports has been drawn to a false, wicked and malicious story of alleged clash of supporters of Barrister Solomon Dalung – the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports and that of the Executive Governor of Plateau state –Rit. Hon. Simeon Lalong in Shedam by the Newsday newspaper yesterday.
“It was wrong and uncharitable for the paper to allege that the Hon Minister gate-crashed and disturbed proceedings at the event he was not invited; because His Excellency, the Governor of Plateau State whose cultural people was celebrating the 2015 cultural festival actually invited the Hon Minister to grace the occasion at short notice as a mark of honour to his Office, and the high esteem to which they hold each other.
“Apart from being warmly welcome to the occasion, the Minister not only delivered an address but also donated handsomely to the book launch which is an important item of the event agenda.
“It is equally worth mentioning that Barr Dalung has to cut short his own scheduled assignment to the Langtan North Local Government area of Plateau State which was organized in his honour by eminent traditional rulers, business and community leaders to attend the event in question to honour the Executive Governor who is the Chief Host of the event.
“It is our belief that the author of the story is only being mischievous or bent to create misunderstanding between the two public figures from the State to achieve a a sinister purpose; and which to assure the public that the scheme cannot succeed. To put a lie to the insinuation of cold war between the two leading political figures, it is a fact that Barr Dalung was duly invited to and personally attended as Special Guest of Honour some three weeks ago, a special musical show put in place by the Executive Governor to restore peace back to the Plateau.
“He is focused and wll continue to pursue actions and policies that will further promote friendship, peaceful coexistence and unity in Plateau State and Nigeria in general. For him, this as a bounding duty on which he cannot be distracted,” he concluded.