Jos Crisis: The Face of Religious Terrorism & Gov. Jang


In Nigeria, sorrow tears and blood have become the traits of sectarian violence in the Northern part of the country. Not only are lives lost, girls and women are raped, properties wasted, children rendered homeless; churches and mosques are often set ablaze by indolent youths who often hide under the banner of religion to cause mayhem and lawlessness.

It is an irony that all the sectarian crises of the past had its roots in religious terrorism where Nigerians are intolerant of themselves. And there is no way violence erupts anywhere in the country over communal crisis that pains regret and refugees are not found.

In Jos, after the last sectarian violence, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State had set up a committee to verify the remote and immediate cause of the crisis. Also, the Federal Government, FG, set up a parallel committee with similar responsibility to look into the cause of the violence in Plateau State. These two committees set up for the same purpose allegedly mobilized by tax payers' money to find a lasting solution to the massive destruction of lives and properties committed their reports to 'dustbin', without the public knowledge.

And the 'so-called' arrests made by members of the Police of the thugs and truants were soon discarded by the security operatives with phone calls form politicians and elites in the corridor of power who armed these 'boys' with ammunition, cutlasses, bow and arrow ahead of the 2011 elections.

Governor Jang later proceeded to the court to challenge the FG for encroaching on the fundamental rights of the state. It took the intervention of the octopus Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Jang to withdraw the litigation against the administration of Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's administration.

Till date, both the Jang's committees report and that of the FG never saw the light of the day. Who's deceiving who? We only later heard that Jang hosted a team of Editors on damage control for his administration to avert the wrath of the FG. I weep for Jos, a state formerly loved by tourists for its beautiful serenity, tourism and peaceful nature.

Certainly, some 'forces' in Plateau State are making fortunes from this crisis. This is why you could find 'undergraduates' or 'criminals' wearing army or police uniforms and setting houses ablaze. It beats my imagination how these youths boldly picked up swords to snuff life out of people, since life is sacred and giving only by God.

Jang is incontrovertibly caught in his own web of intrigues, manipulations and self-deceit. It only remains to be seeing how he will free himself from this web of infamy and still campaign for re- election in 2011, using these same 'boys'.

When Umar Farouk Abdul Muttalab, a-23 year old son of former First Bank of Nigeria Plc was arrested for a failed bomb blast in a Delta bound flight to Detroit in Michigan, United States and the Barak Obama's administration classified Nigeria as a 'Terrorist Nation', Nigerians screamed and shouted America down. Obama turned deaf ears.

Since terrorism is defined as the use of violence to achieve political aims, especially against a legally elected government and its people through fear, how then do we classify the Jos crisis? Without doubt, America will be laughing at Nigeria's foolery by now.

It is true that ever since the resurgence of the sectarian crisis recently, Jonathan Goodluck, the Vice President, VP, had been running from pillar to post with series of meetings already held with top security echelons in the country. Yet the human lives and carnage continues. Simply, Goodluck is unlucky enough to exercise the executive powers of the Acting President as Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces in the absence of bedridden Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, president, who has been away without leave, AWOL, on medical admission at King Faisal Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for over two months.

Until the National Assembly declares a state-of-emergency in Plateau State with a military administrator in charge to reign-in the violence, there cannot be peace in Jos. The question on the lips of many is what sort of insanity would have possessed a man to chase a fellow human with a cutlass to hack and slice the throat. May be the youths have forgotten that both the Bible and Quran preach against violence. It is only in a satanic kingdom, barbarian enclave and uncivilized society that all these vices are ways of life. For how long will the politicians of Jos watch helplessly as innocent blood is being shed as sacrifice by ethno-religious bigots for selfish reasons.

At this juncture, Nigeria needs fervent prayers to scale the plethora of problems facing her. May God look down and have mercy on Nigeria, a country in chains and pains, where peace, co-existence and brotherly love have taken flight.

Only the good Lord knows how many lives would be wasted to this avoidable violent crisis up-north. Enough is enough.

Otumu, former Deputy Features Editor, now Associate Editor, Scroll ( [email protected] )

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