Accused of diverting N6bn Plateau funds, Jonah Jang wants to be Nigeria’s President

Jonah Jang
Jonah Jang

Accused of plundering billions of Naira of state funds, ex-Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang, wants to be Nigeria’s president.

Mr Jang, a serving senator, on Tuesday formally declared his ambition to run for the country’s number one political seat.

The declaration took place at the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat located along Yakubu Gowon Way, in Jos South Local Government Area.

Mr Jang served as governor from 2007 to 2015. He was later elected senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District under the PDP in 2015.

Mr Jang is currently facing a 12-count charge of diverting N6.3 billion while he was in office. He has denied the charges.

He was recently remanded for nine days at the Jos Prison alongside a cashier at the Office of Secretary to the State Government by judge, Daniel Longi, of the State High Court following his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). However, he was later granted bail.

Despite his present tango with the law, a crowd gathered to witness the declaration Tuesday, stopping human and vehicular movement for hours.

The former military governor of Benue and Gongola states told the crowd that he has what it takes to be the president ”considering his experience in military training, governance, democracy, the legislature and his contribution towards the general development of the nation.”

Mr Jang said if voted into power, he will make peace and security the priority of his government.

“We will give this nation security results, we will not give excuses or cover up any act of criminality and impunity, whatever the colour and creed of the criminals,” he said, although his tenure as Plateau governor witnessed some of the worst communal and ethnic violence in the state.

“We will end the cheapening of the lives of Nigerians. Gunmen will be known and traced to their roots, arrested and made to face the law. Nigerians will be proud of their country again.

“Restructuring and reorganising Nigeria to the comfort of all Nigerians is a task I will face with commitment. If we have operated a system for 58 years and Nigerians are asking for a review of the structures, there is no need to delay it further,” he told the gathering.

Mr Jang, who vowed to grow the economy, also had something to say on corruption.

He said all anti-graft agencies would be strengthened and made to fight corruption ”within the confines of the rule of law and the fight against corruption would be total, balanced, consistent and sustained.”

Mr Jang joins the growing list of candidates who have expressed interest in battling it out at the polls with the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari who will be running for a second term under the All Progressive Congress.

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Some of the other aspirants are ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe, and ex-governors Sule Lamido, Attahiru Bafarawa and Rabiu Kwankwaso.

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