Jonah Jang: A Seed Of Dissention In Plateau


Saleh Ibrahim Bature



When the unfortunate tribal cum religious conflict erupted in the tin mining city of Jos on November 28 2008, Nigeria and indeed the world witnessed a scene of carnage and ethic cleansing akin to Rwandan and Burundian human massacre of the 1990’s.


When the first and second genocide attempt of the Hausa Fulani settlers by the so-called indigenes of Plateau State struck their ugly blows in 2001 and 2004, very few were convinced that the palliative measures put in place by declaring a state of emergency in the state by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo could bring everlasting peace between the feuding groups. In the same vein, so also the election of Da Jonah Jang in April 2007 as the Executive Governor of Plateau State. 


The Antecedents of Jang both as a retired general in the Nigerian army or as a civilian governor depict him as a tribal jingoist and a xenophobic anti Hausa Fulani. His sojourn at the national constitutional conference and his utterances and uncouth behaviour following the recent Jos butchery and indiscriminate slaughter of Hausa Fulani has unmasked him and exposed his true colour.


Leaders, especially those that came into power through election are known to be sober and expected to exhibit highest sense of responsibility and decorum during extreme situations. For a leader who came to power through popular vote of the people to have taken side in a matter that sought for extreme caution is to say the least crude, myopic and unfortunate.   


Jang’s insensibility can be seen in his foolish attempt to announce the results of the election in dispute at a time when hundreds of victims were being buried, thousands of the injured were gripping in excruciating pains, blood of million of Nigerian citizens across the nation was boiling and Jos city was burning in a raging fire as people were running helter-skelter in despair.


It is now apparently clear that the fear nursed prior to 2007 April guver election in plateau State that the election of Jonah Jang was dangerous is genuine. His election is indeed injurious to the communities inhabiting Jos North Local Government Area. He is an albatross and a stumbling block in the path of progress and development.


Jonah Jang’s unguarded statements during the three day night of the long knife in Jos which he indirectly apportioned blames on the Hausa Fulani as the principal culprits responsible for the arson and merciless killings at a time when the general consensus was to come together and join hands for the progress of the state and humanity confirms the allegation that Jang came to  power with a singular mission to unsettle the majority community in Jos north who he always accuses as “ “oppressors of the north”.


There is hardly a family in Jos irrespective of its religious, ethnic or political affiliation that has not been affected by the mayhem. The gravity of the carnage is so damning that the federal government could not allow the number one suspected culprit to preside over investigation of the incident that caused the lost of many innocent lives and wanton destruction of property. It is therefore the responsibility of President Umar Musa Yar’adu to hold the irresponsible government of Jonah Jang responsible for the November 28 Jos Crisis.

If because of mere political affinity or for fear of accusation ring leaders who are found to have trampled the law would go unprosecuted, then the clamour by this government to fast track development of Nigeria to be among the world’s 20 most developed nations by 2020 will be a mirage because, as long as Jonah Jang and his ilk will be at the helms on affairs in our states, there will definitely be no Nigeria on the global map by 2020 for anybody to preside over as a governor or a president.