I have decided to take the time to issue a reply to the Commissioner of Information, Dan Manjang who many consider a dead wood in information management on the Plateau that has found a new hobby of insulting the former Governor, Sen. (Dr) Jonah David Jang. In his thinking, I am guessing that all the vituperations poured on Jang show how much he venerates his principal .He forgets quickly though, that in whatever mould he puts the former Governor or whatever yardstick he uses to measure him, the man towers far above those he seeks to please, let alone, himself.
Manjang represents that child every parent will pray not to have; otherwise how will one explain how Manjang will pick up a fight with Senator Jang for the simple fact that Jang rebuked Sheik Jingir for asking Muslim’s to vote the APC governorship candidate Dr. Nentawe because for him, that will be a win for Islam on the Plateau? Jang was right to have cautioned the Islamic preacher not to mix religion with politics because such messages deepen hatred and have led to the death many including the father of Manjang, late Pastor Manjang, (of blessed memory) who was murdered as a result of religious intolerance. Instead of adding his voice to this patriotic call in honour of the memory of his late father, whose pre occupation was translating the Holy Bible into local languages, Manjang chooses the shameful path of dancing ‘Awilo’ on top of his father’s grave. Indeed, he is a useless son and one wonders what kind of example he is leaving behind .
Former Governor Jang by every means has earned the place of an elder statesman and it would only take disrespectful people with a distasteful character to think or say otherwise. This is the category to which the Commissioner fits and a reply at this time is to show who he really is, so that his lies and bile commentary are not sold to the simple and gullible. Ordinarily, the commissioner does not require a reply as that will amount to dignifying obvious mediocrity. Manjang suggests that the outing by the former Governor was to push out lies and propaganda to do maximum damage to the APC and its candidate. Does anyone need to do a better job at that than what the APC has done to itself? If the outcome of the presidential and National Assembly elections which are clear as to where the Plateau people stand do not say anything to the APC, Lalong and his foot soldiers such as Manjang ,then their cognitive abilities require a clinical examination. In case Dan Manjang has chosen to have amnesia on the recent political happenings, then we need not remind him that the looming defeat at the oncoming polls will jolt him back to his senses and no amount of rigging will help them, as the people have been fully mobilized to lawfully protect their votes against all forces, including the thugs and compromised government agents .
It has become the trademark of the Manjangs of this world to label anything which is not in their favour as being biased or lacking in experience and competence. Unfortunately, the NBC is not an arm of the Plateau State Government which will take orders from the commissioner of Information. The Lalong government has done it’s worse and seen that it did not deter Jay FM from being the Radio station of choice on the Plateau. This is not the first time Manjang’s inexperience and incompetence will show itself.
It earned him a sack in the Jang administration and can only find accommodation in a sea of incompetence as characterized by the government of the day.Dan Manjang, unfortunately, did not go back to read the comments trailing the post in the link he shared in his treatise. Had he done so, perhaps he would hide his face in shame than continue to share a post with a litany of lies as confirmed by the very people who are supposed beneficiaries of these projects. To quote some of the comments, “everything on this list is a completion of the projects initiated by the Jang administration or those which were executed by the local governments” or is it the one which says this list is a collection of the projects in the imagination of the Lalong administration? The commissioner is suffering from dementia (sic) dimensia – a “multidimensial” or is it multidimensional poverty of ideas) hence he calls the projects initiated by the former Governor as abandoned. At least the claimed abandoned projects dot the landscape of the Plateau, where are Lalong’s projects? Is it the overinflated British American Junction flyover built with a N13bn debt from Access Bank or the yet-to-be-seen 400 tractors inaugurated by the President? Again, where are the “Legacy Projects” and at what financial cost to the people of Plateau? Need we remind the Commissioner that the Secretariat to Marraraban Jama’a road which was initiated by Jang is not completed up till today but the Federal Government has refunded billions of naira with the recent refund of N6bn? He should tell the Plateau people as the Commissioner of Information what the Government has done with the Federal allocation for 8 years and the recent refunds or ask his principal to come out and apologize to the Plateau people. When former Governor Jang says that Lalong has not done anything, it is on record as we write that official figure from Budgit puts the total debt of Plateau State at over 200bn. That is debt per capital of N34,000. Put in a simple language, it means everyone on the plateau today has a debt of N34,000 each including children. Presently we are 36 out of 36 states in the country in terms of debt sustainability. When you realize that not even a dollar has come into Plateau State as direct capital investment in addition to the over 200b debt, the IGR for almost eight years of about 13b, non-debt capital received in form of VAT and others which stand at over 42bn , allocation from the federal government which is also over 80bn , it will be very safe to conclude that Lalong has really done NOTHING.
