• Samson Omale

Sen. Jonah Jang, Gov. Lalong's Commissioner, and 10 Commandments Exchanges

Plateau State on Friday 10 December, 2021 hosted Former President, Goodluck Jonathan who was in Doi, Jos South local government area, for the dedication of the 10 Commandments Prayer Altar built by the Yeshua Kingdom Foundation International.



The towering monument built by the President, Yeshua Kingdom Foundation International, Sen. Jonah Jang, former governor of Plateau state attracted thousands of people to the dedication which featured a musical concert.


Shortly after the dedication of the prayer alter, Social media users, apparently those opposed to the former governor took aim at the person and character of the governor.


However on Tuesday 14 December, Yakubu Datti, Commissioner of Lands and Survey in the APC led government in the state also joined the conversation by writing an article which drew an immediate reaction from Clinton Garba the Media consultant to the former plateau state governor.


Here we published the two articles side by side for your reading delight.


Jang: The two faced Janus on the Plateau


By Yakubu Dati


In ancient Roman mythology, Janus is depicted as having two faces. In contemporary times, one man fits the bill.


The building of the 10 Commandment Prayer Altar by former governor of Plateau State, Da Jonah Jang is an attempt to use religion to pull the wool over the people's eyes in order to cover up for the failings of his administration.


It is also a decoy to take the minds of the people off the current attempt by the Governor Simon Lalong led administration to recover monies allegedly stolen during the tenure of Jang and for which the latter is standing trial.


The case which has been on for some time now aims at recovering a whopping N6.3 billion from the former governor and many witnesses have appeared to testify and give evidence that will facilitate justice and hopefully, repatriation of stolen funds.


But as the people are astonished with these testimonies, Jang tries to play on their emotions by playing the religious card.


The offer of a place of prayer is particularly interesting because the people of Plateau have never lacked a place to pray. Plateau State is headquarters to many religious organisations with ample number of sites to pray in.


It is therefore surprising that someone will try to make an issue out of building a business enterprise with a small cubicle for prayer. What however is not surprising, is that Jang would again be playing the religious card as that has been his stock in trade- to use religion to deceive the people.


When he was governor, he relied on this gimmick to deceive the people and now, instead of making restitution, he is at it again.


The most unfortunate aspect is inviting unsuspecting leaders like former president Goodluck Jonathan to grace the occasion. Not a single Governor showed up. Even his former colleagues avoided the event like a plague.


This was purely to give credibility to the event which he knew will not go down well with the average citizen on the Plateau familiar with his antics.


As a self acclaimed pastor, Jang knows very well that there are certain standards expected of a man who wishes to please God by building a place of worship and that he hardly fits in the description.


Between 2008 and 2013, when he was in charge, Plateau State witnessed one of the worst spate of bloodshed in its history with many lives and property worth billions of naira destroyed.


The situation was so bad that human right groups had to issue countless cautions to the then government which saw itself as a party in the conflict and was adding fuel to the crisis by its words and actions rather than calming nerves.


Jang has also not cleared himself of the charges over the N6.3 billion allegedly misappropriated yet so he lacks the moral standing to offer a spiritual lift. Offering a house of prayer at this time is the height of hypocrisy.


The question the people of Plateau have been asking about the facility is where did the former governor get the money to build it?


Can the former governor claim that the resources for the project were sourced from his legitimate income? If not, does he think by claiming that he is dedicating it to God that he will succeed in covering the eyes of the people with regards to how the funds were sourced?


Is it actually a prayer house or an extension of his business empire with an eye to further milk the people by charging for use of the facility? If that is the case then what Jang built is a house of idolatory not a prayer house.


The people of Plateau know better and cannot be fooled by the schemes of the former governor.


They deserve a better place to worship, where they can do so with a free and they would not have to look over their shoulders to see whether officials of the EFCC are hanging around to confiscate or seal the property while they're praying.


