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THE PROTRACTED CRISES IN JOS; THE REAL MOTIVE

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It is the 'Oyibo' man that said that "there is more to these than meet the eyes".

When some of us wrote long ago that the protracted crises in Jos was simply organized from elsewhere to conquer Plateau State, Middle belt and the rest of Nigeria as a continuation of the so called Jihad, some people were calling for our head.

Incidentally it was just last week I said that the truth has a way of bringing itself to the fore. The okada, achaba and "going" ban in Jos has eventually brought out the truth and the real motive of the sponsors of the protracted Jos crises.

To start with, Plateau State government is not the first state to ban okada or achaba in Nigeria. That okada can be banned in Lagos with over 20 million people is an understatement. Lagos has the highest number of unemployed youth in Nigeria yet okada/achaba was banned. No wahala at all or the initial resistance as is being witnessed in Jos was overcome. But it is on record that no Church was vandalized or the Palace of the Oba of Lagos was never set on fire by okada riders cum hooligans.

Okada is equally banned in Calabar metropolis, Port Harcourt, Aba Abia State, Makurdi Benue State and of course Abuja FCT.

It will equally interest readers to note that since October 1999, so many states in Northern Nigeria spear-headed by Zamfara, introduced the controversial sharia laws which most of them have fizzled out anyway, apologies to OBJ.

As at the time of writing this article, there are separate buses for men and women in Kano city courtesy sharia law, No achaba is allowed to carry women in Kano, courtesy sharia law. No film or cinema houses are allowed in Kano, courtesy sharia law. Of course the mother of them all, no alcohol is allowed in Kano, at least on paper and officially courtesy sharia law. The hisbah police are there to enforce these laws. Remember the outburst by the former Kano state police commissioner that the hisbah police are usurping the powers of the Nigeria Police in Kano?

These sharia bans apply across the board in all the sharia states 10 of them in all via laws enacted by their various states Houses of Assembly though most of them controversially.

Interestingly in all the cities and town that banned okada/achaba, no Church was ever vandalized or any monarch's Palace set on fire. In fact most okada riders go to the Palaces to request their various monarchs to plead with the government on their behalf.

Scene Two.

Enter the case of Plateau State, here was a law legally passed by the Plateau State House of Assembly and signed into law by the sate government banning okada, achaba or going as we all know and is still effective in all the above mentioned states and especially Lagos with 20 million people. But alas in Jos with just about One million people because some self-styled council of Muslim ulamas are bent on frustrating the implementation of the law, there is fire on the mountain as usual. Does it mean that it is only the Muslim Hausas that are okada/achaba riders in Jos? No! It is simply that they are troublemakers and have their hidden agenda.  Did I hear you say it was the same ulamas who want sharia law in Jos?

The real motive and sponsors of Jos crises has been brought out by the editorial in the Daily Trust Newspaper of Monday June 14, 2010. That Daily Trust editorial alone, confirms the well known held views that the protracted crises in Jos is well organized and sponsored by wealthy persons in government, and in the society to take over Plateau State at all cost. Unfortunately for Christians and Plateau people the sponsors are well connected in the military. That is why no single Church is protected by any soldier in the whole of Jos and Bukuru metropolis while almost all the mosques in Jos from the masalacin juma'a to the Dilimi mosque are guarded by armoured cars and brigade of soldiers.

That the Jos protracted crises is well organized and sponsored is confirmed by the attack on ECWA Goodnews Church Terminus, other Churches in Jos and the much revered Palace of the Gbong Gbom Jos by Muslim Hausa hooligans in the pretext of protesting the ban.

The Nigeria Army in Jos under the command of Major General Saleh Maina must with immediate effect provide soldiers and armoured cars to protect all Churches in Jos and Bukuru metropolis as it has provided for all the mosques as is seen at central mosque (Masalacin Juma'a), Dilimi mosque, Gangare mosque. In fact from the history of previous crises, it is the Churches that need to be protected by soldiers rather than the mosques in Jos and Bukuru. The Churches have been more vulnerable to attacks by Muslims Hausa hooligans as was seen by the attack on two ECWA churches by Hausa Muslims hooligans in the pretext of okada protest. Now it is known that the Churches and the Gbong Gbom's palace have been their main target.

No Emir from the North has come to sympathize with the Gbong Gbom yet.

The Plateau State government has alerted the whole nation of another eminent attack on Jos again. We hope the JTF will take this threat seriously this time and arrest the troublemakers before they strike.

It is a fact the much desired law to ban Okada and its menace in Jos and Bukuru was never enacted in a Jos Churches nor in the Gbong Gbom's Palace. The motive of the well engineered and sponsored crises in beautiful Jos city is becoming clearer for the entire world to see.

The motive of the Jos crises is glaring when the sponsors like Dr. Aliyu Tilde cannot hold their emotions any longer, please see his article "Demystifying Jonah Jang before you crucify my little frame." as condemning Jonah Jang for a law passed by the Plateau State House of Assembly. Yet it is people like Dr Aliyu Tilde who will drive into Jos, go to Jos Business School, Jos polo club and enjoy all the hospitality of the good and peace loving Plateau people and yet will sponsor and incite Hausa Muslim hooligans to attack Churches in Jos and the Gbong Gbom's Palace.

To solve the Plateau crises once and for all lies with the Plateau State government with the able support of the Federal government of Nigeria which has the coercive force of arm to prosecute and punish the sponsors. Those found wanting by the various commissions of inquiry and those covertly and overtly inciting it on the pages of news media must be brought to justice.

On a more important note it is with great joy we welcome the banning of okada or achaba in Jos and Bukuru metropolis which have sent many innocent people to their untimely death. That 70% of admission in JUTH and all admissions in BIMMAH Hospital is as a result of okada/achaba accident is an understatement.

Therefore as peace loving and law abiding citizens of Jos and Bukuru, we welcome the okada/achaba ban wholeheartedly. Every motorist in Jos and even major Nigerian cities dread the okada man. The okada/achaba is the fall out of the military maladministration of evil persons who never had the love of Nigeria at heart. It is clear that the effect of one unpopular policy by any government has spiral effect that lingers on for a long time in the society.

That notwithstanding, we can confirm that the crises perpetrated in Jos is sponsored via self styled council of ulamas whatever that means by so called rich and powerful persons from within and outside Plateau State.

The okada/achaba ban in Jos and Bukuru has come to stay for good. It is for the good of all of us as in every city and state that banned the menace.

After all okada or achaba is simply a menace or accident just waiting to happen. Savor Abuja city centre without okada. That is what we want in Jos city, Terminus, Bauchi Road, Gada Biyu and Dilimi Road without okada. We appeal to the people's governor to please expand and dualise Bauchi Road, Dilimi Road, Bauchi Ring Road, Unguwan Road, Kwana Shagari Road.

God Bless Plateau State and well done the Lion on the Plateau and the hero of the Middle-belt of Nigeria. We are happy with your popular and people oriented policies and your giant strides despite all the moves by your enemies within and without.

You shall surely govern Plateau State up till May 29, 2015 when we shall miss your honest and God fearing administration.

Ndiameeh Babrik writes from Jos and can be reached at [email protected]

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