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Date Published: 02/08/10

Whitepaper on the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the riots of 12th April, 1994 in Jos Metropolis



The full reports of this Commission consists of three volumes.

  •  Volume one is the main report which contains the findings, observations, and recommendations of the Commission in accordance with the terms of reference.
  • Volume two contains all the documentary exhibits tendered to the Commission and consists mainly of the memoranda submitted by the witnesses.
  • Volume three contains the verbatim record of the proceedings of the Commission.

Government View

Government notes. 


1.0.1 This Commission of Inquiry is to look into the riots of April 12 th, 1994 in Jos metropolis was set up by the Military Administrator of Plateau State, Lt. Col. Mohammed Mana, on the 22 nd day of April, 1994, under the Commission of Inquiry Law, 1963 (Cap 25) Laws of Northern Nigeria, applicable in Plateau State. 

1.0.2 In the morning of Tuesday 12 th April, 1994, at about 7am, a civil disturbance started in Jos metropolis.  The ugly incident appeared to have been started from internal protest march to the Government House, Rayfield, by Hausa people.  Then some recalcitrant people joint th protesters, and other prodigies of violence rose up and fought, rather like a pile of wood chipping ignited by spontaneous combustion.  As a result of the disturbance, the Military Administrator set up this Commission of Inquiry to find out the root cause of the disturbance, and to recommend ways of avoiding future re-occurrence of such an incidence.

Government View

Government notes. 


1.1.1 The constitution of the Commission is as follows:

                  •   Hon. Justice J. Aribiton Fiberesima (Rtd) - Chairman
                  •   Major D. J. M. Igah    - Member
                  •   Squadron Leader M. B. Usman  - Member
                  •   Alhaji I. D. Muhammed   - Member
                  •   Mr. T. Didel     - Member
                  •   Mr. S. O. Aboki    - Counsel
                  •   Mr. P. P. Deshi    - Secretary

1.1.2 The terms of reference of the Commission are as follows:

    •  To establish the remote and immediate causes of the riots in Jos Metropolis on April 12 th, 1994.
    • To identify the individuals, groups of persons and institutions directly or indirectly connected with the riots, and their roles in precipitating the crisis.
    • To identify causes and assess the property destroyed, their owners, and those behind the destruction.
    • To apportion blames on persons or groups of persons and recommend appropriate action.
    • To recommend ways of avoiding future re-occurrence of such incident.
    • To make any other recommendation incidental to the foregoing terms of reference.

1.1.3 The Commission was given four weeks to submit its report.

Government View

Government notes. 

1.2.0 Methodology


1.2.1 The Commission was inaugurated in the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Jos on Friday, 22 nd April, 1994.  Members held a meeting immediately after the inauguration to set out the Commission’s mode of operation.  It decided to start public sitting as from Tuesday, 3 rd May, 1994.  Accordingly, public notice and announcement was issued in the local newspaper, radio, and television, inviting members of the public to submit memoranda. 

1.2.2 One week was given to members of the public for the submission of memoranda.  However, in view of the poor initial response by the public, the Commission accepted memoranda submitted later, up to Saturday, 7 th May, a total of sixty six memoranda were received. 

1.2.3 The Commission sat publicly in the main hall of the Plateau State House of Assembly. The sittings were conducted daily from 9.00a.m to late in the evening.  During these public sitting, witnesses submitted evidence and laid their points of view before the Commission.  Forty-four exhibits were tendered and received in evidence, while a total of fifteen claims were received. 

1.2.4 The Commission toured the riot-torn areas, among which were:

    •   Jos main market
    •   Gada-Biyu market
    •   Izala Headquarters and school along Rukuba road.

Photographs of these riots-torn areas were taken and are included in this report as exhibit 50.

Government View

Government notes. 

1.2.5 The Commission also received evidence from another independent Committee set up by Government to identify property lost in the disturbance.  The Committee tendered its report to this Commission, and is attached herewith as exhibit 28.

Government View

Government notes. 


2.0.1 Causes

2.0.2 “ To establish the remote and immediate causes of the April 12 th, 1994 riot in Jos metropolis” is a principal term of reference of this Commission. 

2.1.0 Remote Causes

2.1.1 The riots in Jos metropolis on 12 th April, 1994 broke a record of peace and tranquility for which the town was known since its inception.  On that day, for over half the day, the town was in turmoil, for the first time in the annals of its history.  But why?  Almost every witness who proferred evidence on the remote causes of the riot gave the same reason(s). 

2.1.2 A recurrent friction for many years, between the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere tribes on the one hand, and the Hausa-Fulani tribes on the other hand, is a remote cause of the riot.  Each part lays claim to Jos.  The Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere claim that they are the indisputable indigenous people of Jos, that the Hausa-Fulani are settlers, strangers, who migrated into Jos for various reasons which include commerce, employment and repair of fortune.  But the Hausa-Fulani contend that they, as owners of Jos, had had the privilege of producing the rulers of the town since way back in 1902.  They also claim political ascendancy over the other communities at all time.  This feeling of one having supremacy over the other simmered for years, only to break out into open confrontation and riot on 12 th April, 1994. 

2.1.3 Although the riot took place on that fateful day, it was merely a product of accumulated tension which had been mounting sequel to an attempt by a group of Hausa-Fulani (Jasawa) community in Jos to exercise political dominion over the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere tribes. This dates back to 1987 when one Alhaji Sale Hassan, a Teraman by tribe and a strongman of the Jasawa Development Association, called on the Jasawa community to wrest the rulership and ownership of Jos from other tribes. Alhaji Sale Hassan alleged that the rulership and ownership of the town slipped off their hands in 1945. This incitement by Alhaji Hassan generated tension in the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere communities, and created unnecessary sentiments in the minds of the Hausa-Fulani residents of Jos.  Thus a seed of discord was sown. 

2.1.4 A remote cause can also be traced to 1991 when the Federal Military Government created 89 additional Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country.  The exercise witnessed the creation from the former Jos Local Government Area, of Jos North Local Government Area and Jos South Local Government Area, with Jos metropolis and Bukuru town as headquarters respectively.  This was totally against the wishes of the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere communities who prior to the exercise had requested for the creation of Federe Local Government Area out of the then Jos Local Government Area. With what actually transpired, the said communities found themselves in Jos South LGA, while the Hausa-Fulani community was left to enjoy numerical dominion in Jos North LGA where Jos metropolis is located.  The former communities saw this arrangement as a grand plan by the Hausa-Fulani to seize Jos town from them. They also resented the pattern of the newly created LGAs because it left their paramount ruler, the Gbong Gwom, isolated in an enclave of the Hausa-FUlani in Jos municipality. 

2.1.5 As would be expected, the Hausa-Fulani (Jasawa) community was jubilant over the creation of the new LGAs.  The Jasawa community, in the course of their jubilation, taunted the other tribes who would not brook any sarcasm from the Jasawa.  Giving evidence on the cause of the riots, members of the Berom Elders Council stated that “during the last Military Administration two Federal Constituencies were created in the then Jos LGA.  Jos metropolis, which is predominantly inhabited by settlers, was curved out as one Constituency, while the rest of the LGA was left as the other Constituency.  When subsequently more LGAs were created, each of the Federal Constituencies became a separate LGA”. 

