© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
I’m ready to replace Buhari in 2019, says 70-year-old Jonah Jang
Jonah Jang, 70-year-old former Governor of Plateau State, says he is ready to replace President Muhammadu Buhari when his tenure expires in 2019, if the Nigerian people find him worthy.
Jang, however, added that he would need to “confide in my creator first” before making the decision to run for Nigeria’s number one office next year.
Addressing journalists at his residence in Jos, Jang also stated that there are particular elective positions that are best occupied by older persons, for instance, the Senate.
He pointed that that the House of Representatives is always characterised by rowdy sessions because majority of the members are young.
“I’m in politics to serve my people. If Nigerians really feel I can be President, why not? But I will have to confide in my creator (God) first,” he said.
On the recent statements by ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Bbangida, Jang said the former leaders spoke the minds of majority of Nigerians, adding that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had performed way below expectation.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and General Ibrahim Babangida just expressed their feelings among many Nigerians. Probably, they voted for him (Buhari) in 2015, and they are just telling him that we won’t give you our votes again.
“But for God sake, they have done nothing wrong. They have the right to express how they feel about his government.
“Most Nigerians did same during Goodluck Jonathan’s administration even when he was trying his best. Why will Buhari’s own become an exception?”
“I don’t understand the reason for the blame game (by APC). If till today, after two years in governance, the APC administration is blaming PDP for it failures, then the time is up for them to leave.”
On why the Senate is better occupied by older people, Jang said: “If you have hot heads of youthful nature in the Senate and House of representatives, what kind of laws do you think the National Assembly will produce for Nigerians?
“That is why the House of Representative is always rowdy, full of young people, though we have a few of them in the Senate, the likes of Dino. That is why I said Senate is not for the young ones.
“And in Hausa language, the senate is called ‘Maijelisan Datibai’, meaning ‘assembly of elders’, so where is the position of the youth here?”
Also commenting on the relationship between him and his successor, Jang said he has not met with Simon Lalong, current Plateau State Governor, since he assumed office.
He explained that he had reached out to Lalomg shortly before the latter’s inauguration into office, but it was ignored.
“Shortly before Lalong was inaugurated as governor, I personally invited him to talk with him. I wrote him a letter that I personally signed, but he never came nor has he replied me till today.
“As we speak, I have not seen Lalong since he became Governor. For God sake, even by age, I am older than Lalong. I’m above 70 years. He should pay me homage as an elder in this state,” he said.