by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Secretary to the Christians Pilgrim Welfare Board in Plateau State, Rev Fr. George Gorap, has reacted on the accusation labeled against him on the issue of sales of Low-cost Houses in Pankshin local government area of Plateau State, saying, “It’s an issue that has been settled since.”
He said he doesn’t deal in land, he doesn’t deal in houses, and expressed shock how someone wrote such a story without facts and proper investigation.
According to him, “This an issue that has been there for over the years, that, those places have been sold, and people have occupied them. So, I don’t know what is coming up now and I don’t know why they are after me.”
He noted that, “As a Reverend Father and a man of God precisely four years ago, I was able to acquire a land there like any other citizen of Plateau State, where am trying to put up a structure in the past three years, to live in after my retirement.”
The secretary observed that, “The writer of the publication only called me that there was an accusation against me by occupants of Government Quarters, and that, two minutes later the allegation report came indicating that it was published without giving me fair hearing, which to me is an act of unprofessional and character assassination.”
In this regard, he urged journalists in the state to always investigate and crosscheck facts available to them before going public, as they are the Fourth Estate of Realm.
He was speaking in an interview with journalists in Pankshin on the recent allegations that he was in connivance with some staff of the Ministry of Lands, Surveys and Town Planning brought without due process concerning Government Quarters in Pankshin local government area of Plateau State.
He stressed that, “The work of a journalist is to verify information available to ensure both parties are given equal opportunities and fair hearing for the public to understand and know the truth; but a situation where such is lacking will undermine the professional ethics.”
According to him, the publication by some online blogs expressed shock at the malicious allegation labelled against him, following the manner in which the publication was done – without fairness to professionalism and balancing of reports, saying, the allegations were a huge shock to him.
Rev Fr. George Gorap noted that, “If the occupants of the said property have a problem, they should know where to go and sort it out – which is the Ministry of Lands and Surveys – and find out what the problem is and also go to the Office of the Head of Service, if there are issues they will want to take up.
“But not to tarnish my image as a person, I think it is not worth it for me to read on the news about all this. I’m not part of this business. This is blackmail, but I don’t know what they are looking for from me as a person. I know, who I am, and I am just surprised at how this whole issue is playing out,” but ensured that he’s is to follow peace in life.
Rev. Fr. Gorap called on the appropriate authorities in-charge of the online journalist to train its members on professionalism to avoid future occurrences.
It would be recalled that, some online bloggers have reported that, some occupants of Government Quarters in Pankshin local government area have raised alarm that the Christian Pilgrimage Board Chairman, Rev. Father George Gorap, along with some staff of the ministry of lands, surveys and town planning without due process “connived to sell government quarters at Pankshin to their families and cronies, who claimed to have ‘purchased’ the said housing estate.”
Our correspondent gathered that, the staff and the said buyers are alleged to be conniving with the state Head of Services (HoS) in harassing and intimating the occupants, who are active state civil servants, to vacate the buildings.