THE JOB JANG HAS DONE WILL SPEAK FOR HIM â€“ COLONEL DAVID DUNGS (RTD.), PDP SENATORIAL ASPIRANT
How would you rate the performance of Jonah Jang so far?
Jang has done so well that I will rate him excellent in infrastructural development. He has done excellently well, compared to all the other Governors we have had with the exception of J.D. Gomwalk. There is no doubt that he has done so well. And the evidence is very visible.
But there are allegations that he has been lopsided in the development, concentrating only in his Berom zone. How true is this?
That is not true. For the first time, all the 17 local governments have asphalt roads. If you go round, you will see them. In Agriculture, what is going on is simply a revolution. He brought in Israelis who are laying a very solid foundation, which, as it begins to yield, will form the basis for the economic empowerment of thousands of people in the state when the programmes are carried out to their logical conclusion.
He has improved greatly on what he met on the ground. In terms of water, he has constructed dams in various parts of the state where there had been no water. In rural electrification, he has not done badly. People are talking about his zone just because God has made it that the Governor comes from Jos area, otherwise there is no state capital that does not deserve attention. He is just giving the state capital a befitting status. That is why people tend to think that he is concentrating on his zone. But the state capital ought to be made to look good.
How come the governors before him did not give Jos such attention. The inevitable conclusion would be that he is doing it because he hails from here.
Its not exactly true. I know that J.D Gomwalk gave Jos some attention too. The university, the polytechnic, the newspaper Nigerian Standard were all sited in Jos. All he wanted to do was to free the state from Northern Nigeria Development Corporation (NNDC) which was based in Kaduna. He established all similar institutions run by that agency here. There had been consistent discrimination against our people in those institutions in terms of university admission, job placements etc against the state.
It is only when election comes that they remember the Jos-Zaria road. Jang has tried his best. Unfortunately, other governors before him did not give Jos the attention it deserved. During the military era, none of them apart from Rear Admiral Atukum came from the state.
Jang's chances in 2011
I believe that the job he has done will speak for him. And I believe that if the peoples vote is to count, then he would have no problem coming back to continue the good work he has been doing. Allegations that he abandoned those who worked with him cannot be true. They are the ones who abandoned him.
What used to happen in the past was that resources were shared among some politicians. But Jang has now insisted that the resources must be used to develop the state. Many of them just walked away from him but I believe that having seen the good work he is doing, they will come back
Insecurity in Jos
The problem predates the colonial era. It has been raging quietly since the days of the Jihad. Jos was not captured by the Jihadists. In the plateau, they only reached Kanan and Wasse. They used force to coerce the people into becoming Muslims. But during the days of Sarduana, he changed the tactics by using persuasion rather than force. When he left the scene and the military came in, most of the heads of sate had their own way of doing it. They used subtle persuasion rather than force. They get you to change your faith in exchange for big appointments and higher responsibility. They succeeded in getting a few people that way.
Now in the era of politics, they seem to have reverted to force. The whole agenda is to get a district in Jos, in fact to have an emirate. But the owners of the land say no. You are settlers who came here to trade or to mine. In fact, they were the last to come here. Before them the Itshekiris, Urhobos, Ijaws had been here. The Yorubas followed. The Igbos came.
The Hausas were the last to come. They came to work in the mines. They met people. What we expected is that they should understand the people's culture, just like the other people i.e the Niger Delta, Yorubas and Ibos.
Jos people are warm and accommodating. In fact, the land where the Central Mosque is located in Jos ,was given out by Berom people. When the Sardauna came and they showed him the large expanse of land, he was happy and instructed the Hausas to live in peace. Many of them have held political appointments here. Nobody has deprived them but they want to lord it over the indigenes. They want to have an emirate here and we say no, we own the land, you met us here, do not lord it over us.
But the problem seem to have escalated now
It is so because the Hausas now also want political power and they want it by all means, by force or whatever means.
But they argue that they also have a right to political power and that they should not be neglected.
Thank God democracy is all about numbers and majority. Nobody has deprived them. Let them go to the ballot box and test their popularity. And by the way, what population are you talking about?
The voting population of Hausas in Jos as at 2006 was for less than one hundred thousand people out of a voting population of nearly four hundred thousand people in Jos. So, where is the population? If they have a sizable population, it's ok. They should try it out at the ballot box. It is not by sharing.
What's the solution
The solution is dialogue. They should stop violence and come for negotiation with the other groups in the land. They should also try to understand the customs and traditions of the people they live with and respect them. If they do that, we will live in peace. In fact, the locals are not the ones who start this violence, it always comes from them. Check what I am telling you, especially these recent ones caused by the 2008 local council elections. They already had plans to cause mayhem, then the election gave them opportunity to do that.
You are not party to the clamour for IBB
Where is IBB running to? The man should stay behind as an elder statesman and be giving advise to younger people in government. At his age, he should just remain a statesman. Somebody was arguing that he should get it so that he will do just one term and go, then hand over to Goodluck Jonathan.
That is funny politics. It never works. Somebody who wanted to perpetuate himself in power and you now want to give him that opportunity, on a platter. No, I don't think IBB should run. Those who are sticking around him now just want his money, nothing else. When the chips are down they will desert him.
Jang's chances for 2011
He has a very bright chance if votes will count. The massive infrastructural development that he has done is something the people are seeing. They see it in every local council. He is doing at least five kilometres of ashphalt roads in every L.G.A and now I understand it is being extended to 10. He is giving them dams. He has transformed the state capital. Come 2011, I believe people will massively vote him. People are already aware that if you allow him a second tenure, he will do far better than he has done now.