It is shameful that one who prides himself as a honourable (?) Commissioner has reduced himself to the level of a tout who disrespects and insults anyone who holds a different opinion. In case Manjang does not know what his job entails, spokespersons have the primary and critical role of making friends for his principal, organisation or group. Hon. (sic) Manjang’s choice of words betrays the fact that he has not learned the use of the tools of persuasion and explanation to turn the tide around by working to make friends out of his principal’s hoard of enemies. Resorting to the use of words such as nonsense to describe someone in Jang’s calibre is to show that he has no cogent reasoning. It is a reflection of his inner character – a lack of ideas and filled with bile. The last person to school Jang on the politics of the Plateau on matters of zoning would not even be a Manjang. What does he know about politics other than the usual scheming to find himself in a position where he does nothing but expose his mediocrity all in the name of defending the indefensible. He must also know that after all is said and done, the political tension that has mounted now will ease but the true measure of the character he has exhibited will be a badge for which he has come to be known. He has admitted that the PDP has brilliant people who are prepared to take Plateau State out of the dark place that it now is. Even the Caleb Mutfwang that he so derides with claims to have failed in running one local Government has experience that he lacks. People like him only thrive on servitude and crumb-chasing politicking for personal gains.
The Commissioner betrays his hatred for Jang by bringing up again the once failed rumour that Yakubu Jang was going to be the Deputy Governorship candidate on the PDP ticket. But I guess Plateau people know better, having failed with the first attempt, Manjang has childishly brought up the Yakubu Jang card again to see if it will score him some cheap points but once again, the election before us is 2023 and not 2027. While we pray and do our part for a better Plateau, our concern should be about 2023. We need not say that Manjang would have known better that he is not in a position to fathom things that are obvious let alone knowing what the grand design of Senator Jonah David Jang is. Does Manjang have any personal issue with Yakubu Jang or is he afraid that the ignominy that awaits him will send him to oblivion after another dismal outing in the Lalong administration? Only he can tell us why he likes peddling rumours using the name of Yakubu Jang. If Yakubu wanted to contest for any position in Plateau State, it will take the electorate to decide his fate not Manjang who has become so petty and can’t speak in defence of his food barn without dragging the name of Jang into it. When it is the turn of the Northern Zone to present a governorship candidate, Manjang is at liberty to contest or support any candidate of his choice. As one who knows him and wishes him well, I caution that he needs to rest from peddling the name of Yakubu Jang to avoid self-induced hypertension or high blood related ailments.Yes! Jang has worked, dined and wined with Muslims throughout his military and political careers, he even appointed Muslims into his cabinet as Governor and will continue to work with Muslims who have the interest of Plateau at heart. Maybe, Manjang should tell us in the 8 years of Jang where pulpits and religious preaching openly and brazenly portrayed religion as the basis for voting in Plateau State. In addition, where and how Jang is using the church to endorse a candidate and even insisting on a COCIN-COCIN ticket? He should be ashamed that it is only during the tenure of his party that terminologies like Muslim-Muslim ticket, COCIN-COCIN ticket have become part of our political lexicon. How else can division be explained beyond these terminologies? Plateau people had never cared what denomination its leaders belonged to, until Lalong and his party popularised such issues. Unlike Lalong and the likes of Manjang, former Governor Jang does not have a stooge .The PDP candidate was validly nominated and emerged from a process which had brought together all the candidates, even after the primaries. The candidate has not only been a member of the party but was elected as Local Government Chairman on its platform before the Lalong administration illegally cut short his tenure and has continued to spreads rumours of non-payment of salaries as if it were Chairmen who paid salaries. How about the candidate of the APC? When did he become a member of the APC that such a sham process was organized to shut out longstanding members of the party just to plant him as a lap boy of Lalong once he leaves office. Between the PDP and APC candidate ,whose emergence will better be described as being prepared to be a stooge? It is laughable how Manjang tries to play up and force narratives to suit his all-out assault on Jang but forgets that Jang’s pedigree outclasses that of his master, the one he struggles so hard but in vain to portray in good light. Jang may have gloated over Lalong’s loss but he holds an opinion to that and not even a thousand Manjangs can deprive him of such a right. Jang may have attempted to be Governor in the past and failed but when he became Governor, he gave a good account of himself that thereafter, losing an election immediately after leaving office as Governor was never a thing to contemplate. Wouldn’t the same have been the