Wednesday 14 September 2011

Editorial: Governor Jang personifies vain jangling

Hands clapping or hands lifted up

There have been many times I have wanted to throw up my hands, rarely in resignation or under duress but in ululation and praise, it is a sign of adoration that is on a higher level of adulation than clapping in applause of activity or people.

More and more, I am coming to the idea than clapping for Jesus is the lowest form of appreciation that gets given to almost anyone, however, the lifting up of hands is different, rarely can that be in the praise of man for the boosting of their egos.

However, I seem to have digressed long before I have entered into the reason why I am blogging, it is about the throwing up of hands; this time in resignation, exasperation, cluelessness and rank incompetence.

This sometimes is figurative but it can also be seen in the gesticulations of the people concerned or expressed in the words of their mouths.

The Jos of my childhood gone

I have childhood memories of Jos in Nigeria; they are wonderful and as idyllic as one can ever get about a place in Nigerian in terms of weather, people, landscape, culture and much more.

Over the last decade it has been overrun with crises of religious and inter-tribal conflict leaving many dead and bringing back into common parlance the language of savagery; cannibalism has been mentioned; that is just a new low that is beyond comprehension that men could feast literally on other men and boast about it.

Plateau State of which Jos is the capital is not necessarily a state in anarchy, it has an executive governor and institutions of government that one would hope have the wherewithal to address the pressing issues of the people and bring pressure and mediation to bear on all concerned that peace might reign again in the state.

In the most recent outbreak of violence, Governor Jonah Jang was abroad literally indifferent and oblivious of his backyard in turmoil, then yesterday he had a meeting with the President to as it were brief the President on the issues concerning his state – one wonders if he had anything to share if he was not there to witness the problems.

Vain jangling and incomprehensibility

Meanwhile, the President had sent the military into Jos to quell the problems and after the meeting; Governor Jang was accosted by the press and asked a number of questions regarding the problems in Jos and it went thus.

Press: “Don’t you think the presidential directive was a subtle way of imposing the state of emergency?”

Governor Jang: “Well, go and read your constitution. I am not God to end Jos crisis.”

Press: “Was it not an indication that you have failed?”

Governor Jang: “Already the task force has been under the command of the president, therefore it is not an indication that the security has been taken over from the state. We hope to end the crisis.

Press: “People are saying that the crisis is out of control.”

Governor Jang: “Is Plateau the only place that has security problem? Security situation is all over the country, so why are you so particular about Plateau state.”

Press: “Do you trust him?”

Governor Jang: “Yes I trust him.”

The height of ungodly irresponsibility

This is a revelation if not a microcosm of what is wrong with wrong with those conferred with the honour of leadership in Nigeria, their inability to take on the responsibilities they have and make the best of their talents and resources to bring about change.

To the first question, by implication, the Governor who has executive responsibility for the state in terms said only God can end the crisis. This is a man who has been in power since 2007 who should by now know what the real problems are and if he were a tad competent should have been putting plans in place to resolve this recurrent crisis and make it history.

Now, there is a need for God in any situation depending on your religious persuasion but God uses people, people who are ready to assume the responsibilities they have and lead as they are supposed to bring to bear wisdom, knowledge, insight and ideas to solve thorny problems.

It would be absurd for a driver of a car on a seemingly dangerous road to expect God to take over the steering whilst he sits on his hands. It is more likely the driver with have a good grip on the steering and mutter a prayer to God to help ensure that he safely negotiates that road and is delivered safely to the end of that journey.

Pointedly a failure

To the second question, it probably should have been read has a statement because there is no doubt that Governor Jang has failed to grapple with the problem and basically he is completely out of his depth and he is probably standing in the way of more progressive people who probably are much more clever and able to address the problems Jos is facing.

In answering the third question, the governor went on the defensive; the perception by many is that the Jos crisis is out of control and beyond the control of the bench-warmers who sit in office but are powerless and overcome with paralysis of thought and reason.

Plateau State might not be the only place with security problems in Nigeria, in fact, it is not the only place with security problems but the press cannot be asking the Plateau State governor about problems in other places when he is the first citizen and the person in charge of the state under focus from whom one would expect answers that portray a man in his element with the ability to perform.

Shirking responsibility hoping for respite

What this exchange reveals is the usual cynical ploy of politicians to call on God’s name in vain and when out of their depth rather than own up to their inadequacies they foist the responsibilities for which they get paid handsomely unto God hoping to deflect further inquiry with the thinking that the mention of God will scare people into deference and a vague dread of the supernatural.

Well, it is just not good enough, there is a need for God to be completely removed from the Nigerian political space so we can clearly identify people who have the innate ability essential to be used by God or maybe we can have people who have the ability to use intellect and reason to approach seemingly insurmountable problems and begin to offer solutions that dissolve conflict and begins the path to reconciliation.

The unfortunate extension to this saga might well be the many other Nigerian politicians who like Governor Jang have resigned, are out of their depth being completely clueless and readily defensive using God as the bogeyman whilst the responsibilities they have been given are left without action and application but they shamelessly draw overly generous remuneration for doing nothing.

We cannot continue to tolerate such people in leadership, enough is really enough of these atrocious idiots in office.

This acknowledges that the Nigerian Vanguard Online published the news story of this interview with the title - Only God can end Jos crises – Gov Jang.

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