Friday, September 9, 2011

Wikileaks - Jang Ignored Warnings Ahead 2008 Crisis

Daily Trust
8 September 2011

Jos — Security agencies and Federal authorities forewarned Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang that holding local government election the way he planned in Jos North in November 2008 would lead to deadly violence but he went ahead regardless, leaked US diplomatic cables posted by Wikileaks revealed.

One cable created in December 2008 said when US officials discussed the crisis with the State Security Service officials, the "SSS also singled out Jang for criticism, noting that he had been warned by Federal authorities that pushing ahead with the elections would likely lead to violence, but he insisted on proceeding anyway. They dismissed the bulk of his allegations as an attempt to find a 'foreign devil' to use to divert criticism from his own mistakes."

Another December 2008 cable said the then National Security Adviser General Abdullahi Sarki Mukhtar told the American Ambassador that the Federal Government warned Jang about holding the elections three weeks earlier.

Hundreds were killed in the Jos North local government election violence, which erupted when the PDP candidate was declared winner even though a section of the populace believed he lost the election.

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