2.1.6 In summary, we say that the remote cause of the riots lay in the desire of both the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere communities on the one hand, and the Hausa-Fulani (Jasawa) community on the other hand, to claim pre-eminence over the other.

Government View

Government notes. 

2.2.0 Immediate Causes

2.2.1 To every Government in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Federal or State or Local, equity in the distribution of appointments and promotions is clearly a problem. In the Nigerian context, equity is relative: one values it one way, another sees it the other way.  So when Government makes an appointment or promotion, it is accepted or criticised with ethnic passions and sentiments.  One ethnic group may decry an appointment as unfair and inequitable, while another group may celebrate, as they see only justice and fair play in the appointment.  Government is unduly perplexed. 

2.2.2 From the evidence placed at the disposal of this Commission, it was obvious that the immediate cause of the crisis in Jos stemmed from the appointment of Alhaji Aminu Mato as the Chairman of the Care-taker Management Committee of Jos North LGA.  Evidence showed that Alhaji Aminu Mato was a Hausa-Fulani man.  While his kinsmen gave noded approval to his appointment, the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere tribes gave it an outright rejection.  A battle line was drawn between the tribes. 

2.2.3 The Berom, Anaguta and Afizere communities reacted by embarking on a peaceful demonstration to the Military Administrator’s office on the 5 th April, at about 12.00noon, during which they made it known to the Administrator that the appointment of a Hausaman as the Chairman of the Management Committee was unacceptable to them.  The people also demonstrated to the Gbong Gwom on the same day at about 5.00p.m, and informed him that the appointment of a Hausaman as the Committee Chairman was unacceptable to them.   When on April 6 th, Government swore in all appointed Committee Chairmen, including the controversial Aminu Mato, tension was further aggravated in the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere tribes.  They vowed not to allow him assume office. 

2.2.4 On April 8 th, the date appointed for handing/taking over at the LGA secretariat, the people thronged the place to prevent the exercise from taking place.  However, a Cabinet Officer letter, with Reference Number S/SSG/E/81/V.1, dated that same day, and authorising the Local Government Council’s Director of Personnel Management to continue managing the affairs of the Council, calmed tampers on the part of the Berom, Anaguta, Afizere.  But it marked the beginning of high tension within the Hausa-Fulani people.  They felt that Government was yielding to intimidation at their own expense. 

2.2.5 Consequently, on April 11 th, some Hausa-Fulani butchers slaughtered cows and other animals on the highway near the Abattoir to protest Government’s suspension of the assumption of office of Alhaji Aminu Mato.  The State’s Chairman of the Butchers Association, Alhaji Danlami Babajoda, stated that their action was just the beginning in a series of what they intended to do until Alhaji Mato was allowed to take over the administration of Jos North LGA.  Later that evening at about 5.0p.m, a meeting was held by the Hausa-Fulani community near the central Jumma’at mosque where the president of the Jasawa Development Association, Alhaji Yaya Aga Abubakar, instigated them to come out en-masse to embark on a demonstration.  Then on the fateful day the Jasawa youths took to the streets as planned, and chaos ensued. 

2.2.6 A comprehensive list of items destroyed is contained in exhibit 28 attached to the proceedings of this Commission.  Casualties of the riot include:

    •   Mallam Hassan Adamu
    •   Mallam Sabo Abdullahi
    •   Mallam Abdullahi Isa
    •   Mallam Abubakar Ya’u

The first two were teachers at the Izala Islamiya School along Rukuba road, while Mallam Isa resided at 116 Balarabe Street, Jos.  Mallam Ya’u was found unconscious near the Jos Main Market, but he died at the Jos University Teaching Hospital on April 13 th.

Government View

Government notes the compilation. 

2.2.7 A lot of arrests were made by the police (see exhibit 1A) and the culprits among them are being dealt with according to the laws of the land.  Cogent evidence before the Commission show that the police are still on the trail, and whoever they track down will be brought to book.  In circumstances as these, time does not run against the State.

Government View

Government notes and directs the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to find out from the Police the outcome of their action. 

2.3.0 Principal Actors

2.3.1 An important term of reference of the Commission is “to identify the individuals, groups of persons, or institutions directly or indirectly connected with the riot.”  There was strong and convincing evidence before the Commission that:

    •  On April, 11 th just a day before the fateful day, Alhaji Yaya Aga Abubakar, the President of Jasawa Development Association, in the company of Alhaji Aminu Mato’s junior brother, Sanusi Mato, held a meeting at Masallacin Jumma’a Jos with the Jasawa community, during which they resolved to carry out a demonstration the following day.  So Yaya Abubakar and Sanusi Mato were directly connected with the riot.  They were the leaders of the insurrection that brought disaster and shame to Jos metropolis, to Plateau State, and to Nigeria; that brought death and destruction to lives and properties.
    • The following officers of the Jasawa Development Association were among those who encouraged the perpetration of the heinous and wicket riot of April 12 th.  We believe that from them the police may apprehend more accomplices:
                •  Usman Ibrahim  - Publicity Secretary
                •  Yahaya Garba   - State Deputy Chairman
                •  Usman Likita   - Leading member
                •  Usman Iliya   - Chairman, Jos branch
                •  Mansur Nakande  - Leading membe
    • The Jasawa Development Association seemed to be a militant body of Hausa-Fulani youths.  It was the group that Yaya Abubakar instigated at Masallacin Juma’a to carry out a demonstration on 12 th April, which they did.  The Commission therefore finds the Jasawa Association, as a group, to be directly connected with the riots.
    •   Danlami Babajoda, the State’s Chairman of the Butcher’s Association, was privy to the act of the members of the Association, who, on April 11 th slaughtered cows and goats on the public highway by the abattoir to protest against the suspension of Aminu Mato from office as chairman of Jos North Local Government Council.  He was said to have stated to the State Security Services that these action was just the beginning of what they intended to do until Alhaji Mato was allowed to assume office as Chairman.  Thus Danlami Babajoda was also a prime mover of the incidents that led to the riots, and is answerable to government for his conduct.
    • A trader at Gada-Biyu market, one Suleiman Abdullahi of Kabong quarters saw Mr. Baba Teacher, Madam Hannatu, Madam Rhoda, Mr. Sunday, Maman Ayuba, and Mr. Paul, all of whom he knew and had lived with at Kabong, set fire to the mosque and stalls at Gada-Biyu market.  Another eye-witness to the incidents of April 12 th, this time at the Izala headquarters along Rukuba Road, one Abdulmumini Yusuf, identified Mr. Sunday and Danjuma Painter among the rioters that wrecked the havoc of arson, looting, and murder at the scene.  On the evidence of these and other eye-witnesses, the Commission includes the following as principal actors who were involved in certain offenses connected with the riots:
      •  Mr. Baba Teacher
      •  Madam Hanatu
      •  Madam Rhoda
      •  Mr. Sunday
      •  Maman Ayuba
      •  Mr. Paul
      •  Danjuma Painter

2.3.2 The police apprehended a good number (about 104) of rioters at the various scenes of conflict and conflagration and that a speedy preliminary investigation, took them to the law courts for trial.  Eighty-three of those apprehended are of Hausa-Fulani extraction, while the rest came from various other tribes.  Some of them are among those listed in paragraph 2.3.1 above.  The comprehensive list of those apprehended is contained in exhibit 1A attached to these proceedings.

