By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos – A former Governor of Plateau State now Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Jonah Jang has described the recent looters’ list released by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed which alleged that Jang embezzlement N12.5billion as “laughable on preliminary evaluation, and pathetic when considered on the scales of truth and reality.”
Jang in a statement issued Wednesday said, “The so called list of looters is a testament to the desperation which holds the All Progressives Congress in its firm grip after what is now certainly an infamous cameo in power considered by many to be tragic and regrettable.”
He wondered how possible it was for him to get such amount stating, “For all those who were on the list, sources of the funds allegedly looted were stated, but in my case, there was none. How possible is it for me to have gotten N12.5billion just like that from nobody and nowhere?
“Unlike Lai Mohammed and the Federal Government, I know without any shadow of doubt, that to be a looter, one must have stolen or taken something by force. If their allegation is anything to go by, it falls short of the lowest standards of believability; otherwise they would have noticed that the allegation of getting N12.5billion from an unknown source isnâ€™t the same as looting the said amount.”
The Senator further noted that before going to the Senate, he did his best for his people but the APC government having found no opportunity to tarnish his image, is seeking every avenue to rubbish him and his achievements.
His words, “I was Governor of Plateau State from 2007-2015. For 8years, I did my best for my people. The landmark achievements recorded within that period remain unmatched till date. They are a legacy of diligence, service, and accountability in governance. A computation of the value of the projects we executed throughout the 17 Local Government Areas of the State reveals a massive gulf of inequality between the insufficient resources we got as subvention and internally generated revenue.
“When the APC government in Plateau State took me to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), they could not get a single case of financial impropriety to be filed against me in the courts. The EFCC has thoroughly investigated me and they know I donâ€™t have an offshore bank account. They have all my account numbers and know the balances in each. Did they find the N12.5billion in any of them?
“Apparently unhappy with the findings of the EFCC they quickly ran to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission ICPC, seeking to have me investigated again. From the look of things that too would be another wild-goose chase which would ultimately culminate in another anticlimax.
“Today, majority of Nigerians know that the present Federal Government only pays lip service to the fight against corruption. Where they appear to be serious, it is in media trials and persecution of the opposition and perceived opponents. Why are we not talking of the campaign funds of the APC? Where did they get their funding from? Did they pluck the billions they spent from trees? Until and unless they tell Nigerians how they funded their campaigns in 2015, Nigerians would continue to see them as they are, and would not hesitate to vote them out in 2019.”
He however asked the Minister to “make amends by recanting the phantom allegations he made against my good person within a very reasonable timeframe or face the consequence of his indiscretion in the foreseeable future.”