By: Clinton Garuba,
As the media consultant to Senator (Dr) Jonah David Jang, duty has fallen upon me several times to speak on behalf of the distinguished Senator, particularly on issues of the PDP in Plateau State. I have had cause to respond to and correct wrong submissions in the past on the instructions of the one considered father, I am however responding to this as Clinton Garuba, who by nature of my work and involvement with the PDP in Plateau State is well informed about happenings in the party.
I am also in a position to respond to this issue because I have had cause to speak in private with Hon. Bitrus Kaze on this issue at hand but this write up by a hireling (all responses sent to the email email@example.com returned undelivered because it does not exist) has distorted a lot of fact that allowing to fly without putting the issues in their true perspective is to allow misinformation to in the public space , even though I know most of my readers must have taken a stand .
It is half smart to use a pseudonym “Gyang Chomo” to create the impression that it is someone from Jang’s ethnic extraction that has risen against him with a view to scurry some support for Hon. Bitrus Kaze who is eminently qualified to contest for the chairmanship of the PDP in Plateau State. Kaze is no doubt one who has earned a name for himself, he is definitely talented but like John Maxwell said “Talent is not enough.” I also believe that in aspiring to be the party chairman caution shouldn’t be thrown to the wind, the attempt to drag the hard earned reputation of Senator Jonah Jang into disrepute in the name of campaign strategy is not only unfortunate but condemnable.
Permit me to bring to the public domain a few excerpts from my private conversation with the Honourable. When I suspected he will be contesting for the Chairmanship of the party, as a brother and friend, I advised that he sees Senator Jonah David Jang to inform him of his intentions out of respect for the man not necessarily because he had the absolute powers to make anyone Chairman of the party.
Several weeks after our conversation Hon. Kaze had neither seen nor reached out to Senator Jang. It was only long after Hon. Chris Hassan had come to see Senator Jang that I was made to understand Hon. Bitrus Kaze also approached Jang to inform him of his intention.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Senator Jang made it clear to Hon. kaze when he finally visited the senator, his stand as a loyal party man, he will work with the guidelines and right leading of the National Secretariat and whoever emerges out of the process will be the chairman and he is ever ready to work with such a person to turn around the fortunes of the party.
With the benefit of hindsight, at a time when the party was in embroiled in crises, voices of reason stood out in the call for a resolution to the crisis. It must be noted that Bitrus Kaze’s decided to play safe and watched from a distance as the political battle was ongoing in Abuja .
Let me not bore you with all that, I will rather turn my attention to what they called the major problem. it is important to state here that Senator Jang has given Chris Hassan his word that he was going to support him in his quest to become the chairman of the party. However, it is also important to state that now that Hon. Bitrus Kaze has also made his intentions known, it is only in the interest of fair play and unity for the party for the elder statesman to allow all contestants ‘throw their hats in the ring’ while preparing to work with whoever emerges. That’s what respectful elders do and that is what Jang will do.
THE MAJOR PROBLEM:
It’s becoming very loud and it’s time we talk about it. There’s a propaganda in circulation that Jonah Jang chose Chris Hassan over Bitrus Kaze because:
- Bitrus Kaze did not support the candidacy of the late GNS Pwajok and he publicly wrote to that effect. They say it’s an unforgivable thing in Former Governor Jonah Jang’s sight.
I am glad that the writer used and very correctly at that, the example of the very Distinguished former minister and Chairman of PDP, Hon. D Sango, a gentleman whom had in the recent past had a bitter political rivalry with Senator J Jang, for students of plateau political history and observers it was abundantly obvious that the political war between both gladiators was ten times deeper than whatsoever the offense (if any) of Hon. Kaze, that notwithstanding we all saw how in 2016 Jang in his usual style set aside all political grudges and voted for Sango to become Chairman of the state party, So its sheer wickedness to portray the Senator as unforgiving.
- That when Baba Jang was fighting Damishi Sango, Bitrus Kaze did not involve himself in the fight (albeit, like a man of peace he’s known to be).
Baba Jang at the time was fighting for what was right not any individual in particular, if it were to be so the concessions, he made which led to the emergence of a Gombi-led caretaker Committee would not have been made. His interest at the time was for the party to be strengthened using the party’s constitution as a guide. Kaze as a former lawmaker and party leader was naturally expected to play his role in stabilising the party . Senator Jang did not need the support of the Honourable to insists for the right to be done if he was not willing to stand on the side of the truth
- That although Bitrus Kaze is the best candidate so far, Baba wants Chris Hassan to take the chairmanship as compensation for all the “dirty jobs” he’s done and still doing against Damishi Sango.
Chris Hassan has played and continues to play a visible role in the affairs of the party in the state having been the Vice Chairman of the Northern zone, and don’t forget that he was a commissioner under the Senator as Governor and he did well, to assume that Kaze is a better candidate without a test will be unfair to Hon. Hassan even though on face value I thought so , unfortunately there seem to be some very vital political ingredients missing . What parameters are use to arrive at that judgement and who is the judge in this context?
