Gov Jang Appoints Son As Special Adviser


Plateau Governor, Jonah Jang’s appointment of his son, Yakubu Jang, as Special Adviser on Special Duties is “proper and in order”, Senator Gyang Dantong has said.

The appointment of Yakubu, who was sworn in along with 20 others in Jos on Friday, has been criticized by some politicians, who have argued that Jang was turning governance into a family affair.

But Dantong, who reacted to the criticism, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday that there was nothing wrong with appointing one’s wife or son into leadership positions.

“The basic question should be, if the said appointee is a Nigerian and whether he or she is qualified for the job.

“In the specific case of Yakubu Jang, he is eminently qualified; he is not staying under the father. He is a married man who is entitled to being paid for the labour he is undertaking.

“What I know for sure is that he has been working seriously and assisting the Governor. The appointment did not come overnight. It is not good that he will work and is not paid.

“The Governor Jang I know is a prudent manager and will not use resources to compensate his son. So, it is very proper that the son is appointed to a position where he will work and earn some income for himself.”

Dantong said that what should be uppermost in the minds of critics was whether the new officer had the capacity to deliver like any other person that was appointed.

He pointed out that it would be unfair to deny Yakubu the chance to serve his state just because of his biological relationship with the governor.

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The senator noted that Jang was not the first to appoint his relation into position of authority, saying that Senate President, David Mark, has his son as his Special Adviser on Special Duties.

He also recalled that former American President Bill Clinton had also appointed his wife, Hillary Clinton, as boss of his administration’s health reforms project when he was in government.

“Clinton was similarly criticized for taking that step, but Americans were happier at the end of the day.”

Dantong also reacted to complaints on the distribution of the appointments according to Local Governments, and said that it was not a surprise that some Local Governments had two Special Advisers, while others had one each.

“It is always difficult to get that balance at a time, but the beauty of it is that areas that appear disadvantaged in one set of appointment, are always sure to be compensated some how.”

The senator, who represents Plateau North, said he was highly impressed with the calibre of people being appointed into political positions in the state, and expressed optimism that they would deliver.

“I understand that some politicians will like to be compensated for the support they rendered during the electioneering, but I believe that they should be contended if those appointed deliver the goods to the Plateau people.

“Those that worked for Jang should be happy that he is working for the people, irrespective of whoever has been engaged to do the job.”

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