Story from Yakubu VENTIM, Jos
In Nigeria, politics of character assassination, cheap blackmail, politics of loyalty without ideology has continued to destroy the political journey of this black nation. With bigwigs that are building fences of hatred among religious and tribal bigots.
A former Commissioner in plateau state, Hon. Aminu Zang exray some of the People Democratic Party,(PDP) loyalists wrangling confusion and disaffection within the party.
He said “I don’t play politics as a hobby but I enjoy politics whereby people entrust a person with a position of authority to govern them.
He described those linking him to having a secret Political romance with All Progressive Congress (APC) are among the few trying to portray him in a bad light.
“They are my first class Political detractors who are envious of my achievements which are not solely from politics, contrary to the myopic thinking of my perceived Political distractors”
Aminu Zang said those of them who make Politics as their means of livelihood thought he is also like them.
“It may shock them that me being in Politics is to serve my people and represent their voice not using politics as meal ticket just like most of them think everyone does.
Hon. Aminu Zang, a one-time chairman of Jos North LG of Plateau State revealed all these in an interview with journalists in Jos while responding to the rumours from some quarters that he is one of the stakeholders of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State having secret dealings with the opposition party, that is the APC, in a bid of causing disaffection within the party.
The former member of the House of Representatives, representing Jos North / Bassa Constituency at the federal house of representatives said all the issues raised by those he described as his political distractors are false, merely an attempt to smear his hard-earned political reputation.
“You will recall that I was the sole candidate organised by my party, PDP in the 2015 election. In fact, I was the only consensus candidate by the PDP caucus.
Consensus didn’t know tribe, religion or race and the consensus was adopted by the 14 wards in Jos North local government. Namely, Abana Shehu, Sarki Arab, Ali Kazaure, Tafawa Balewa, Vandapuye, Abrahim Kashim, Garuba Daho, and Jenta Apata.
Other wards that adopted me as their consensus candidate were Jenta Adamu, Naraguta A&B and Jos Jarawa.
The party at the local government level in all the wards endorsed my candidature for the local government council election”. He added.
He further said “we didn’t just allow outright endorsement, we followed party guidelines through affirmations.
The event took place at the kent hotel along Tudu Wada Road opposite officers mess in Jos North LG where the affirmation was done and the election could not hold in those four local government councils of Jos North, South, Barki Ladi and Riyom.
The reasons were adduced by PLASIEC which is responsible for the Conduct and supervision of the election in the state, and it is because of insecurity and the covid-19 pandemic.
He further stressed that the party in the state made some frantic efforts to ensure that PLASIEC conduct elections in the affected LG but that could not happen
Aminu, however, lamented that after three years, PLASIEC is still unable to conduct elections in those affected local governments areas of the state. As they continue to attribute their actions to the insecurity in those four local governments.
“We applied pressure to make the government change its mind, but the only thing we couldn’t do is to go to court, because if we do, we will be playing Into their hand, since it appeared they were not ready to conduct the elections, it would be prejudicial to conduct elections when the matter is pending in court.
Based on the above-mentioned reasons, we technically avoided the option of going to court, thinking that the pressure we are putting on them through public demand like talking to the federal government, approaching the court reminding them of such Court judgments that have been given.
Like that of Kwara State where the court compelled the INEC to conduct the local government elections in the state, this is with the view of cajoling the governor.” He stressed.
He added that “Today, Aminu Zang is saying he is not running again, some group of people said it should have been handed over to them, they are probably out of their minds, politics is not done like that.”
It was all about consensus, at a point I said I wasn’t running for the position again that I am no longer interested in contesting three years after I called the Party to inform them about why I didn’t want to contest again, the reasons why I said I won’t contest anymore.
He said it’s the characteristics and character of PDP, “usually, we don’t go to Congresses open-ended, we sit down as a family and agreed, usually, a set of forms will be bought by the time we settled on a particular candidate. Those who will aspire and those who will eventually emerge as the officials have been given one form each.”
