Governor Jona Jang
By Seriki Adinoyi
Indigenes from Plateau State Sunday criticised the recent appointment of boards of federal universities in which the state had zero representation out of the over 120 appointees, describing the development as sad and disappointing, despite overwhelming support and votes given to President Goodluck Jonathan in the last election.
Former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Istifanus Caleb Mwansat, who spoke to journalists on behalf of the people on the matter, described the development as “the height of unfairness by President Jonathan to Plateau people.”
Mwansat said: “Even constitutionally, Nigeria is expected to be governed principally on social justice; there should be equitable distribution of the common wealth of the country. Section 14 (3) of the constitution talks about the principle of federal character, in terms of appointments and distribution of infrastructural development; I want to say that Mr. President has breached this section of the constitution.”
He lamented that having given sufficient supports to the president, the state deserved better treatment than it was getting from him.
“From the political point of view, the state is predominantly a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state, and during the presidential elections, nearly all the people, both PDP and non-PDP came out to give Mr. President their overwhelming votes of over 1.2 million. Having sown bountifully like this, while are we not reaping bountifully?” he asked.
Describing it as a betrayal of trust, Mwansat said: “Imagine that in the recent appointment of board of universities, no Plateau man was appointed a member, not to talk of a Chairman of Board in the over 120 appointments. I think that is an insult. I don’t think the state is so educationally backward that Mr. President could not find even one person to appoint.”
While faulting “the discriminatory policies of the President Jonathan’s administration,” a member representing Jos South/Jos East in the House of Representatives, Hon. Bitrus Kaze, said: “The people of the state feel thoroughly betrayed and are justifiably becoming disenchanted with the administration’s
Kaze said: “Notwithstanding the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, which prohibits any form of discrimination and promotes the need to conduct the affairs of government or any of its agencies in such a manner as to command national loyalty, President Goodluck recently approved a whooping 120 names for boards of all Federal Universities in Nigeria, unfortunately of all the chairmen and members not a single name is from Plateau State.
“Mr. President secured the highest percentage of votes from Plateau State compared to any State North of the Niger, there cannot be any justification whatsoever for reciprocating our invaluable support with such discrimination. We condemn in the strongest terms possible and totally reject this show of ill will and bad affections against our people, very unfortunately by the same man we so affectionately, enthusiastically, emphatically, and overwhelming voted into power in the 2011 presidential elections.
“Plateau State parades a plethora of accomplished professionals in divergent areas of academic pursuits, who are more than capable of discharging any task related to the academia at any level anywhere in the world. That the President Goodluck found none from Plateau State worthy of consideration is terribly shocking to us, our confidence in the ability of the Goodluck presidency to do justice to our maligned State is being severely eroded. We are bewildered and cannot fathom why Mr. President must pay Plateau people in very bad coins.”