Part of the monies allegedly diverted by the former governor include the N2 billion meant for the setting up of small and medium scale businesses on the Plateau.


While he had done nothing to improve the economy of the state but had rather  impoverished the people through his harsh policies and lack of economic plan,  it is difficult to reconcile how he can now offer a spiritual lift as a panacea.


It was during his tenure, that thousands of small scale businesses and federal agencies closed down their premises on the plateau while he made no attempt to rebuild or bring them back.


The Simon Lalong administration has done much to correct these anomalies with sound economic programmes and people oriented policies.


Govenor Lalong has also enhanced commerce and religious activities in the state by improving on the security architecture of the state.


These are the hallmarks of exemplary leadership and not merely playing on people's emotions.


Can the former governor claim that the resources for the project were sourced from his legitimate income? If not, does he think by claiming that he is dedicating it to God that he will succeed in covering the eyes of the people with regards to how the funds were sourced?


Is it actually a prayer house or an extension of his business empire with an eye to further milk the people by charging for use of the facility? If that is the case then what Jang built is a house of idolatory not a prayer house.


The people of Plateau know better and cannot be fooled by the schemes of the former governor.


They deserve a better place to worship, where they can do so with a free and they would not have to look over their shoulders to see whether officials of the EFCC are hanging around to confiscate or seal the property while they're praying.


Part of the monies allegedly diverted by the former governor include the N2 billion sent by the Central Bank of Nigeria, meant for the setting up of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises on the Plateau.


While he had done nothing to improve the economy of the state but had rather  impoverished the people through his harsh policies and lack of economic plan,  it is difficult to reconcile how he can now offer a spiritual lift as a panacea.


It was during his tenure, that thousands of small scale businesses and federal agencies closed down their premises on the plateau while he made no attempt to rebuild or bring them back.


The Simon Lalong administration has done much to correct these anomalies with sound economic programmes and people oriented policies.


Govenor Lalong has also enhanced commerce and religious activities in the state by improving on the security architecture of the state.


These are the hallmarks of exemplary leadership and not merely playing on people's emotions.

WHY ARE ELEMENTS IN THE LALONG ADMINISTRATION UNSETTLED ABOUT THE DEDICATION OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS MONUMENT/PRAYER ALTAR?


The city of Jos, the Plateau State capital came alive on Friday, 10th December, 2021

owing to the dedication of a prayer altar and the 10 Commandments Monument in

the early hours and a concert which hosted popular Nigerian Gospels artists in the

evening of the same day.


Once again, Christians on the Plateau had a reason to take recess from the hardship, unending fear and agony that have become the order of the day. It is the opinion of many that it has been a while since anything worthy of note, that evokes emotions of joy has happened in Jos.


Although the dedication of the prayer altar was in obedience to the instruction of God to Senator Jang, it would seem that many are again not happy that an event of that magnitude was held .


While Senator Jang is appalled by the political coloration given to a private event with a very strong spiritual implications by both the PDP and APC in the state, he is praying that God overlooks the shortcomings of those who delved into what was not their concern.


That the Honourable Commissioner of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Yakubu Datti further escalated the matter with an intervention that was yet again targeted at diminishing the success of the dedication event and casting Senator Jonah David Jang in bad light.


The dedication of the 10 Commandments monument and prayer altar is an instruction the Senator Jang and no other received yet, people have assumed the place of God to even speaking in categorical terms of how Christians on the plateau did not lack a place of prayer. It is unfortunate that while it would have been necessary to take these people serious, we are dismayed that it is people with questionable moral characters, who would not understand spiritual issues that

have the loudest voices hurling vituperations at what they know nothing of.


We can forgive the ignorance of the commissioner because we are aware of his very low spiritual background with no capacity to understand things of the spirit.


What is most important is to note that Plateau belongs to every plateau man and we must be careful not to invoke the wrath of God in our personal pursuits for popularity. Let us not do things that will anger God.