- That Kaze wouldn’t be loyal to Jonah Jang when he becomes chairman and so on…
The issue of loyalty to Jang does not arise because Jang himself is loyal to the party and it will be expected that anyone who emerges should be loyal to the party and to drive the affairs of the party in such a way that it is the most preferred platform for meeting the yearnings and aspirations of plateau people.
Like you said, Jonah Jang has a right to make choices but it will also be unfair to try to arm-twist him to make that choice.
It is true and an incontrovertible fact to say that, Jonah Jang is a great and important personality. He operates in the status of a shepherd.
NOW LET’S TALK. Yes! we really need to talk to set the records straight.
I agree with your findings that “the rumoured uncordial relationship between Jonah Jang and Bitrus Kaze is a propaganda,” that is to say it does not exist, there is no reason why it should exist. This is simply anyone who knows Jonah Jang well, will agree that the Senator respects frankness in his dealing and that is why he counted it an honour that Hon. Kaze openly disagreed with him on the choice of late Senetor G.N.S Pwajok instead of dribbling him like so many others did same way I approached the Senator to express my desire to assist in campaigning for Hon. Kaze ( even though that has changed) and quite frankly the Senator did not discourage me.
That the two are not to even be compared let alone have differences that will lead to a sour relationship. Jang, by whatever standards, age or political fronts, have happened on the Nigerian political scene long enough to be a father figure to Bitrus Kaze. To try to portray him as being antagonistic of Kaze is to belittle him and make irrelevant his antecedent and political history as one who has made his marks in the political history of Nigeria.
To even suggest that some individuals close to Jang “fuel, re-polish and revive propaganda whenever they want Bitrus Kaze out of the way in any political equation is not correct in this instance.
The Senator Jonah Jang that I know and have worked with is not one to practice double standard in anything. In fact, his forthrightness has put him at logger heads with varied interests right from his days in the military.To insinuate that at a time when he has devoted himself more to God as he has rightly acknowledged, that he has less years ahead, is the time he will play double standard, is to publicly display ignorance of who the man, Jonah Jang is. Jang has played his role in moulding and shaping the career of many a politician in plateau and beyond, he continues to serve as a father and mentor to many who have given him that opportunity, he has had the opportunity of being approached by Chris Hassan, in the first instance and Kaze at a later time. What then will be more a double standard if not to give Chris Hassan his word and later go against same to trade away same words in support of Kaze who approached him long after Chris Hassan had?
Politics is a matter of interests, people whose interests are better served in the PDP or whatever party for that matter will join those parties. With the way the APC has shown low capacity to handle governance, people from other parties have realised that the gamble with the APC was a joke taken too far and that PDP remains the only true national party that will meet the yearnings and aspiration of the people. Irrespective of who is chairman, as permutations for the 2023 elections begin to gain momentum, people will return to the PDP.
It is unfortunate that people have refused to come out of the shame of their actions, years after the 2015 elections.
I must say that it is unfortunate, that the lessons of the loss of 2015 and 2019 have not been learnt by the likes of Chomo. Until they, to quote their own words, “re-evaluate and recalculate their steps” they are sure bound to miss the lessons again and stand the risk of losing again. It is my humble submission that rather than see our elder statesmen as using their political advantage to punish, pin down or punch out those they have issues with, we need to give them their rightful place and take advantage of their experience, leverage on their political sagacity and strategic visioning to further our own political careers.
Indeed, party will come, party will go, but Plateau remains. However, the actions of the various players will also remain for posterity to judge. The party has survived greater crisis in the past, this too will pass and the PDP will emerge stronger. It however, behoves on Chomo and his ilk to align themselves with the party to build a strong, virile and formidable platform on which the yearnings of plateau people will be fulfilled.
Jang has always maintained that Plateau is bigger than any individual including himself but it he occupies a place in the affairs of the State and his party, the PDP, which has laid a huge burden on his shoulders to work at all time in the interest of the people.
In summary, what the writer called hate , grudge and unforgiveness of Senator Jang could be summed up as a failure of Hon. Kaze to bring political diplomacy to the table. He simply did not take the right step getting the endorsement of Senator Jang, Senator Jang got to know of Hon. Kaze intention to contest from the social media from a photo pose of him displaying the form he just purchased even at that when Hon. Kaze decided it was time to inform Jang of his intention, Senator Jang wished him well and assured him of his support if God wills the position to him thus WHERE LIES THE MUCH ANGER THE WRITER TALKED ABOUT,
It is on this basis that we must understand that Jang holds no grudges against Bitrsu Kaze or anyone but will work with whoever emerges as the party chairman, to further the cause of the party and bring about the much desired, TRUE change which is in the interest of plateau people come 2023.
A concerned citizen