Government View

Government notes the dastardly act of the individuals and directed the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to find what have become of them by the Police. 

2.4.0 Property destroyed

2.4.1 The Commission was appointed to, among other things, “identify and assess properties destroyed, their owners, and those behind the destruction”.  The Commission identified the Jos Main Market as a major property destroyed during the rampage.  The Commission also identified the market at Gada-Biyu and its adjoining mosque as properties lost to arsonists.  Other major properties identified include school buildings, an office complex, residential houses, and a mosque, all situated at the Izala headquarters along Rukuba road.  Also identified, are properties of Jos Metropolitan Development Board, Nitel plc, the police, and properties of private individuals, such as houses, motor vehicles and a motor cycle.  A comprehensive identification of all properties lost during the riots can be made from the exhibits attached to the proceedings of this Commission. 

2.4.2 The identity of all claimants to lost property is also contained in the exhibits attached to the Commission’s proceedings.  As to the assessment of the value of these lost properties, the Commission had two sources: direct evidence from victims who submitted and defended memoranda to the Commission and the report of an independent Committee set up by government to assess property lost during the riot.  The Commission liaised with this Committee and obtained its report, which is attached herewith as exhibit 28.  From this exhibit we calculated that the amount involved is N114,011,008.20, while from our own direct evidence we calculated a total amount of N215,267,651.60.  In summary, we say that exhibits 2, 10A, 19, 21, 25, 28, 34A, 46, 47, 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54 contain in the names and identities of the owners of the properties destroyed and the values placed on these properties by their respective owners, the total sum of which is N328,278,659.80.

Government View

Government notes. 

2.4.3 As to the identity of those behind the destruction of property, the Commission reports thus: there is strong suspicion from evidence received that tear gas missiles fired by police to disperse the mob around the Jos Main Market set it ablaze.  The State’s Fire Service tendered exhibit 69, an empty shell of tear gas canister, recovered from the Barikin Ladi Hall, the epicenter of the conflagration in the market.  But this evidence does not prima facie show that the police were culpably connected with the burning of the market.  We believe, not without evidence, that it was as a result of the riot, without which the emporium would not have gone up in flames.  The Commission therefore puts the blame of the burning of the market squarely on the shoulders of the principal actors of the riots, to wit, Yaya Abubakar and all the others mentioned in paragraph 2.3.1 above.

Government View

Government notes. 

2.5.0 Apportioning blames

2.5.1 The riot of April 12 th 1994, was perpetrated by human beings.  “Riot” is a crime in the laws of former Northern Nigeria (1963) still applicable in Plateau State of Nigeria.  There is a well-known saying that “sinners must not go unpunished”.  This saying is qualified by the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria in that “a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined, and penalty thereby passed in a written law.”  Bearing these sayings in mind, the Commission, by one of its terms of reference, namely, “To apportion blame on persons or groups of persons and recommend appropriate action” makes the following findings: 

2.5.2 We find the following persons to blame for the offence of unlawful assembly at Massallacin Juma’a on 11 th April, 1994.  We find them blameworthy of inciting Jasawa youths to riot in Jos metropolis the following day.  We also find them to blame for the rioting in Jos on April 12 th 1994.  Lastly we find them to blame for the arson carried out during the riots.  They are:

    •   Alhaji Yaya Aga Abubakar
    •   Sanusi Mato
    •   Usman Ibrahim
    •   Yahaya Garba
    •   Usman Likita
    •   Usman Aliyu
    •   Mansur Nakande
    •   Danlami Babajoda

2.5.3 The Commission equally blames the following persons for conspiring with unknown persons to riot at Gada-Biyu market on 12 th April, 1994.  The same persons are also to blame for rioting at the said place on the said day.  Lastly they take the blame for arson at the Gada-Biyu market.  They are:

    •  Mr. Baba Teacher
    •  Madam Hannatu
    •  Madam Rhoda
    •  Mr. Sunday
    •  Maman Ayuba
    •  Mr. Paul

2.5.4 We find Mr. Sunday and Danjuma Painter to blame for conspiring with persons unknown to commit the offenses of arson murder at the National headquarters of the Jama’atu Izalatul Bidi’ah Wa’ikamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS), along Rukuba road.  The same persons are blameworthy for the offence of arson carried out at the said headquarters of the Izala group.

Government View

Government notes and directs the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to find out from the Police what became of the identified persons.

2.6.0 Recommendations

2.6.1 The remaining terms of reference of the Commission are “to recommend ways to avoid future re-occurrence of such incident” and “to make any other recommendations incidental to the foregoing terms of reference”.  Further down in this report is a whole section termed “RECOMMENDATIONS” which is entirely devoted to the answering of these terms of reference.

Government View

Government notes. 


3.0.1 Ethnicity claims: “Indigenes”

3.0.2 To the Jos communities of Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere, to the Du Elders Council, Berom Elders Council, Berom Educational and Cultural Organisation, Anaguta Development Association, Afizere Cultural and Community Development Association, Anaguta Youth Movement, Berom Youth Movement, Afizere Youth Movement, and Plateau Youth Council, ETHNICITY is real in Jos.  They claim that they are all the indigenous people and real joint owners of Jos.  They claim that the name of Jos had an ethnographic origin, its deducible meaning being specific to “Gwash” or “Jot” a Berom word for water spring.  They stated that the spring was lost in the midst of development.  They only, and no other persons in Jos, have patent over the ethnic toga styled “indigene”.  They will brook no interference.  They had never brooked it, not even from the “Jihadists” of 1870s; so they will defend and retain their ancestral label in perpetuity.

Government View

Government notes. 