To cast aspersions on the person of Senator Jang has become the stock-in-trade of favour-seeking appointees of the Governor.


Unfortunately, if the Plateau State Government had any issues with the dedication of the monument, Yakubu Datti should have known that he should be more concerned with collecting tenement rates and dealing with issues of the distortion of the plan of the city as

Commissioner of Lands.


In any case he would have been managing the image of the Governor had he known how to do that, else he wouldn’t have been redeployed from the Ministry of which fits both his educational training and practice.


The Plateau State Governor was adequately informed of the programme and he not

only sent a representative who had the opportunity to address the gathering but

also respectfully did other things to give the visiting former president, Dr. Goodluck

Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, a state welcome.


If anything, the representative of the Governor and Hon. Commissioner of Agriculture will have briefed the Governor and the position of the state Government will not be the statement by an overzealous appointee, seeking for relevance.


To insinuate that the former governor attempted to use religion to cover for the failings of his administration is to publicly display one’s ignorance as the footprints of the Jang administration are visible across the state and will remain talking points for political analysts in the state for a long time coming. If anyone should talk about any administration failing, they should not refer to the Jang administration .


The Lalong administration should rather concentrate on redeeming time and caution his appointees not to drag the image of government into mud because the clock is ticking and the administration is fast winding down.. The appointees have become swan birds singing of an EFCC case which is dead on arrival, boasting of witnesses and testimonies which always fall as a pack of cards in the face of the facts.


The fact remains that Yakubu Datti is the least qualified to talk about the dedication of the 10 commandments monument. Painting a picture that Senator Jang was using religion to play on the people’s emotions only shows his incompetence in deciphering what the whole event was about. Former Governor Jang does not need play with Plateau people’s emotions, he has done his best for the state and earned for himself elder-statesmanship accompanied by the respect of the people.


The likes of Datti and his co-travellers have struggled to amplify the various crises that the state experienced and blame it on the Jang administration ,but who has bewitched them? Are they convinced in their hearts when they make derogatory statements about the losses plateau have incurred owing to bouts of crises? Can they truly say that there was ever a time when Jang was not with Plateau people in the times of crises?


Senator Jang was never at anytime found wanting in siding with the very people he swore to an oath to provide welfare and security. Little wonder he opened up crisis prone areas with roads to enable movement the security agencies in forestalling and dealing with issues of insecurity.


Commissioner Datti and his ilk should save the governor the embarrassment of comparing him with the Senator Jang who has a distinguished career and tenure of office which made the state witness transformation in various sectors.


Senator Jang has always demonstrated leadership and it is for this reason that the people came from far and near to grace the occasion. On this note, it is important to extend sincere thanks to the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a man of peace, patriotic Nigerian and a worthy son of Africa for finding time out of his busy schedule to attend the dedication programme. His presence has obviously left an unsettling effect on some people.


In the same vein, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo is well appreciated for sending a worthy representative several important dignitaries from Abuja and representatives of some State Governors and all those who sent goodwill messages.


Senator Jang wishes to also thank the body of Christ on the Plateau for their show of love including Apostle Joshua Selman.


In spite of all, it is on record that Governor Simon Bako Lalong played the part that was required of him for which he must be commended. The fact that the PDP and APC in the state as well as some self-seeking, overzealous appointees of his went out of order in order to please him does not diminish the appreciation for what he did. That people did what they did in order to gain favour with him, the governor must indeed be wary of busybodies in his government who will court more troubles for him in trying to please him unnecessarily.


Senator Jang prays earnestly for God to open the eyes of his people and draw them closer to himself while he reminds the people of Plateau that praying AT a place is different from praying TO the place


Jesus went to several places to pray, including Gethsemane. But his prayers were never to those places but to God Almighty, His Father.


May God have mercy on us all and heal our land.



Clinton Garuba

Media consultant to Senator Jonah Jang




454 views0 comments