A senator representing Plateau northern senatorial district, Jonah Jang, has clashed verbally with the current member of the House of Representatives for Jos South/Jos East, Edward Pwajok, over the latter’s ambition to succeed Mr. Jang in 2019.
The clash came as a result of a radio programme, in which the senator, a former governor of the state, said the “senate seat is not for young persons.”
The senator is one of the elderly lawmakers on the tickets of their states serving in the upper legislative chamber.
Legislative aide to Mr. Pwajok, Ayuba Pam, on Saturday, while reacting to the views of the former governor, said age should not be a barrier for anyone who wants to run for the Senate.
Currently, there are posters of Mr. Pwajok, indicating his interest in succeeding Mr. Jang, as the senator representing the northern senatorial district in the state.
“Late GNS Pwajok (Gyang Pwajok) was in the senate through that mindset and was later to succeed him as governor but for the defeat by APC.
“If he says senate is not for the youths (youth) then ask him to define which bracket of youth he’s talking of? Our extant laws allow youth participation in governance and thankfully too, Jang was in chamber last year when the senate passed Not Too Young to Run Bill.
“Ask him further on this if there was any age limit as to who contests for the seat of the senate?” Mr. Pwajok’s aide explained.
Mr. Pam added that “it was Jang’s opinion, which he was free to express.”
He said if Mr. Jang seriously holds that view, “he would not have allowed a younger person to aspire to succeed him.”
However, responding to Mr. Pwajok’s legislative aide, Mr. Jang’s media consultant, Clinton Garba, in a telephone interview Saturday said Mr. Jang must have been talking out of experience “as a former governor and serving senator.”
“My take is that the Senator’s point of view is taken out of context. He simply stated that most parliament upper chambers are meant for people with vast experiences which come with age hence why most of them are older.
“He went ahead to state that there are youth who have gotten experience and he himself mentioned GNS, so I think his emphasis is the experience that most times comes with age of course with exceptions like he rightly stated. I will continue to respect him for his frankness and not just for being politically correct.,” Mr. Jang’s media consultant said.
The former governor had also during the radio programme held on Friday, revealed that skirmishes in the state had continued because his successor, Governor Simon Lalong, “does not have the listening ears of Plateau elders.”
“Your Governor (Simon Lalong) said he has brought peace, while there is no peace; he should be bold enough to consult some of us, we have been there as governor before him,” Mr. Jang told a contributor who called in during the phone-in programme.
On the rotation of political offices in the state, Mr. Jang revealed that the purported zoning was “a gentleman’s agreement not written anywhere.”
“There has never been a time Plateau people sat to agree on zoning; I was the best when Plateau elected me (Jang) as governor and senator respectively.”
Mr. Jang also denied that his predecessor gave him a car.
“Nobody has given me any car, and more so that I am entitled to two cars every four years as a former governor. Let me be given my entitlement as a former governor,” the senator added.
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