JANG’S TOXIC INTERVIEW: WHEN BIGOTRY, BITTERNESS, DESPERATION, SELF-DECEIT AND EGO CONSUME AN ELDER
In Africa, Nigeria and Plateau, the position of an elder is one that is reserved and earned by reason of age, experience and in most cases accomplishments which ordinarily confers respect as well as commands reverence for those who qualify.
Jonah David Jang, immediate past Governor of Plateau State who ordinarily should fall into this category surprised many (except his blind and wailing supporters) with a pre-arranged appearance on his sponsored radio platform Jay FM which he founded and funds primarily to propagate lies, hate, bigotry and division in the State under his desperation for relevance, revenge and political power.
In the pre-recorded interview under the program LET’S TALK which was taken out of the studio to the comfort of his Du home just to shut out audience participation through phone calls which is the usual format, Jang threw caution to the wind by not only trying effortlessly to justify the unjustifiable, but also turning logic on its head and trying to rewrite history.
His objective was simple: push out lies and propaganda to do maximum damage to the the ruling APC and its candidate Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe by disparaging the Government of Simon Bako Lalong and generating sympathy for the lacklustre PDP and his selected and imposed stooge Caleb Mutfwang.
While he failed woefully to achieve his aim, he ended up damaging the little goodwill that remained for his party and candidate ahead of the elections which were eventually rescheduled.
For the record and in the interest of right thinking Plateau citizens and Nigerians, we wish to respond to some of his lies that he tried to peddle on the choreographed interview handled by some of the most biased, inexperienced, amateurish and reckless journalists and presenters in the history of broadcasting in the world. We hope NBC will sanction them appropriately if they have not done so.
- LALONG HAS NOT DONE A SINGLE PROJECT: We may pardon Baba Jang for this big lie on the basis that he may be suffering from dimensia or perhaps been away from the State since 2015 when he was defeated. If not, how can someone who claims to be a Pastor tell such lies and sleep well? What does he mean by “project”? If he is suffering from dimensia, we can remind him that it is Governor Lalong that completed the Mararaban Jama’a-British America Road and the Secretariat flyover which he left abandoned. What about the Old Airport-Rayfield- Yelwa Club- Bukuru road as well as the Kugiya-Zawan roads? Lalong completed so many other projects which were abandoned even when huge sums were paid without commensurate work. Lalong completed and equipped General Hospitals in Riyom, Kanke and Mabudi and has just finished construction of the longest bridge in Plateau State (Kalong-Angwan Dadi Bridge) in Shendam as well as the British-American Flyover and Dualisation to Lamingo Junction Roundabout. We refer him to (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=523256389982301&id=100068938338495&mibextid=Nif5oz) for sights and sounds of Lalong’s achievements which no amount of hatred can erase.
We sense that Jang spealizes in trying hard to erase the achievements of his predecessors and successors so that he can be the only “Champion of Plateau”. If not, what project did he complete from former Governor Joshua Dariye? For instance, he brazenly closed down the Plateau State University Bokkos, one of the first State Universities to open on a permanent site describing it as a poultry farm. Today, Lalong has shamed him by opening and developing it to one of the best in the country. PLASU has held 7 convocations, graduated thousands, created 4 new faculties and a Post Graduate School. Still, he says Lalong has not achieved anything despite the fact that he completed most of the projects he abandoned including paying huge salary arrears that crippled the civil service.
- PLATEAU GOT IT WRONG IN 2015 WHEN IT DIDN’T SUPPORT CONTINUITY: What continuity is he talking about? When did the people of Plateau State tell him that? This is a looser consoling himself with a wild theory when infact the people clearly chose to be on the path of unity, justice, fairness and continuity of harmony rather than his selfishness and stubbornness which was almost tearing the State apart. If the people had followed his “self centred” continuity nonsense, Plateau would have descended into an unredeemable position today. The people got it right by choosing Lalong over his anointed candidate GNS Pwajok. They repeated same in 2019 despite his incitement and propaganda using his Jay FM. On this, Baba Jang again goofed! He is the one that got it wrong not the people. At least he knows better now that he claims to be an advocate of zoning.
- GOD FATHERISM SHOULD NOT BE ENCOURAGED: Really? Thank God the people of Plateau State have taught Jang a bitter lesson to the extent he now knows that Godfatherism is not good. We don’t even believe him because he has not repented from his old ways since he singlehandedly picked little known Caleb Mutfwang a Kaduna based Plateau man and imposed him on the PDP. That is after imposing the Chris Hassan led PDP exco in the State which resulted in factions that continues to haunt the party today (they are in the Supreme Court). Jang should not pull a stunt by being hypocritical in this assertion.
- PDP ZONED GOVERNORSHIP TO CENTRAL ZONE AND MUTFWANG WAS CHOSEN BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN TESTED AND IS COMPETENT: Even though it is heart warming to hear Jang praising zoning which he hated before, we cannot understand what capacity he is talking about Mutfwang. Is it the man that left Mangu LGA in shambles and accumulated huge debts that the local Government Council was shut down untill Governor Lalong settled the bills and reopened it? What about the 8 months of unpaid salaries he left behind? What projects can he show that he executed during his tenure when he operated mostly from Kaduna?
Jang cannot justify his imposition of Mutfwang on the PDP with this lame claim of zoning. Afterall, he has never believed in zoning.The truth is that Caleb Mutfwang who shares the same marital affinity with Jang was just brought because he will be a stooge if elected.
