Jos crises: Southerners demand N670bn compensation from FG
A coalition of Southerners made up of people from the South-East, South-South and South-West areas of the country resident in Jos have jointly asked the Federal Government for a whopping N670 billion compensation over the losses they have incurred in the crises on the Plateau since 1994.
The coalition, which addressed a press briefing at the NUJ Secretariat in Jos, the Plateau state capital yesterday, said that since the crises started in the state, the Yorubas have lost property valued at N450 billion, the Igbos, N410 billion and South-Southerners, N110 billon.
Spokesman of the coalition, who read the text of the press briefing, Mr. Smart Irabor, sad that over 1, 654 people from the three regions have lost their lives in the unfortunate crises in the state.
According to the coalition, while Ndigbo have 604 of their kins slaughtered, the Yorubas and the South have 630 and 430 people respectively killed.
While condemning the killing of their members, the group expressed dismay 'That without any provocation or seeking for political or geographical expansion nor struggling for the ownership of Jos, the three groups from the year 1994 to date lost properties estimated at over N970 billion.'
The coalition accused the federal Government of failing in its statutory duty of protecting the lives and property of its citizens.
It also demanded that all those caught in the crises should be made to face the full weight of the law.
While assuring President Goodluck Jonathan of their unalloyed support and loyalty in the 2011 presidential elections, the coalition asked the president to release the white paper on the Presidential Advisory Committee on the plateau crises. The group also however commended Governor Jonah Jang for recognizing the three tribes as major stakeholders in the peace process on the Plateau.
It also threw its weight behind the decision of the state government to float a security outfit known as Operation Rainbow to stem the tide of violence in the state. Ethnic crises have engulfed the Plateau state capital since about 16 years and the situation has attracted international concerns and condemnation. These have always involved violent scrimmages between Hausa/Fulani youths and Christians/Muslims with over 2000 killings recorded in the clashes. At the height of the crises, President Jonathan inaugurated a Presidential Advisory Committee led by former Nigeria's Ambasador to Sweden, Yaya Kwande to look into the situation. He had directed the panel look into the immediate and remote causes of the crises while also proffering solutions to them. The city of Jos is under heavy security presence at the moment with soldiers from two detachments of the Nigeria Army patrolling the streets of the city. The State Governor, Jon Jang has also decided to put in place a security outfit to be financed and maintained by the state government.