My Problem With Jang: Tallen Tells It All In A No Holds Barred Interview


JOS, Oct 17, (THEWILL) – The Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Mrs. Pauline Tallen surprised not a few when she obtained forms to contest against her boss, Governor Jonah Jang in the next governorship election. Since she picked the forms, there have been pressure on her to resign.

In this interview with THEWILL, she explains why she had to move against the incumbent governor and why she would not resign. THEWILL: What informed your decision to run as governor in 2011?Tallen: Well, am sure you are not a stranger to Plateau, the Almighty God knows that when my governor invited me to join him as his running mate, in the governorship of 2007 election, I came with an open heart, with nothing attached, my aim was for us to build a new Plateau unfortunately, to my greatest dismay, things did not work out the way I wanted. As a mother, my dream was to see the entire people of Plateau State united, for united we stand divided we fall.

Unfortunately there were many unnecessary divisions created that culminated in the crises we have had. The crises which caused unnecessary distractions have brought us to the present situation where there is no peace and without peace, there can be no meaningful development. All the dreams and aspirations we had could not really take place because we were bedeviled with crises. All efforts to see that we carry ourselves together as a people, unfortunately, did not really work out and if you recall, I avoided talking to the press, I never opened up but we have reached a stage that I must open up on some of these issues.

THE WILL: You feel you stand a better chance by running against the governor?Tallen: I don’t think I said or I think I stand a better position because it is only a fool that thinks he is better than anybody or he has the power to get what he wants, but I want you to know and I want all Nigerians to know that power comes from God and it is only God that gives power. He gives it to whoever He wishes at the time he wants and to the person He wants.

My dream to unite the people of Plateau and to ensure peace on the Plateau is what has driven me to answer my people’s call. I picked this nomination form under severe pressure and persuasion because both elders, women and the youths believe in what I stand for. We can deceive ourselves but we can’t deceive God. God sees the heart; God sees the heart of all these aspirants. My prayer is that let God choose the best for Plateau. For the situation we find ourselves in Plateau State today, is not exciting. My prayer is; let the person who is genuinely coming to put things right because the damage is much, the polarization is much that you need the grace of God, sincerity of purpose, commitment to achieved the dream of uniting Plateau for a peaceful governance.

THE WILL: What will you attribute the failure to achieving unity to? Tallen: Well, it is unfortunate but it is difficult for me to say much on this question because I am sure you yourself know the role of a Deputy. The unfortunate position of a Deputy in the constitution of this country does not gives you any powers to make anything happen in the State, except if you want trouble with your boss and as a mother and a well brought up woman from a discipline home, I will never be part of any crisis situation with my boss. The highest I cloud do is to give my advice but if my advice is not taken; there is nothing I can do.

THE WILL: So you are saying that the Governor does not heed your advise?Tallen: Off course, that is an open secret, I have been kept out of governance for long.

THE WILL: How did you feel being sidelined by a government that you helped put into power?Tallen: Well, power as l earlier said comes from God. I offered it to God, I pray for my dear State and I kept praying for God to give me the grace to continue taking the unfortunate situation I found myself in.

THE WILL: With the on going realignment within the PDP, can one be right to say that the crisis in Plateau State PDP is over?Tallen: I don’t want to call it crisis PDP is a family and in every family, there are bound to be some little disagreements. In every family you know it; this is a greatest party not only in Nigeria but in the African continent. So the situation is being looked into, the elders of the party are handling it. We thank God we have got a well discipline and matured seasoned politician in person of Dr. Okwelieze Nwodo whom we first form this party with and nurtured it in 1998. He was our first National Secretary when the party was formed in 1998, so he knows the part so well and he is a well season politician and himself and the members of the National working committee and the president who is the leader of the party, they are all handling the matter and very soon, the situation will be permanently resolved. THE WILL: On a final note, what do you think needs to be done to restore peace in Plateau?Tallen: Sincerity of purpose. The ingredients of peace is fairness and justice, you cannot talk of peace where there is injustice.