3.0.3 The facts of information they supplied the Commission to buttress their case are:

    •   The name “Jos” is an anglicised or adulterated version of the indigenous name “Jot” or “Gwash”.
    •   Strangers (settlers) in Jos, most notably among whom are Yorubas who dominate the Nassarawa area of Jos, the Igbos who dominate Apata area, and Urobos who are spread across the city, have always recognised their position as settlers and not “indigenes” of Jos.  They had always lived in harmony with the “indigenes”.  But the Hausa-Fulani settlers, who are found around Bauchi Road, had often angled to be accorded the status of “indigenes”.  (We observed that the Igbo Cultural Union comprising all the Igbo speaking people of Abia, Anambra, Delta, Enugu, and Imo States resident in Jos, testified before this Commission as stranger or settler element in Jos.)
    • The ancestors and founding fathers, as owners in occupation of Jos, were the ones, and no others, who fought off the “Jihadists” beyond Naraguta.
    • The late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Region of Nigeria, told the Hausa-Fulani settlers without mincing words, that they were not known to be “indigenes” of Jos, that they had no right over the traditional stool of Jos, that those who were interested in traditional rulership should go back to where they came from, and that Jos is Berom land.  (We heard from a witness who testified that he was present when the Sardauna admonished the Hausa-Fulani group at Hill Station Hotel, Jos).  The witness said he was then an Honourable Member of the Northern House of Assembly.  His testimony was not challenged.)
    • In the days of Group Captain Dan Suleiman as Military Governor of Plateau State, and the late Audu Abubakar as Secretary of the Military Government, an attempt was made to make all residents who had lived in Plateau State for up to 20 (twenty) years to be “indigenes”.  This plan was jettisoned because they Plateau indigenes” opposed it vehemently.
    • The traditional area called “Jot” is predominantly occupied by the Berom and Anaguta indigenous tribes, with elements of Afizere (Jarawa) who are found in the Gwong District of Jos.
    • The evidence of a Hausa elite seemed to lend weight to the claim of the Berom that the Hausa-Fulani are not indigenous to Jos.  The witness said: “Having been cut off from their roots through incidents of history, and made the last ethnic groups to settle permanently in Jos, they consider nowhere else as home.”  (See exhibit 9 page 3 paragraph 1 - remote causes).  This witness said that some Hausa-Fulani do not remember where they came from, and these are the ones claiming ownership of Jos.
    • It is on record that in 1873 the first invasion of the Jos area was attempted by the Hausa-Fulani Jihadists, led by the Sarkin Yaki (war lord) Ahmadu, under the command of Sarkin Bauchi Ibrahim and his Chiroma, Usman.  The invaders were badly beaten by the joint forces of the three tribes, and thereafter they never repeated the attack till the advent of the white colonialists.  These facts were recorded by one Mr. S. Lousdale, a District Officer in charge of Bauchi, after an interview with one of the participants of the failed invasion by name Abdu Waziri Wunti (Lousdale, P.(DO) Narguta 1915: Bauchi provincial file 555p/1915 personal memo No. 15 of 4 th Jan., 1915 - National Archives, Kaduna).

Government View

Government notes. 

    • Extracts were produced from a book titled “The Jos Area: 1800-1900".  The extracts were thus:
      •   The Hausa Settlement at Naraguta:

            “The Hausa village which is today called Naraguta was founded by the Anaguta....” 

      • The Afizere Settlement at Gwash

            Between 1800 and 1900 there was another important settlement in the vicinity in the present site of Jos.  This settlement was established by small hill tribe section of the Afizere (Jarawa) at the foot of the Museum hill overlooking Ahmadu Bello Way.” 

      • Colonial Laws, who led the colonial occupation of the Plateau in 1903, said of what he saw as follows:

            “...a small hill village called Gwash occupied the present location of Jos.  Hausa traders who arrived supposedly mispronounced Gwash for Jos, and the name struck” 

    • They supplied statistics called from “Gazetteers of the Northern provinces of Nigeria Volume IV”.  Compiled in 1932 by C. G. Ames, published by the Jos Native Authority.

      “The Highland Chieftaincies - Plateau Province” is divided into three parts, and part II deals with the history of the indigenous people of Plateau Province:

      •  Part II Chapter 5: Jos Division, i.e Berom, Ganawuri, Irigwe, Rukuba, Jarawa (Afizere), Anaguta, and Pengana tribes.  No Hausa-Fulani mentioned as “indigenes”
      • Part II, Chapter 6: Pankshin Division, i.e Angas, Chip, Tel, Pai, Sura, Pyem, Ron, and Kulere tribes.  No Hausa-Fulani mentioned.
      •  Part II, Chapter 8: Shendam Division, i.e Ankwe, Montol, Piapun, Kanam, Jorto, Bwol, Dimmuk, Kwalla, Mirriam, Yergam and Garkawa tribes.  No Hausa-Fulani mentioned.
      • Part II, Chapter 9: Jema’a Division, i.e Kaje, Kagoma, Yewskwa, Ayu, Nimzam, Gwandara, Kaninkwon, Ningwon and Numaka tribes.  No Hausa-Fulani mentioned.
      • Part II, Chapter 10: Souther Division, i.e Eggon, Mada, Rindre, and Mama tribes.  No Hausa-Fulani mentioned.
    • The following are Gazettes of Northern Provinces of Nigeria where you can get Hausa-Fulani mentioned as indigenous people:
      •  Muri Provinces (1920) - compiled by Kirk Green.
      •  Katsina Provinces (1920) - compiled by E. J. Ernett
      •  Sokoto Provinces (1920) - compiled by E. J. Ernett
      •  Zaria Provinces (1920) - compiled by E. J. Ernett
      •  Bauchi Provinces (1921) - compiled by F. R. Gall
      •  Kano Provinces (1921) - compiled by W. F. Bowers
      •  Yola Provinces (1927) - compiled by C. O. Nigeed
    • Before 1901, each of these tribes, Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere, administered their villages according to their cultures and traditions.  The Beroms then occupied Kabong village with the following wards: Landura, (Rock Haven), Laranto, Gura Le-Manjei (Anguwan Rogo), Chwelnyap, Jot (present day Jos), Title (Angwan soya), and Apata, and Giring village which had the following wards: Hwolshe, Giring, Gold and Base area, Dong and Ji-she (Tudun Wada).  Thus the whole area occupied by the present day Jos township was demarcated in two villages under the village heads of Kabong and Giring.  Kabong people later moved southward of Jos and Bukuru to establish Du village, about 300 years before the advent of the British colonialists around 1905.
    • Strangers elements and settlers, like the Yorubas, Urobos, and Igbos, arrived Jos in the wake of mining industry.  Then much later the Hausas followed, also work as tin mining labourers.
    • Under Native Authority Law 1954 of Northern region, Jos Native Authority District Councils were created (Government Gazette No. NALN 1993 of 1960).  On Friday, 28 th May, 1954, His Highness the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Byran Sharwood Smith, presented a staff of office to the chief of Berom in Jos, as a recognition of the importance of the Berom tribal authority.
    • They made reference to pages 140 - 141 of a book title “History of Plateau State - Resistance of Jidadists Penetration” where the following was written.  The Bauchi Forces that fought the Plateau alliance would appear to have penetrated as far south as the Berom village of Du.  Du claims to have fought off the Hausas, from 1846-1873, and boasts of having taken the heart of a Bauchi Chief.  Du also states that it was engaged in this war to help the Afizere, who lived in the Shere hills 24 kilometres to the North-East of Du.
    • They quoted from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 3 (“Balfour” to “Both”), page 703 (“Birway” to “Birom”) thus:

      “Birom, a small but politically prominent heterogenous people of the Jos Plateau, Nigeria, about 60,000 population, and many respects representative of the societies that comprise the Nigeria pagan (i.e neither muslim nor Christians) Middlebelt... A naked people and subsistence farmers, the Birom were nonetheless unmatched horsemen, and defended themselves successfully against the muslim Hausa and Fulani slave bidders through the 19 th century.” 

3.0.4 Those were some of the arguments brought forward by the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere, in support of their claim as the only indigenous people of Jos, to the exclusion of any other tribe or people of Nigeria.  The Commission observed that some Hausa-Fulani witnesses, particularly those who represented the Jasawa Development Association at the Inquiry, submitted that for the past four decades and more, Berom chieftains ruled Jos, either as “Sakin Jos,” or as “Gbong Gwom Jos”.  And that even as of date, 1994, the incumbent paramount rulers of Jos, the Gbong Gwom Jos, is a Berom man. 