Truth be told, if not that Jang has an alterior motive, should little known Caleb be the best that will come from Mangu who boast of political heavyweights and highly celebrated achievers in education, business, law, governance and politics? With the calibre of experienced people such as Prof. Shedrach Best who was his SGS during his reign, one would have thought he will present such calibre of people who have pedigree in leadership not Caleb Mutfwang who fialed woefully in running a single local government. The only competence he exhibited was the competence of failure!
Jang should note that we know his grand design as the condition for bringing in Caleb is simply so that Ngo Piyo stands in for the first tenure so that should Caleb succeeds in the 2023 election, by 2027 when he will run as incumbent, his son Yakubu Jang will be the running mate. This will then pave the way for Yakubu to contest for Governor when power rotates to the northern zone.
That is his reason for not bringing a younger person be it a man or a woman, because he knows he will grapple with any younger person if he tends to drop him or she for his choice son Yakubu Jang.
- NENTAWE WILL FAVOUR MUSLIMS LIKE LALONG: Again, Jang was at his best with his religious bigotry and hypocrisy with this assertion. He claimed that the endorsement of Dr. Nentawe by Sheik Jingir is because they think Nentawe will favour them as Lalong did. This is not only a lie but very unfortunate coming from someone who has occupied office of the Governor for 8 years and was expected to be a leader for all citizens irrespective of religion, tribe and political affiliation. If we may ask, how did Lalong favour Muslims over Christians or other faiths? Lalong has simply governed according to his oath of office and the commitment to justice, equity and fairness for all. If this is what Jang terms as favouring Muslims, then his leadership qualities are questionable and very disheartening.
By the way, Jang has dined and wined with Muslims throughout his military and political careers but still wants the gullible to believe that he hates them. Who first brought Buhari to Plateau State under the ANPP? Who made Saleh Hassan (a Muslim) Member House of Representatives over Lumumba Da Adeh (a Christian)? Did he not appoint Muslims into his cabinet? Can he swear that he has never solicited for the votes or endorsement from Muslims in Plateau? Who is he deceiving? So he picks and chooses when Muslims are relevant to him. He should be ashamed that Lalong has succeeded in uniting Plateau which he failed to do rather than invoking religious sentiments to seek electoral victory for his chosen stooge. If religious endorsement is bad, how come he is using the Church to endorse his candidate and even insisting on a COCIN-COCIN ticket rather than involving other Christian denominations?
- “I WON ELECTION TO SENATE BUT LALONG LOST”: In an attempt to gloat over the results of the 25th February elections and mock Governor Lalong, Jang ended up showing his true character of bitterness and hatred for Lalong as a person. Must all candidates be winners? What is the big deal in loosing an election once in a while? Has Jang never lost an election? Does he think we have forgotten how he lost several attempts to be Governor untill Obasanjo imposed him on Plateau even when he failed to win primaries in 2007? What about his 16 is greater than 19 saga that brought shame to the people of Plateau State in his futile attempt to be Chairman of the Governor’s Forum? Does he think we have forgotten how out of shame and fear of loosing Senate seat to Sen. I.D Gyang he went on a wild voyage in the name of contesting for President? How many votes did be get in the primaries?
Jang can never match the political record of Lalong who has won House Member elections twice, defeated a Federal Government induced and sponsored sham Recall election, Won election as Speaker twice (longest record in Plateau till date) and successfully delivered a President elect for the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Director General of the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council. He has been Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum for 8 years even without contesting for it. He cannot be described as a looser by any standards.
Lalong could have lost a bid to the Senate due to several reasons that are not related to religion, but he is a national figure who “won the war after loosing a small battle”. Compare Lalong with Jang, what did Jang become after his tenure as Governor and Senator? Rather than go forward to national political prominence, he has reduced to becoming a local champion who fights to install councillors, party exco and other state politicians. What a pity. Lalong is going higher and will continue to be a big player on the national stage.
- “I HAVE NEVER RIGGED ELECTIONS, APC WANTS TO RIG”: This is another cry of someone facing imminent defeat. If he has such evidence, what is he waiting for? Can’t he take it to law enforcement or at least expose it? Why make spurious allegations without evidence? By the way Jang and his gang of rejected PDP have the worst record of election rigging in the State and Nigeria. He has rigged several elections but was eventually stopped from rigging the 2015 elections due to the determination of the people who had said enough is enough.
Former Governor Jang should please keep his mouth shut and finally retire from politics like his age mates have done. He should not continue ranting and disgracing himself and eating up what remains of the battered image and goodwill of his rejected party. If he insists on politics, then he should not lie or be a hypocrite since he says he is a Pastor. He should sell his candidate rather than incite the people using religion, ethnicity and bigotry which are his trademarks. Plateau has since moved on and been rescued from ethno-religious crises and wanton attacks which were rife during his tenure. Even if he does not want to give Lalong credit for restoring peace and harmony in Plateau State, he should at least allow the citizens to sleep in peace and elect their leaders on 18th March 2023. Afterall, election is not war and Plateau is bigger than anyone’s ambition.
We look forward to having him attend the inauguration of Prof. Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe as the next Governor of Plateau State and Hon. Pam Bot-Mang as his Deputy on 29th May 2023 by the grace of God. His seat as a former Governor is guaranteed and will be waiting for him at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium.
God bless Plateau State as we keep thinking and acting Plateau!
Dan Manjang, mnipr
Commissioner for Information and Communication, Plateau State.