JOS AGAIN, AGAIN, AND AGAIN
Truck load full of explosive again? Every year, a few months or so we are woken up by even bigger atrocities of the mayhem in the Jos area of Plateau State. It is true that Jos is not the only place in Nigeria where we witness inter ethnic clash, but Jos and Niger Delta area stand out for their incessant destruction of lives and properties. It is too early to say we have a solution to the Niger Delta problem but the fact is, every promise to bring Jos under control has failed. The easiest prediction is that Jos will boil again tomorrow and the day after, again and again until sacred “cows” are brought to justice.
What is clear is that both the Police and Army have failed to bring this continuous killing to a halt. We must as a matter of urgency find solution outside the usual box we turn to. People will ridicule our sincerity if we tell them we have done all we could, apply the best forces we have in the Country or encourage peaceful settlements with reward only to find ourselves back into the killing field. We are always known to criticize the authorities when they offer no solution of ours.
This is why we are calling on Ebele in the name of your father, mother and Nigeria to ignore the interest of the few but powerful in the Army and Police and reconstitute the same Police and Army in Plateau State with officers and gentlemen from Niger Delta or Anambra or Ondo. The time has come when we can use our ethnic diversity to our strength. We are blessed with young men and women from all over the Country that are being employed by vagabonds to break into our homes and kill us; to use as thugs by political parties; and that are idled and bribed to do nothing when their youthful exuberance is overflowing.
The problem in Jos has to do with special interest and these special interests control the Army and the Police we sent there to quench riots. How we expect them not to take sides is beyond a reasonable mind. There are times when local people are best suited to some task in local areas and we have even preached friendly community police before. However, Nigeria is blessed with so many ethnic groups and we know which of them we can deploy in Ibadan without favor, in Enugu without partiality and in Kaduna without pandering to familiar class or group. We must do so in Jos and if it works in Jos, we may employ the same principle all over the Country.
Nigerian Army and Police officers are more educated and better informed than they used to be. If there is one place we have been able to unite Nigeria more than other places, it is in the Federal Government where we know and understand it does not belong to any State. While we have created states like local government, and local governments like family compounds so that each ethnic group could feel at home; it may be time to take a reverse solution at solving some of our demanding problems.
We are not trying to say this is new and has never been tried before. We are saying it is time to bring it back with such educated and informed men and women in uniforms. Nigerians cannot demand and be given the men and women in their local areas that have shirked from their own responsibilities to bring peaceful solutions to their home boys and girls. Mbadiwe of honorable memory taught us about men of timber and caliber. Too many of them in control of an area in the Army, the Police or militia may exacerbate the problem.
They are killing us in Jos, Onitsha, Ibadan, Kano, Warri and many other places in our Country. We have cases where brothers and sisters turn on in-laws and one another. There is no money that can bribe all of us because we will come back for more and more. All of us cannot be appointed special advisers, ministers, commissioners and governors. There has to be law and order for peace to hold. It is only then that we can put our heads together on how to move the Country forward. We are too divided by special interest. Jos must be the pace setter.
We are getting very close to the election and some people are already afraid thinking about where they can hide until the election is over. Jos is an indication of what the election might bring. Some of us have no place to go but stay put at home. Indeed, we have no other country. Those that have travel far and wide missed Jos, Port Harcourt and Benin we grow up in especially when they tell us to go back to where we come from. They can only tolerate us away from home for so long, they do not know the meaning of our name. Jos “cool climate” we miss you, no be small O.
It is not enough to ask the special interest about what can be done with Jos, they will give you a rundown of their solutions knowing full well they are the same people that are going to sabotage the plan. Better still, they may give you a bill detailing what they need to import from Europe and America in order to solve a local problem. They may need the head of London Police, his trainers and gadgets costing millions of British pounds or United States FBI and their equipments costing millions of US dollars. We cannot throw money at every solution in Nigeria.
Please, it is no joke or exaggeration. As documented by Fela Anikulapo, they were going to bring water, right in our backyard, from United Nations. Our police and Army go to so many trainings overseas inapplicable to pressing solutions at home. Yet, these same Army and Police are one of the best, if not the best Peace Keeping Force in the whole world. There are so many expertise Nigerians perfect outside that we refuse to practice at home. It is time for effective lasting solution.