Jos Crisis: Beyond Elections
By Obiabin Micah.
Since the ugly incident in Jos, Plateau State , which claimed over 500
lives and property worth millions of naira destroyed, I have read a lot of
articles and listened to a lot of comments from the Federal Government,
media and well-meaning individuals condemning it.
But one thing this writer has observed is that people keep blaming the
mayhem on the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
There is no gainsaying the fact that elections in this country is often
greeted with mass rigging, and the local government elections in Plateau
Staten would not have been an exception.
But it is pertinent to pause for a while and look beyond this crisis as
emanating from local government elections and ask: if really there was
perceived irregularities in the elections, why didn’t the perpetrators
of this act go ahead to burn down the PDP secretariat; why was the INEC
Secretariat untouched; or why didn’t they, at least, attack any INEC
official; why didn’t they wait for the election results to be announced
before going ahead to carry out the dastard act?
Reports show that most of those arrested in connection with the killing
and destruction were brought in from Niger Republic . If one may ask, how
did they get themselves into the state between Thursday and Friday to come
and help their ‘brothers-in-crime’ fight if not pre-planned?
This writer is a Youth Corper serving in Jos East local government area of
Plateau State. And anyone who witnessed the extent of killing and
destruction would not have any reason to doubt that the crisis is
religiously motivated and not political. Or are Corpers also part of the
election rigging as to incur their wrath and get killed? If not for
God’s intervention that sent security operatives, the Family House
(National Secretariat) of Christian Corpers was almost attacked. Also, one
Faith Baptist School (a Christian school) was almost attacked to cause
genocide, but for the quick intervention of security men in the area.
This is not the first time in different parts of the north that Moslems
will be attacking Christians. Moslems in this country, to say the least,
are inhuman. If not, how does a political crisis metamorphosed into
religious crisis overnight to the extent of killing innocent people
serving their fatherland. I still want to agree with those that have
always said that the problem of Nigeria is as a result of the‘mistake’ called amalgamation in 1914 by Lord Lugard, because these
Hausas are not fit to co-habit with sane people.
Going by the political history of that state, the Hausa man (as Moslems
are being referred to in Plateau State), always want to take over the
chairmanship of the capital city (Jos North), which have often been
greeted with resistance from the Christian folk.
Investigation also show that there is a silent war between the Jarawan
people and the Byrom people over the ownership of Jos North, since the
latter were relocated near Kaduna State as a result of the 2001 crisis in
that state. In order to succeed, therefore, the Hausa man decided to take
a Jarawan man for deputy.
In Nigeria, there are processes provided by the Electoral Act for any
aggrieved party to go to the tribunal and address any perceived
irregularity arising from elections. Why, then, didn’t any one wait for
the elections results to be announced before taking action. Killing of
innocent souls, no matter the excuse, must be condemned in its entirety
and those responsible must be made to face the wrath of the law to avoid
future occurrence. Well-meaning Nigerians are calling for a judicial
inquiry to ascertain the remote and current causes of the crisis. But that
is not enough as this seem to be a recurring phenomenon in the northern
part of Nigeria. Time has come for the National Assembly to look into the
matter and come up with a law that will stop religious crisis in Nigeria.
Enough is enough!
Miss Micah is a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving
in Jos, Plateau State.