3.0.5 The claims of the Hausa-Fulani people of Jos, also called Jasawa, who stressed that they had and still have hegemonic control of the metropolis, are categorised in the next section.

Government View

Government notes. 

3.1.0 Ethnicity claims: The case of the Jasawa People

3.1.1 The Hausa-Fulani (Jasawa) claim that they are the founders of Jos, not second class citizens as the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere (Jarawa) tag them, they say activities of their Jasawa organisation (an Hausa-Fulani allies) are not overbearingly quarrelsome, not deceitful and aggressively domineering, they claim that their forefathers were heroes and rulers and that they are not people who are fanatically enthused for hegemonic control of Jos, and refute very emphatically an indictment by the Police and Berom, Anaguta-Afizere (Jarawa) people of Jos their bellicose manouevre was an obstacle for peace on the fateful day of April 12 th, 1994. 

3.1.2 In the memoranda and evidence, they said:

    •   When between 1902 and 1947 Jos Hausas (Jasawa) were appointed rulers with title of Sarki Jos, the Beroms were of no consequence in Jos.
    • Even before independence, the Jasawa have represented Jos politically, Alhaji Garba Baka-Zuwa-Jere was the first elected representative of Jos into the Northern Regional Assembly, while Alhaji Isa Haruna represented Jos in the pre-indendence conference of Nigeria.
    • In the preparation for the second republic, Alhaji Audu Danladi was nominated to the Constituent Assembly.  In the second republic that followed, Plateau State House of Assembly had Alhaji Salihu Malumbo, Inuwa Addah, Inuwa Anacha-all Jasawa, as the representatives of Jos, while the Federal House of Representatives had Alhaji Inuwa Aliyu and Baba Akawu respectively.  The Council membership of the old Jos Local Government have always been provided by Jasawa.
    •   The 1991 Jos North Local Government elections produced not only the Executive Chairman but also eight out of the fourteen elected councillors from among the Jasawa.  All along Jos Hausa have provided the leadership, the first Berom to come into the area of Jos politics was D. B. Zang who in 1950 was nominated into the Northern Regional House to represent Mining interest.  Therefore, the antagonistic use of derogatory classification terms on Jasawa such as “settlers”, or “non-indigenes” is senseless.
    • An important Hausa-Fulani person testified as a witness before the Commission.  He produced documents in which, according to him, were recorded facts to show that his Hausa-Fulani (Jasawa) people are indigenes of Jos.  The Anaguta tribe, ( i.e the people of Naraguta) are confined to the village of Naraguta and the small town which lies in the Bauchi Emirate.  Their origin is uncertain, though they have a vague idea that they came from beyond the Jarawa Hills.  They have the same tattooing and face mark as the Jarawa people with whom they are closely allied, but their language is distinct, though they all speak and understand the Jarawa tongue.
    • The people of Jos belong to the Jarawa tribe, the Jos people speak the language of the Hill Jarawa.  There is now comparatively little distinction between the Anaguta and the Jarawa of Jos.  See Exh. 23, page 6.
    • The Jarawa came from Fobur (Bauchi Division) and some settled at Jos and founded the present Jos (pagan) village, which is till a pure Jarawa people.  See Exh. 23 page 4.
    • Historically, when the first Hausa came to Plateau they first met and settle with the Anaguta people in Jos, they lived peacefully with the Anaguta and respected their culture and norms.  They also acknowledged the authority and land ownership of the Anaguta people.  They recognised the chieftaincy institution of the Anaguta people, hence they paid their taxes promptly to the chiefs.  The development of Jos township, no doubt, is attributed to the Hausa.  It was in recognition of the Hausa dynamism in trading and community building efforts that the Anaguta chiefs decided to make some of them leaders of the Hausa community, for example Ali Kazaure.

       See Exh. 23 page 2.

    •   The Jarawa area comprises of Jos townships and environs (Tudun-Wada, Kabong, Dong, Kwo, along Zaria Road, etc), and the part merged from Bauchi State plus other areas still falling under Bauchi as at now.  The Jarawa pople share boundaries with the Berom at Bukuru stream (N’gell bridge), and Gero village settlement; with the Miango at Kaffin Dauke and Mai Farin Mato; with the Rukuba at Dutsen Kura, and with the Bujis at a little mount by Mister Ali village.  “Here too, we wish to state that there are elders from Jarawa, Miango, and Hausa settlers in Jos who could testify to this”.  The map at the end of the book mentioned above clearly shows the area owned and occupied by the Jarawa which securely includes Jos township, Naraguta is only a village in Jarawa land as shown by this map.  Also, from the same book at page 63, paragraph 5, Ames mentioned, and we quote, “A section of fobur emirates who founded Jos preceded the Western Plateau escarpment... a small hill village called Gwash occupied the present location of Jos.  Hausa traders who arrived supposedly mispronounced Gwash for Jos, and the name struck.”

      See Exh. 23c page 3.

    •   An octogenarian Alhaji of Hausa origin said in Hausa: “A wannan zamani babu jama’a da yawa, saboda haka ana neman mutane don a kafa garin (Jos)”.  At that time, there were not many people, therefore, people were being sought to establish the town (Jos).”  (See Exh. 29, paragraph 4).    He explained further that his father came from Kano.  He added that he did not know the meaning of Gwash (Jos) but that was the name Jasawa gave it.  The Hausaman disclosed to this Commission that Sarkin Berom, Mallam Rwang Pam, who ruled Jos from 1947-1969, and Gbong Gwom Jos, Dr. Fom Bot, who is the incumbent ruler, were both Berom by tribe.  But they still claim they founded Jos because they have had thirteen (13) rulers of Jos from among them.  See Exh. 4.

3.1.3 We observe that the contents of Exhibits 23c, page 3, 23m page 2,23p page 4, and 23p page 6, appear to lend support to the historical fact that Jos cannot be said to be an original place of Hausa people.  The Commission has considered the argument about who in Jos an “indigene” or a “non-indigene” a “settler” or a “non-settler”.  The argument is not one of mere verbal dispute, sometimes it degenerates into struggle.  The distinction between an indigene and a settler is not a mere matter of sentiment, it is a fundamental issue.

Government View

Government notes.

3.1.4 We have set out above the ground for the claim by respective parties.  We have done so to enable any other to appreciate or understand, as we do, the basis for the claims and counter-claims.  The idea observed this Commission is that an “indigene” of Jos is one whose ancestors were natives of Jos, beyond living memory.  This does not include any person who may not remember from were his father or grandfather left his native home for Jos as a fixed home, domiciled there as of choice for life, or is ignorant about from where his family moved to Jos permanently in quest of better living or in the process of his business.  But to a “Citizen” of Jos may be ascribed the status of an inhabitant of Jos who is entitled to qualified enjoyment of rights, enjoyed by an indigene of Jos.  In the light of the above consideration or careful thought, we concede to the claim of the Berom, Anaguta, and Afizere tribes, and to declare that they are the “Indigenes” of Jos.  But as to the Hausa-Fulani people’s assumption, we make bold, on the evidence at our disposal, to advice them that they can qualify only as “Citizens” of Jos.