fate of Lalong had he even attempted to do a little of what Jang did in the State as Governor? Whether Jang was imposed, became Chairman of Governors Forum or not, did he leave a mark in the State after 8 years as Governor should be issue in contention? In any case, what did Lalong’s Chairmanship of the Northern Governor’s Forum, nay, becoming an errand boy of the Northern Governors benefit Plateau State other than pitching him against the very people he swore to protect.Manjang keeps forgetting again, that unlike him, those who served well under the Jang administration are eternally grateful for the exposure and experience. Trying to drag the Distinguished Senator I. D Gyang into his vitriol is unnecessary. Saying that for fear of defeat from Sen. I. D Gyang ,former Governor Jang went on a wild voyage is clutching on to anything you find for survival. Senator Gyang holds former Governor Jang in high esteem and would naturally have given up the seat if Jang was interested. However, it is good to allow Manjang and his cohorts to wallow in ignorance on the relationship between the former Governor and Senator I. D. Gyang, one who has distinguished himself in service to Plateau people in the Jang administration, as a Representative of Manjang’s Barki Ladi – Riyom Federal Constituency and as Senator for the Plateau North Senatorial Zone. Perhaps Manjang should contest and win an election before coming to talk about fear of defeat . Until then, he should enjoy his “political maraboutism” of insulting elders, all in search of what the stomach can get. It is obvious that Commissioner Dan Manjang suffers from dementia (not dimensia) and does easily forget that the person of Jonah David Jang commands more respect anywhere than that of Simon Bako Lalong. You don’t compare apples with lemon, Jang is in a class of his own while Lalong trails in some distant position. Now that it would seem the pyrrhic victory of the APC at the presidential election portends some good luck to Lalong, I guess that is what gives Manjang the temerity to say Lalong is not looser (sic loser). But in reality ,however, Lalong is not only a loser but a ‘loosing loser’. We are all here and will see how things turn out. We don’t want to pre-empt the “we told you” posture but at the appropriate time ,things will pan out. May I also draw the attention to Manjang just in case he was too dull to notice that the President Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in his acceptance speech did not consider it necessary to thank his almighty DG while he thanked all those that mattered to him. (Dan Manjang might be too dull to comprehend why)Is there a need to remind Manjang that Jang gained national prominence at a time when he and his master were nowhere near political power? He has successfully replicated the performance that gave him the well-deserved prominence in Plateau state hence the people trust him enough for guidance. The like of Manjang should wallow in shame that after eight wasteful years, an attempt to go to the Senate was even allowed. In climes where performance is a measurement for how a person is graded, Lalong did not even deserve a place in the primaries. Alas! Where has the APC ever conducted primaries? Had seemingly neutral primaries conducted ,would the candidates the party is presenting today ever emerge? The truth remains that Lalong’s dismal performance only provided the Plateau people an opportunity to hold a referendum on the APC. Trying to cover up the poor performance which has led to election loss in any kind of coating is a waste of time. I pity my brother Manjang. The fear of imminent defeat on the part of his party has made them to latch on to anything at the moment for some face-saving opportunity. Which evidence does he want when it is obvious to any discerning minds how the election was rigged and the attendant legitimacy issues that accompany the issuance of a certificate of return without jubilation? If Manjang thinks that the election was not rigged, let him organise a carnival-like jubilation for the success of the presidential election to see if truly Nigerians are happy with the sham that only he and his ilk and their paymasters are happy about.The commissioner must recognize that unlike his mates, former Governor Jang has written his name in gold in the hearts of plateau people and whatever way Manjang thinks he could use to denigrate a man who has distinguished himself in all his endeavours, would only end as an exercise in futility. He should pray that he becomes like Jang and earn himself some respect rather than being the lapdog of failed politicians who cannot boast to have achieved a quarter of what former Governor Jang achieved. It should not also be lost on Manjang that when it comes to issue of politics, Jang is not a neophyte like him who has never contested and won elections, he should be grateful to Jang who even gave him an opportunity in which he failed woefully to deliver on the responsibilities of the office and was eventually shown the way out. If he still harbours any grudge against Jang for booting him out of his administration, he should find consolation in the fact that he now has a place where mediocrity is assumed to be one of the hallmarks of progress. He should learn to continue to bootlick in peace than struggle to find cheap popularity by throwing unfounded jabs at former Governor Jonah David Jang.
Clinton Odafe Garuba
Media Consultant to Senator J Jang
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