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Published On: Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014

Jang and his God complex

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jonah-jang1By Joseph Dangme Rinyom

We hear, Plateau state governor, David Jonah Jang, has named his son in a cabinet he presides over. But this is a matter for another day. In 1996, General SaniAbacha established himself as the ultimate arbiter in the affairs of Nigeria and Nigerians as he sought to transform himself into the immortality of achieving what no one else had done since independence: transform himself into a life President. The genius of his plan had no equal in the political history of Nigeria.

In 1974, General Yakubu Gowon had shifted the goal post of handing over power to civilians in 1976 as promised. He was ousted a year later in 1975. Between 1985 and 1992, General Babangida upped the ante in a political rigmarole never before imagined. The General’s 8-year political programme to civilian rule had been primed, from the very beginning, to fail and pave way for his self-perpetuation in power. Politicians were first banned for corruption and unsuitability to lead the country, then they were unbanned to contest elections while the set of civilians who had been cleared to seek elective offices came under the ban hammer. General Babangida’s unceremonious exit (stepping aside) would probably rank as one of his most regrettable moments. He was humbled from his high horse of maradonic political perambulations.

Then came on stage General SaniAbacha and his singular endorsement by all the five political parties (the “five leprous fingers of the same hand”) he created and registered for the country. The band of sycophants, led by the so-called Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha (YEAA) and a coterie of Abacha’s Committees of Friends in almost every nook and cranny of Nigeria, were the mouthpiece of the campaign to transform Abacha into the first Nigeria’s military Head of State turned-civilian President. The march of madness was cut short by his death. General Obasanjo’s second incarnation as Nigeria’s civilian President also witnessed substantial scheming to change the Constitution to allow him contest  a third term. To cut a long story short, Obasanjo is back as the General of his farm at Ota, stripped of all respect and dignity except those accorded to him by his personal beneficiaries.

In all these schemes billions of dollars were wasted, and deliberate political witch hunting of opponents became the political order. Voices of dissent were treated as enemy combatants and all arsenals were unleashed to silence them. General Babangida banned and unbanned and banned again many of those who could have wrested power from him in any political competition, fair or unfair. Shehu Musa Yar’adua, Abiola, Kingibe, etc were eventually prominent losers as the ensuing election of Abiola was nullified and voided.

General Abacha had Obasanjo, Yar’adua, Abiola, etc imprisoned to pave way for his transformation agenda. General Obasanjo witch-hunted Vice President, AbubakarAtiku and his political allies, several party officials and changed the whole structure of his party several times, including dissolving the whole party with the sole intention of deregistering elements within the party that he could not control and were unyielding to his wishes to succeed himself. The case of Mr. AuduOgbe is instructional. MrOgbe was the party Chairman that would not stoop down to Obasanjo’s flippant requests. Ogbe eventually lost to the vultures of greed that would allow Obasanjo do anything he liked with the party and the country but still has his dignity.

The interesting connection between Generals Abacha and Obasanjo is the invocation of God as the final decision maker in their decision to run or not for President of Nigeria as a civilian (Abacha) and for a third term (Obasanjo), when all the while they had already made up their own minds on doing so. That is generally referred to as a god-complex. When you invoke the name of God in a decision you have already made, you are invariably playing God.

Jonah David Jang is the governor of Plateau state. He does not have any constitutional powers to run a third term. However, he could have a say in who succeeds him, especially when he is in control of the machinery of government that would allow him to cajole, intimidate and/or simply frustrate those he considers political opponents. Interestingly, Air Commodore Jang has thrown his hat in the ring alongside his fellow soldiers: General Abacha and General Obasanjo. The three basic characteristics of their tactics are:Keep it simple, basic, unsophisticated, crude and dare-devil: make yourself the center of it all and do not shy away from anyone knowing the agenda. Put it out in plain sight but say nothing about it yourself. Recruit sycophants to do your dirty work while you pretty yourself with pointing out, to whomever you find, your incredible achievements in office. Abacha hired YEAA and a hundreds of Committees of Friends and associates. Obasanjo had Mantu, Kayode and co as his undertakers. Jang has figurines of political hangers in the forefront of his agency.

The PDP Chairman may not believe that Jang has the singular connection to God and would not wait on Jang to pronounce, by himself, who would succeed him. This dovetails into the third characteristic.

Invoke the name of God: Both Abacha and Obasanjo claimed they were waiting on God to reveal the path for them. Abacha died before he heard The Voice. Obasanjo was disgraced out of office. Jang has told Plateauns that he was fasting and praying for God to reveal the person to succeed him. Why he thinks God cares to reveal His (God’s) choice to him (Jang) alone is beyond comprehension. Until now, he (Jang) has not been imbued with any prophetic attributes, why would God reveal to him to wait for Him (God) to reveal to him (Jang) who was going to succeed him (Jang)? Apparently, Jang thinks he knows who would succeed him and is merely waiting for God to endorse his choice so he could announce that to the state, who then must sing the Kumbaya. Unfortunately, he is a poor student of history. From all indications, Dariye did not want Jang to succeed him, yet Jang is occupying the seat today. If Jang thinks himself capable of playing God, in the sense that his pronouncement at the end of his so-called prayers and fasting as to who would succeed him would brook no opposition, especially within the party, then he is less smart than people assume he is.

Of course, power belongs to God. But Jang is no God. Few months from now, he would be a commoner on the street, stripped of all paraphernalia of power and office. Even if he succeeds in installing one of his minnows, whomever that may be, he still has to learn the lesson of Babangida, TY Danjuma, etc who foisted Obasanjo on Nigeria and eventually found themselves peeping from the outside.

Dangme Rinyom via dangmerinyom@yahoo.com

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