Government View

Government accepts and stresses that there can be no better way of proving claims than the one embarked upon by the Commission. 

3.2.0 The Jasawa Development Association

3.2.1 It appeared to us from evidence received that for many years, Jos had been and is subject to pressures and forces of ethnicity which work against its development, governability and stability.  A problem of policing Jos metropolis may be attributed to the rise of Jasawa Development Association, which seems to attract recognisance by force, harassment and intimidation, a conduct which has logically eroded the legitimacy of its operation, thereby creating problems of policing.  Hear what witnesses say: 

3.2.2 Berom Elders Council (BEC) told the Commission that about 1991, “Federal Government created two Federal Constituencies in Jos Local Government Area. Jos metropolis, which is predominantly inhabited by settlers, was carved out as one constituency, while the rest of the Local Government was left as the other constituency.  Because the traditional seat of our people is in the metropolis, this action purportedly alienated our traditional ruler from the majority of his people.  Since then, we have continued to have provocative utterances from the Hausa-Fulani settlers to the effect that the Gbong Gwom should leave to Barakin-Ladi and vacate Jos for them”.  BEC produced reported statement, credited to Alhaji Saleh Hassan, in which he urged Jasawa Youths Association to endeavour to recover the Jos traditional rulership, which dramatically slipped off the hands of their people in 1945.  This is because the traditional title of Jos belongs to the Hausa and not other tribe.  See Exh. 5. 

3.2.3 Berom Educational and Cultural Organisation (BECO) stated that the Hausa-Fulani settlers grouped in an association called “Jasawa” an adulterated Hausa synonym for the Hausa-Fulani settlers in Jos, way back in 1987, pioneered by Saleh Hassan, urged the community in Jos to take over the rulership of Jos.  Since their public pronouncement, and their activities have not only been provocative, inciting and a threat to peaceful co-existence, but have now imported the whirlwind culture of violence, which led to, the destructive riots of April 12 th, 1994, they should be proscribed. 

3.2.4 Jos North indigenes said, “...in contrast with our earlier protestations which were entirely peaceful and devoid of any lawless acts, the incidence of April 12 th brought to the fore the true nature of the leadership of the Jasawa who took to the streets demanding that Mato must be reinstated....”  The activities of the Jasawa and their patrons, as well as the riot of April 12 th, which were clearly planned by them, suggest that it is unwise to allow them remain as a registered association.  The rights and freedom of association must not be used by any section to deny other sections the requisite peace which is essential in fostering unity and development. 

3.2.5 Plateau State Youth Council in their evidence accused Jasawa of playing clandestine role in the riot of April 12 th, 1994. 

3.2.6 Du Elders Council stated before the Commission that, although the riot took place on April 12 th, 1994, it was merely a product of accumulated tension, which had been mounting sequel to an attempt by a group of Hausa-Fulani settlers in Jos to exercise dominion over the indigenous tribes in Jos.  This dates back to 1987 when one Alhaji Saleh Hassan, the pioneer and founder of a group tagged “Jasawa Youth Association, told Hausa settlers in Jos to wrest the rulership and ownership of Jos from the indigenous tribes in Jos, that Alhaji Saleh Hassan at the launching of Jasawa Youth Association Development Fund in 1987, told the Youth that the Jos rulership belonged to the Hausa and not any other tribe.  They stated that the Commission that Alhaji Saleh Hassan’s statement was an incitement which generated tension and created unnecessary sentiment in the minds of the Hausa settlers, thus a seed of discord was sown. 

3.2.7 In his evidence, Ezekiel Choji said that “Jasawa, the militant wing of the Haus-Fulani settler stock, organised and directed Almajirai and hooligans who went to town on a violent demonstration on Tuesday, 12 th April, 1994, chanting Islamic war song, emptying garbages on the street, harassing pedestrians and motorists, destroying everything found on their way, burning tyres on the tarred road”. 

3.2.8 Mr. G. G. Bot said “...it is of great interest to observe argument among non-traditional owners of Jos as regards claim of ownership.  These challenges are believed to have been caused by those who do not wish Jos well by inciting trouble i.e the Hausa-Fulani slave settlers, the so-called “Jasawa.” 

3.2.9 In the course of his evidence, one Joseph Azi Nyako stressed thus, “specifically, I am referring to the activities of the group which operates under the dubious umbrella of Jasawa.”  He added, “it was common knowledge that the Jasawa contemplated a violent demonstration following the peaceful protest by the host communities.  The hoodlums had a field day harassing motorists, littering streets with garbage and causing breach of the peace.” 

3.2.10 The four Districts Action Committee described the composition of Jasawa Association as questionable because it belongs to only the Hausa settlers.  They said it was led by Alhaji Saleh Hassan to foment trouble in Jos and to recover the Jos rulership.

Government View

Government notes. 

3.2.11 A prominent witness, Alhaji Saleh Hassan, the said founder of Jasawa, stated before the Commission that “Government should not take the silence of the Jos Hausaman for cowardice and for granted.  Man to man, the Jos Hausaman is equal to all eventualities, and can also be ready to take his pound of flesh, if government does not act to safeguard the Jos Hausaman’s aspirations.  Nobody needs to tell one that one should rise up to one’s responsibility.  All Jos Hausamen should now take it as a responsibility to see that Aminu Mato occupies the seat of the Jos North Local Government Care-taker Committee Chairman.  It is their right, their birthright... the panel and the Government should beware of the fact that people are now quite alert, so that the happenings of Zangon Kataf should not be repeated.  People are now cleverer by half, having learn their lessons through Tafawa Balewa and Zango Kataf.”

3.2.12  We chose to highlight evidence concerning Jasawa Development Association, not out of any reason but that abundant incriminating evidence was adduced against the Association. We have in mind a Nigerian saying that: “When a child cries and points to a direction where nothing is visible to explain the purpose for the tears, the cry should not be totally ignored or swept under the carpet”.  The voice of lhaji Saleh Hassan is not a voice of reason, it may not be a voice of war, but it is not for peace and tranquility. 

3.2.13  As an explanatory note, this Commission observed that membership of Jasawa Development Association is for “Hausa/Fulani (Hausa, Fulani, Nupe, Kanuri and their likes) as per Section 5(1) of the Association’s constitution.  See Exh. 8 page 2. 

