Gov. Jang's Incompetence and the Politicization of The Jos Crisis

by Bolaji Aregbeshola

The Jos crisis which claimed hundreds of lives may have ended but the memory still linger on for those who lost their relations and properties. The issues emanating from the November 2008 mayhem make the whole picture looks gloomy because all effort to resolve the Jos crisis have been politicized by the parties involved. It seemed politic to say nothing about the precarious situation in plateau state but one cannot help but make a contribution as a concerned Nigerian. No doubt, Jos have a long history of crisis and the reasons for these riots are mainly political and ethno-religious. This was also the case in the November riot but the enormous problems which the state’s capital city seem to be faced with, makes it difficult for one to comprehend why such crisis must continue unabated. The political leaders have also contributed in no small measure to this unending crisis. They have been sentimental rather than being objective in their outlook for ensuring peace and harmony. If the reports on the aftermath of the recent Jos crisis is anything to go by, then, our leaders are set to create more crisis over crisis with their approach to solving the problems.

The current governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, under whose watch the crisis occurred has shown that he (Jang) is incapable of governing the state. His (Jang) alleged involvement in the violence that broke over the Jos North Local Government election in the state is a pointer to the fact that governor Jang is a bad leader. No wonder President Yar’ Adua was reported to have snubbed him (Jang) when he wanted to brief the President on the riot. Governor Jonah Jang was no doubt part of the mastermind of the crisis. The governor allowed undue prejudice to take the place of promoting unity and cohesion among the different groups of the state.

Jang who lost in the 2003 governorship election under the umbrella of the ANPP was assisted by the PDP in 2007 to realize his governorship ambition but barely two years into his assumption of office as the governor of Plateau State, he has begun to incur the wrath of members of the party due to his decision to challenge the President’s powers to investigate the crisis. Apparently, President Yar’ Adua did not exercise his powers to declare a state of emergency in Plateau State because Mr. Jonah Jang and the President belong to the same party but the governor has abused this rare privilege.

It is nebulous why governor Jang of Plateau State would file a suit against the Federal Government questioning her right to investigate the recent crisis in Jos which saw the death of many innocent citizens and loss of properties. The governor has proven his incompetence in the manner he handled the political and ethno-religious crisis, hence he (Jang) needs help. His (Jang) insistence on probing into the crisis by the Chief Bola Ajibola led panel which he (Jang) constituted after that of the Federal Government shows that the governor is afraid of a possible state of emergency which was declared by government during the Joshua Dariye tenure as the governor. Despite allaying Mr. Jang’s fears that the Rtd. Gen. Emmanuel Abisoye panel constituted by the Federal Government was not a commission of Inquiry but a panel constituted to investigate some key areas, governor Jang went to court without a dialogue.

The reasons adduced for the probe by the Federal Government through the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Mike Aondoakaa (SAN) was tenable as it bothers on national security. Government’s decision to investigate how arms and ammunitions got into the hands of people during the crisis is a welcome development besides the involvement of foreigners in the crisis is one issue that must be investigated.

Governor Jonah Jang’s assertion in a newspaper report that his government will ensure sustainable peace and unity despite the forces that are fighting against the state cannot be relied upon. The governor should face up to the fact that he (Jang) is incapable of governing the state rather than alleging plots to destabilize Plateau State. Jang’s lack of initiative led to the setting up of a panel by the Federal Government to get the masterminds of the crisis but the governor has been crying foul. Governor Jang has definitely failed as the Chief Security Officer of the state. He (Jang) should not create more problems as a result of his insistence that the Federal Government probe was unconstitutional. The Jos crisis have gone beyond a state issue besides the crisis is detrimental to the nation, hence, government must be concerned.

According to a newspaper report, total calm is still yet to return to Jos. It is for this reason that all hands must be on deck to find a lasting solution to the crisis which has led to the loss of many lives and properties. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Plateau Conference of Youth Movement (PYM) as well as the Hausa/Fulani should stop every religious sentiments and allow peace reign. Retaining the governorship position at the expense of the state’s well-being should not be uppermost in the mind of as a good leader. Nigerian leaders should learn to accept responsibility for their actions and inactions.

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