Jonah Jang earned his mark as a leader, writes Chris Gyang
When the great Leopold Senghor was championing the Negritude literary movement, which was aimed at showcasing to the world the fact that the black man was not of a backward race, the legendary Wole Soyinka simply told him to stop all the posturing and hype but, rather, concentrate on practically demonstrating what he was hypothising by churning out critically acclaimed literary works that could match those of Europeans.
Thus, Soyinka famously declared: “A tiger does not have to proclaim his tigritude.” Essentially, he was saying that the effectiveness of any human endeavour and cause is ultimately judged by the quality of the practical and tangible outcome and not by ephemeral words and idealization.
Why are we going down this literature memory lane here? It’s meant to show us that a man, in fact, every human being, should be able to point to the practical, positive, outcomes of his or her endeavours and thoughts when all is said and done.
It is from that stand point, therefore, that we wish to kindly direct the minds of both of our political leaders and those of us who believe in them, in our process of assessing who is a true leader among them.
Viewed from that perspective and on a more general note, respect for a leader is strictly based on his practical antecedents. That kind of respect naturally emanates from what the people see as his felt contributions to their general well-being. This kind of respect can never be exacted or gotten through sophistry of any kind.
This is because, first, the human mind has the capacity to discern the difference between truth and deceit. Second, and most importantly, true leaders are forged from the most finest stuff that can never be counterfeited.
It’s with a view to the above humble submissions that we kindly wish the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State to dispassionately view some of the unsavoury issues that are cropping up in the follow up to Saturday’s elections into the party’s state executive council.
Of course, as a human being and leader, Jonah David Jang has his personal flaws which surely hurt individuals, groups and even our state when he was governor. But, definitely, Jang is not the problem of the PDP in Plateau State. On the contrary, he is the most unifying factor in Plateau PDP. For instance, in the 2019 general elections, his northern zone gave the PDP an unmatched clean slate.
To be sure, his is an exalted and iconic position that has been voluntarily conferred on him by the generality of Plateau people and party members and not through any force of coercion or exaction.
If the truth must be told, Jonah Jang is the face of PDP in Plateau State. Consequently, we are also bold to assert that he has earned a place on the pantheon of great leaders of not only our party but Plateau State as a whole.
Undoubtedly, he is the nemeses of the rudderless Lalong administration mainly because his achievements as governor are so intimidating to them that they know that even if they are given two plus two more tenures, they can never match his developmental landmarks that will remain a reference point in the annals of the governance of our state for a long time to come.
This is only one of his legacies that have also seamlessly conferred on him the title of a true leader. And, like Soyinka so boldly affirmed, Baba Jang has earned the respect and position of a statesman and leader because he has not patently “declared” his “tigritude”. Rather, he has painstakingly concentrated on the selfless venture of offering good governance and direction to Plateau people.
Others who seek to be true leaders may kindly wish to borrow a leaf from Jonah Jang.
Obviously, rabble rousing is not the path towards such respect because it’s earned and not exacted while real leaders are fashioned out of the best, finest stuff.
Gyang wrote from Jos