3.3.0 Police

3.3.1 Plateau State Police Command submitted a memorandum, and they appeared before the Commission to testify. Both in their memorandum and evidence, they explained their role in the riot of April 12 th, 1994.  This is their evidence:

  •   On 30 th March 1994, the Military Administrator of Plateau State announced the composition of the five-member Local Government Council Care-taker Committee for each of the twenty-three (23) Local Government Councils in the State.
  • In Jos North Local Government, the five-member Council consists of Alhaji Aminu Mato (a Hausaman by tribe), as the Chairman, with four other Councilors from Igbo, Yoruba, Berom and Jarawa tribes respectively.
  • The composition of the Local Government Care-taker Committee did not go down well with the Berom, Jarawa and Anaguta communities, whose objection was made known to the Military Administrator of the State in a letter dated 4 th April, 1994.
  • On 5 th April 1994, at about 8.30a.m, some members of Berom, Jarawa and Anaguta communities, living around Rayfield and Bukuru areas, numbering about two hundred (200), illegally stormed the Administrator’s office to lodge their protest to him personally.
  •   The Administrator addressed their leaders and later spoke to the protesters.  He advised them to go home or about their lawful business and process their grievances through the right channel.  He warned them to avoid anything that might disturb the peace and security of the state. The protesters dispersed, but later converged around Terminus area and started marching towards the palace of their traditional ruler, the Gbong Gwom Jos.  They were immediately dispersed by the police.
  • The Administrator immediately summoned a security council meeting to discuss the problem. The issue was extensively discussed with particular attention to security and maintenance of law and order in the state.
  • Intelligence reports from the security apparatus in the state were also discussed and vigil was maintained.
  • On the part of the police, both uniformed and plain clothes policemen were mobilised and deployed to sensitive areas of Jos city in particular.  All other Local Government’s Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and Heads of Directorates and Departments in the metropolis were also alerted, and series of meetings with SPOs were held to discuss the issue, with particular regard to the security and maintenance of law and order in the state. Strategies were mapped out and discussed, on how to bring the situation to order, in view of the tension and threat to security being posed by the stiff opposition of the indigenous tribes in Jos North Local Government Area, from where the problem might likely emerge.
  • On the following day, 6 th April 1994, police dispersed protesters, mostly from Berom, Jarawa and Anaguta tribes (numbering about one hundred) who attempted to demonstrate to disrupt the swearing-in ceremony of all Local Government Council Care-taker Committee Chairmen at the Dadin-Kowa Youth Center, Jos.
  • The Military Administrator held several peace meetings with Hausa community leaders in Jos North. He also made regular contacts with members of the security apparatus, State Cabinet, Gbong Gwom Jos, Inuwa Ali, the Turakin Jos.
  •   On the 8 th of April, 1994, the Military Administrator announced the suspension of the Jos North Local Government Care-taker Committee, and directed the Director of Personnel Management (DPM) of the Local Government to “act as the Head of the Local Government until a decision is taken” on the composition of the Local Government Care-taker Committee.
  • The announcement angered the Hausa community. The Military Administrator had the situation under control.  He spoke with leaders of the community and there was calm.
  • Police did not relent in their vigilance.
  • On the night of 11 th April 1994, one of the Hausa leaders, Alhaji Shehu Masalla, informed the police that the Hausas were planning to demonstrate against the Government on April 12 th, 1994.  An application for permission to demonstrate by the Hausa (Jasawa) was refused by the police.
  • Alhaji Shehu Masalla took delivery personally of police refusal letter from the police at 7.30a.m in the morning of April 12 th, 1994.
  • The police did not sit back.  They quickly made attempts through Alhaji Shehu Masalla to have discussion with other Hausa leaders, but it was about one hour too late.  The Hausas were on the move.  Police car No. NPF 4753A in which the policemen drove to meet the Hausa leaders for peace meeting was set on fire, but by divine providence, the policemen in it escaped.
  • Police were adamant for peace.  They confronted the demonstrators, and routed them off roads and streets of Jos by 10.30a.m on April 12 th 1994.  Calm was restored to Jos metropolis.
  • Shortly afterwards, policemen were forced back to face riotous acts of vandals who set markets, mosques, school buildings, and vehicles on fire, at various places of the metropolis and killed innocent people.  The police won the day by 1.30p.m.  They brought the riot to an end.  We can observe with satisfaction that the Military Administrator managed the events with maturity and dedication to good governance; and that the police acted vigilantly and timely, to avoid a heavier catastrophe.  Police took us on tour of riot torn areas; we think the riot story was exaggerated by the BBC.

s. Police recommended in their memo and in evidence “that all concerned citizens should be consulted, with a view to solving the issue of political representation in the state.  The police also recommended that the public should be educated on the need to resolve their grievances through dialogue rather than having confrontation with constituted authorities.” 

3.3.2 Their recommendations are well taken.  They appealed to the Commission to address the issue of their welfare to the government; accommodation, salary and allowances are grossly inadequate; late payment of salaries and allowances; inadequate equipment in terms of transport and communication.  We do know that the Federal Government is not oblivious of police needs.  There is rescue operation for the Police Force.  A six-man reform panel was inaugurated not long ago to address issues about the ailing Police Force.  The panel constitutes five former Inspectors-General and a retired Deputy Inspector of Police.  The Panel had up to May 9 to submit its findings and recommendations, and the police has found cheering solace from that panel. 

4.0.0 Recommendations

4.0.1 The Commission of Inquiry was very much assisted by members of the public, genuine witnesses who were genuinely all out for peace and tranquility in Jos, in Plateau state, and in Nigeria.  The remedy, we gathered from these witnesses, “of avoiding future re-occurrence of such an incident” as that of April 12 th, 1994, is set out in our following recommendations.  Having toured the areas worst hit by the riots having read all the memoranda and documents placed before us in the course of our inquiry, and having heard the oral evidence of fifty witnesses under examination by counsel and members of the Commission; and after exhaustive discussion, consideration, and analysis of all the issues involved, we have the honour to make the following recommendations. 

4.0.2 Evidence before us showed that there are conflicts of thought in the minds of the Berom, Anaguta, Afizere, and Hausa-Fulani communities in Jos.  These conflicts seem to originate from values placed on tradition, heritage, ancestry, pedigree, territorial claims, control over environment and the inhabitants therein, representation in state or local government, and the like.  In all these matters, it appeared to us that courts of law or tribunals do not always provide adequate solutions.  We therefore feel that in local matters, particularly where the grassroots may be affected or involved, consultation will be a rewarding exercise.

Government View

Government accepts. 

4.0.3 So, to weave all residents of Jos metropolis into a family or society of one membership, we recommend to Government that, in making awards, appointments, and promotions, especially in sensitive government positions such as commissioners, directors-general, chairmen of boards and parastatals, chairmen of local government councils, etc, it should be guided and guarded by justice, fair play, objectivity, and equity.  Government should try to consult relevant concerns, so that no rights are seen to be threatened with usurpation.  That will make for peace, both for government and the governed.

Government View

Government accepts. 

4.0.4 It is one of the higher refinements of civilised behaviour for opposing parties to settle their differences by compromise, for the sake of a mutually desirable outcome.  We therefore recommend to Government to invite the disputing parties in this case to a round-table conference to iron out their differences.  Relevant personalities from across the length and breadth of the state may be summoned to the peace talks; youths, religious leaders and women leaders ought to be included. The outcome of the peace talks should inform Government on how to reconstitute the controversial Jos North Local Government Council.

Government View

Government accepts. 

4.0.5 There will always be the potential for riots and civil disturbance.  It is natural that people have differences in opinion, and that these differences may lead to quarrels and fights.  Government is therefore advised to consider the following recommendations with regards to security and maintenance of law and order:

a.  We recommend to Government to spread its intelligence-gathering network far and wide to cover all individuals and organisations (such as religious, cultural, and social organisations) that could be potentially dangerous to peace and order.  In this regard, we will advise on the monitoring of the activities of the Jasawa Development Association and its mentors like Alhaji Sale Hassan.