Aminu who put the cost of the forms at 44 million said the set of officials put the money together, bought the forms which they claimed they obtained a loan from United Bank of Africa (UBA) which they said was the chairman of Langtang North that bought the forms on behalf of the Party then.
After the resolution of how the money for the forms is going to be paid back, it was typical of us that the money is going to be paid to (UBA) while individual aspirants will then go there to collect the form.
Useni group bought Into the idea because there was that clear cut dichotomy between the Useni group and the David Jang group. As Senator Jang Group took absolute charge of the forms that were funded by the elected officials at the detriment of those in the Useni group.
He condemned the action of some group of people who assumed the position of Demigod, sat down collected those forms and said until you are in their good book, you will not be part of benefiting from the vendor forms.
Characteristically in Jos North, Hon. Aminu said “We sat down, saw a new set of people from where God knows, emerged from nowhere and thought they can exclude everybody else, and only them will now decide who will be a beneficiary of those forms.
In Jos North, for instance, we have Nine Communities based officials, these include Anaguta Berom, Afizere Ibos, and the Yorubas Communities. These Communities will then in turn called the people and then agreed on the distribution pattern of these forms.
It is very imperative to point out here that who gets what in the distribution pattern will be determined by the Communities themselves.
Some tribes which I don’t want to mention in this interview, in the fury of the power given to them I don’t know by who, as I don’t believe it is God.
In the previous sharing formula, Anaguta used to have 3 positions, Afizere 3 but this time reverse is the case as Berom alone have 5 positions. Anaguta and Afizere 1 each and also they decide who will be the person.”
According to Aminu “Some said it is an injustice that we will not allow it to stay, we decided that something was wrong that is why we went to approach the court to remedy this anomaly. On my own, I went to Abuja to buy forms before the closing date for the entire Jos North, which cost me about 2.8 million naira.
I then called the Nine Communities, asked them the hitherto distribution pattern, told them we need to maintain the status quo because we are now in opposition Party and we can not afford internal issues that are capable of causing disharmony between members of the family.
So we distributed the forms, as I speak with you now, some of the Communities were not able to pay back in the end, what I was able to garner is Five Hundred Thousand Naira out of 2.8 million naira.” He further revealed.
When the election was finally fixed behind Godon Hotel the formal Jossy Royal Hotel, these people refused to come, instead, they formed a parallel venue in Jos South LG at Utokon Road called Ray View.
We called the PLASIEC officials to come, when they finally came, they denied fixing the venue at Ray View.
Our boys rushed to the venue at Jos South, brought the boys who were already busy filling forms, arrested them and brought them behind Godon Hotel.
All the PLASIEC officials were there and accreditation started only for soldiers to invade the venue of the election around 5 pm when accreditation was almost over saying that we cannot continue with the election with the flimsy excuse that there is covid-19 pandemic and even arrested some of our members like Yakubu Choji and some other persons who were taken to STF.
As that was not enough, they went ahead to doctored some list they sent to Abuja which they said was the purported Congresses that was held in Jos.
One of the allegations is that I am in a romance with the APC government in the state, and the rumour that me Aminu Zang is planning to decamp to APC. I think that is in the infringement of the imagination of the brain of those who want to spoil my name and my Political ambition which has taken me many years to built through Political hard work and transparency of the numerous Political offices I had occupied over the years.
It may interest you to know that we have an association which cut across all political party’s.
It’s non Political association made up of APC, PDP and other Political members and it is called the Association of commissioners and Senior Assistance (COMSA).
The major objective of the association is to socialize and assist one another in the group, for example during birthday celebrations, childbirth, marriage and death or bereavement.
In that association, members are made to contribute during a wedding, bereavement which ranges from five thousand to fifty thousand depends on the occasion.”
Aminu Zang said those behind the rumour are just his Political distractors who didn’t have anything reasonable to do.
They also alleged him romancing with His Excellency Bako Lalong collecting money from him buying fleet of exotics cars, which is not true.
“It is imperative for them to know that I am a businessman aside of Politics, I am into Politics as a voice to my Community people who are voiceless.
I am not like those of them whose main occupation is politics and nothing else.