The PDP and non-PDP dimension of Jos Crisis.
by James Bonnet
The Plateau State Consultative Forum over the weekend threw hammer into the runway of Jos crisis when it accused President Musa Yar’Adua of bias in the Christian versus Muslim imbroglio. The President may have been affected going by the harsh reaction of his spokesman, Mr. Segun Adeniyi.
No doubt Segun did touch on some sentiments when he dished out the statements on behalf of his boss that religion was too sensitive for anybody to steer while sitting on the driver’s seat.
The group and many residents of Plateau state have been hot accusing President Yar’ Adua of setting up panels to investigate the Jos crisis which involved the Christians and Muslims as a way of buying time to bury the issue like in the past.
First Lady, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua also got the heat for not caring about the casualties and the injured on the side of Christians. Hajia Turai is a mother and she is the Mother of the nation by her traditional position of being the President’s wife. So at any rate, both the President and his wife are supposed to hide their divided emotions in matters like this.
She was accused of sending a delegation and relief materials to the Muslim affected areas in Jos leaving the Christians jealous and cold.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Dimeji Bankole has also received his dose of condemnation for not visiting any Church during his on-the-spot assessment.
His fellow Yoruba leaders in city have attacked him publicly for being one-sided and not bothering to even visit them and their Yoruba Mosque and hear their own side of the story during his visit. Bankole was in Jos and visited some Mosques in the Hausa-Fulani populated Jos North.
Eye witnesses disclosed how one of the biggest churches in the state, the headquarters of Deeper life Church and many others were torched by the arsonists while pointing accusing fingers at the Hausa-Fulanis Muslims. Then one begins to wonder, what has Deeper Life Church got to do with the alleged sweeping of polls by PDP during the local government elections?
There are also pictures of dead bodies in the Mosques in Jos North being circulated even in neighbouring countries. The photos are still igniting anger.
During the attack in Jos, the Yoruba Muslims were not spared. The crisis actually broke out at about 4am on that fateful day hours after the local government elections, while the people were still asleep.
The attackers had planned their assault so perfectly that by that early morning, after breaking doors and shooting and killing people, rubbles and burning and wailing were left in their trail. This confirmed the rumours that it was well orchestrated and the planning was properly carried out even before the local government Election Day. Again, it tells how Plateau state is seated on gunpowder.
The ugly stories of the crisis are numerous. A pastor in one of the churches attacked was said to have been beheaded and had his head stuck unto a spear, a tale only reminiscent of the Roman Wars of medieval times.
On the day of the attack, a youth was also caught emptying a gallon of poisonous substances (popularly called Gamalin 20) into a well which served as drinking water to a neighbourhood. The suspect has since been handed over to police.
He confessed being paid N5, 000 to carry out the plot by a yet-to-be identified Hajia. Perhaps, that is our own version of chemical warfare.
Bishop Pam’s anger over the President Yar’Adua’s attitude towards the Christian community including the Governor he once stated was borne out of their firm support for his leadership which made them kept vigil, praying throughout the days he had his health problems. He believes it is the prayers by the Christians in Jos that gave President Yar’Adua the good health he is enjoying today.
Were it not for the police and army personnel deployed to quell the crisis, the attack on Jos would have become another record genocide in Nigeria because of the complexity and orchestration of the attack.
The political dimension of the crisis is numerous too. Already, some politicians are said to be working round the clock to ensure that the Jos crisis sweeps the Governor out of office so that they can benefit. These set of politicians include those out rightly seeking for imposition of the emergency. These ones are mainly politicians from outside the ruling PDP.
The other elements from within the ruling PDP are the one graciously winding the engine of impeachment so that they can benefit. These later ones have also taken the Jos crisis to the PDP headquarters asking for expulsion of the Governor for no good reasons. These set of politicians have added more injury to the feud between President Yar’Adua and the Governor of Plateau state especially as seen during last week’s NWC meeting of PDP. It is just time that the two Babas settle their differences like elders.
James Bonnet is a journalist based in Jos.