By JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA—The senator representing Plateau North Senatorial Zone, Gyang Pwajok, has said the natives of the state would not mortgage their traditional institutions to those he referred to as residents.
Senator Pwajok, who was elected under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in replacement of Senator Gyang Dantong who was murdered during one of Jos crises, said those causing problems in Plateau State must begin to realise that there was a clear distinction between indigeneship and residency in the nation’s constitution.
Insisting that indigeneship in Plateau State was not negotiable, Pwajok said the long duration a person spent as a resident in any place did not confer automatic rights on him to enjoy certain rights and privileges.
He said certain institutions as chieftaincy and some political offices were exclusive rights of indigenes and that such practice was applicable to his state alone.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, Senator Pwajok said: “When people begin to over-stretch their demands for certain things that they are not supposed to, then there is a problem.”
He recalled that the Plateau State local government elections of 2008, which resulted in ethno-religious crisis, produced many ward councillors from different parts of the country, who were residents of the state.
He said: “Plateau people believe that you cannot replace indigeneship with residency. Indigeneship cannot be created today, but residency is something that you can create today, so the two cannot be said to be the same.”
On the protracted labour crisis in the state, following the inability of the state government to yield to the demands of workers in implementing the N18,000 minimum wage, Pwajok said security challenge and the need to reposition the state to the dream of its citizens, had made it impossible for recurrent expenditure to cope with incessant increment in salaries of workers.
He said: “The problem with strike in Nigeria is that there is no stiff condition that once you are on strike, you don’t get salary for that period you were on strike.
“People just feel that after all, when they resume from strike, their salaries are there to be paid to them. This has helped in creating all these unnecessary cases of strikes.” we are seeing today.”