Government View

Government accepts.

b.  We recommend to Government to omit no detail when considering advice and information from the police, the State Security Service, and other responsible organisations and individuals such as traditional rulers, community elders, youth organisations, and women leaders.  In the same vain, we advise the security agencies not to discountenance security information and intelligence reports from other sources as rumours because of professional rivalry or personal pettiness.

Government View

Government accepts.

c.  The state’s police command should be adequately equipped with materials and manpower to enable it perform its statutory duties effectively.  The welfare of the policemen such as accommodation, transportation, and commensurate and timely payment of salaries and allowances, should be seriously looked into by Government with a view to ameliorating their poor conditions of service.  Conversely, we recommend to the police that in their duty of saving public lives and properties (such as when using tear-gass to quell riots), they should exercise such caution as not to cause loss or damage to those same lives and properties they are out to protect.

Government View

Government notes.

4.0.6 In order to forestall future incidences such as the subject of our inquiry, Government must apply sanctions to all individuals, groups of persons, and organisations indicted by our Inquiry.  These sanctions should not only be severe enough, but they should also be seen by the generality of the public, to be applied, so that they constitute a deterrence to potential mischief-makers.  In this regard, we make the following recommendations:

    •   We recommend that the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice should initiate proceedings, if necessary, against the following for offences connected with the riot of 12 th April, 1994, if they were legally punishable at the time they were convicted:
      •  Alhaji Yaya Aga Abubakar
      •  Alhaji Sanusi Mato
      •  Danlami Babajoda
      •  Usman Ibrahim
      •  Yahaya Garba
      •  Usman Aliyu
      •  Usman Likita
      •  Mansur Nakande
      •  Mr. Baba Teacher
      •  Madam Hannatu
      •  Madam Rhoda
      •  Mr. Sunday
      •  Mama Ayuba
      •  Mr. Paul
      •  Mr. Danjuma Painter.

Government View

Government accepts and directs the Attorney-General to take appropriate action if it is still pending. 

    • The Commission further recommends that the activities of over zealous demagogues like Alhaji Sale Hassan and Alhaji Shehu Masalla, be closely monitored by Government in order to neutralise them before they wreck havoc to law-abiding society.

Government View

Government accepts and direct the security agencies to closely monitor their activities. 

    • We further recommend to Government to put under the microscope, the activities of Jasawa Development Association, and all other potentially dangerous tribal, religious, or social organisations.

Government View

Government accepts and indicts the Jasawa Development Association for its belligerent activities and complicity in the riot. 

    • Lastly in this regard, we recommend that the State’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Hamisu Isa, who handled the riotous situation in a shoddy manner, in spite of all warnings and information from the State Security Service at his disposal, should be subjected to disciplinary measures by the appropriate authority.

Government View

Government accepts and direct that a formal report be forwarded to the Inspector General regarding his activities during the riot. 

4.0.7 The riot of April 12 th 1994 in Jos metropolis has caused damage to private and public property, especially in Barakin Ladi Hall of the Jos Main Market, where extensive damage was caused by fire. The following recommendations are made to government with specific regard to the security and safety of its public property, especially the ultra-modern Jos Main Market.

    •   We recommend that adequate, round the clock, police and private security be maintained at all important public buildings.

Government View

Government accepts. 

    • We also recommend that all maintenance, security and safety personnel of these buildings should not only be conversant with fire fighting techniques, but should also periodically alert the public using the buildings on these techniques.

Government View

Government accepts and direct the Fire Service Directorate to embark on awareness campaign on fire fighting techniques to all relevant personnel. 

    • Fire fighting and other safety equipment and measures must be properly maintained at all times.

Government View

Government accepts. 

    • Safety rules and regulations must be enforce on all users of public buildings.  We further recommend the following, with specific regard to Jos Main Market:
      •  All stalls in the market halls should be built with fire resisting materials like burnt bricks or metal.
      •  All stalls should be allocated and used with due regard to the free flow of traffic within the halls, and to all other safety requirements.

Government View

Government notes. 

4.0.8 Innocent individuals, organisations, and the general public have been deprived of their properties and means of livelihood by the unfortunate incident.  The Commission therefore makes the following recommendations with regard to rehabilitation and recompense.

    •   We recommend that the Barakin Ladi Hall in Jos Main Market, and all other market stalls and sheds destroyed by fire, or by physical damage by looters, should be quickly rehabilitated, so that trading activities may return to normalcy.

Government View

Government notes. 

    • We further recommend that persons and organisations that suffered genuine losses be adequately compensated and rehabilitated.

Government View

Government notes. 

    • We also recommend that Government should find a reasonable and compassionate manner of consoling and wiping away the tears of the families of those who lot their lives through no fault of theirs.

Government View

Government notes. 

4.0.9 Lastly in the list of our recommendation, we recommend that the General Officer Commanding 3 rd Armoured Division and the Commander of the Nigerian Air Force Station, Jos, be commended for calling out their troops to spike the guns of the rioters.

Government View

Government accepts and direct the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to implement. 


5.0.1 In conclusion, the Commission would like to express its profound gratitude to the State Government for the confidence reposed in the members to carry out this unique assignment, which has been challenging and rewarding.  The Commission hopes that Government will find this report acceptable, and workable as a document, for the achievement of that pride of place hitherto enjoyed by Plateau State as the home of peace and tourism. 

5.0.2 We are grateful to the Military Administrator Plateau State of Nigeria, Lt. Col. Mohammad Mana, and members of the Executive Council, for affording us the privilege and pleasure to conduct this important and sensitive inquiry.  The Commission tried to make the task light. 

5.0.3 We acknowledge with gratitude the assistance rendered by the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Isaac Dimka, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. J. O. Ogbole, Secretarial staff of the Commission, the members of the Nigerian Police, Jos Command, and the Catering Section of the Plateau State House of Assembly, for their assistance in seeing the Commission through. 

5.0.4 Lawyers who appeared before the Commission to represent various interests were as follows: Messrs P. N. Aliuna, S. L. Agbali, Garba Tetengi, D. D. Fer, Esq., A.M.W.N. Salako Esq., Nasidi Mohammed Esq., T. R. Gyang Esq., C. J. Olewune Esq., P.D. Dyek Esq., D. Ofodile Esq.  They made themselves helpful handmaids, that is, they were relevant. 

5.0.5 Mr. S. O. Aboki, Deputy Director of Civil Litigation, appeared before the Commission to give legal assistance. The Government took no sides.  Mr. Aboki was a dependable advocate.  The Secretary to the Commission, Mr. Peter P. Deshi, was admirably diligent, he gave the Commission invaluable help.  We also appreciate the assistance rendered this Commission by Ishaku Usman Angbashim Esq., also of the State Ministry of Justice. 

5.0.6 Having deliberated on the above report, Council’s decisions on the report were formalised through a motion moved by Hon. Na-Allah Mutbam and seconded by Hon. Barr. Nankin Bagudu.

Government View:

Government notes and express deep appreciation to the members of the Commission for their commitment and resilience towards this assignment and a job well done.

Government directs the Secretary to the State Government to write letters of appreciation to the Chairman and Members of the Commission.

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