MIX FEELINGS WELCOME MILITARY TAKEOVER OF SECURITY IN JOS
Stakeholders in Plateau State have expressed mixed feelings over the pronouncements by the Federal Government that security in Jos would be taken over by the military. According to reports some said it had been the old story which brought nothing concrete to improve the security situation in the state. Some saw it as a welcome development.
They also described the call by the Northern governors for emergency meeting to discuss the Jos issue as a clear sign of conspiracy against the state.
Member representing Jos South/Jos East in the House of Representatives, Bitrus Kaze said the question that immediately came to mind on hearing about the takeover was that who would the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief Air Marshal Oluseye Pentirin take over from?
He said it was the same way the former GOC of the 3 Amoured Div under Major General Saleh Maina in 2008 was asked to take over and that brought the birth of the Special Task Force on Jos crisis, 'I am not aware that the 3 Armored Division has been removed, so I can as well ask that from whom will he take over?'
He went on ' What has just happened is that instead of the GOC taking over it is now the Chief of Defence Staff that is taking over; making one to wonder why they have to wait this long before reacting to the situation in Jos and wondered how many lives they wanted lost before reacting on the situation in Jos.'
Speaking on the implementation of the panels' report on Jos crisis, the lawmaker wondered if the president would have the courage to implement those reports if he had waited this long to see the necessity of implementing them.
'I do not know why they waited for all these years for them to see it necessary to implement the recommendation of the reports which were made available to them years ago. I only pray they will have the courage to implement their recommendations,' he said.
Speaking on the Northern Governors' meeting, he said it was needless for such a meeting to be held and has advised the Plateau State Government should not waste its time attending such a meeting.
Kaze said 'we know that Governor Mua'azu Babangida Aliyu, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum has taken a categorical position against Plateau State Government and the people of Plateau State. Why should the same Plateau now go and stand for its fate to be determined by those, it knows that had taken position against it?'
He said for the northern governors to be appreciated as having the interest of the whole nation at heart, they should have convened an emergency meeting on Boko Haram when it ravaged some northern states recently, convened an emergency meeting over the recent post-election violence in some of the Northern states, and over the series of bombings that rocked Abuja. 'But now they want to convene one over Jos. This is even as a Northern Senator had earlier advocated for emergency rule in the state.'
However, Special Adviser to the Plateau State Governor, Dr. Jonah David Jang, Hon. Pam Ayuba said the decision by the Federal Government to take over the security was a welcome development, adding that it was long overdue.
Hon. Pam described the prevailing civil unrest in the state as the greatest challenge in governance confronting socio economic and political development of the Jonah Jang Administration. According to him, government was spending more than 60 percent of its resources which should have been channelled toward development of the state to maintenance of security.
The media adviser, pointed out the state government felt relieved following the pronouncement and sued for support for security chief.
National Secretary 'Miyetti-Allah' Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria Alhaji Saleh Bayeri whose members have been accused severally to being the brain behind most attacks on rural communities, in a telephone conversations, said the decision was rather 'belated' since lots of lives were wasted without just cause. However, if it will end the fracas, his members are ever willing to cooperate with him,' he stressed.
The Miyetti-Allah National scribe Association disclosed that lack of compensation to victims of the Jos crisis had aggravated the prolonged crisis, Bayeri recalled that members of the association in the state had since 2001 crisis loss not less than 500 members including women and children, while property worthy 100 Billion Naira including livestock were destroyed.
He called on all and sundry to give peace a chance and cooperate with the new strategy by the Federal Government to end blood letting in the state, as according to him the unresolved crisis was due to failure on the part of the state government.
Contributing, chairman Conference of Nigerian Political Parties [CNPP], Alhaji Yusuf Kanam told our correspondent that people of the state had waited endlessly for the recent decision by the Federal Government, and demanded that the right thing should be done to end the killings.
Alhaji Kanam called for full cooperation of Plateau residents to the Chief of Army Staff, irrespective of political, religious, and social status, to bring to an end, the wanton loss of lives in the state. He said the trend had negatively affected political and economic development of the state.
On his part, Spokesman of the Muslim Community in Jos, who is also Secretary Council of ULAMA Elders, in the state, Sani Mudi called on the Federal Government to speedily implement the report of the Chief Solomon Lar-led Presidential Advisory Committee, noting that, because the committee had representatives across sections of both ethnic, tribe and religious bodies, therefore its report might have taken the right decision to ending the age-long Jos crisis.
He observed that, the civil unrest had forced many people to leave the state, because, some lost not only relations but shelters, and have not received any relief from either state or the Federal Government as assistance.
Meanwhile, the former Commissioner of Information and Communication, Mr. Yakubu Dati has decried the timing of the meeting of the Northern governors on Jos crisis and said it is a conspiracy against the Plateau people.
Dati said 'we recall that during the administration of Chief Joshua Dariye, a similar conspiracy of its nature was hatched and executed which never yielded any benefit for the state.'
'I am suspicious of such a meeting which sole aim is to discuss Plateau. Does Boko Haram not attract attention as to make the Governors call for emergency meeting? I advise Governor Aliyu to concentrate and concern himself with Niger State and ensure that Niger does not become an incubator for suicide bombers, after all a Boko Haram's bomb manufacturing factory was discovered in his state.
Dati called on the Plateau people and all men of goodwill to reject the steps being taken to perpetrate illegal State of Emergency as being construed by evil plotters. They should join hands together towards the return of peace on the Plateau and to shun every enemy of the state.
'We call for support for the genuine effort of Governor Jonah Jang and President Goodluck Jonathan towards restoring peace to the state and the nation respectively.'
In a related development, the state Police command said it had uncovered plan by some groups of youths from the northern parts of the country to invade Jos to cause further mayhem.
A statement released in Jos yesterday by the police said, 'consequent upon the influx of youths from other states of the north into Plateau with many unregistered motorcycles, the Plateau State Police Command wishes to inform all owners of unregistered motorcycles to get them registered forthwith' The statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Apev Jacob said, 'This is to prevent them from being used for criminal purposes.
'We want to warn that any person that flouts this directive by using such unregistered motorcycle will be traced, arrested and prosecuted in accordance with provisions of the Road traffic Act.
'The command also wishes to state in clear terms that security is a collective business and should therefore be devoid of ethnic, religious and political sentiments.
'Finally we want to reaffirm our commitment and determination to provide maximum security to all law-abiding citizens in the state. We urge members of the public to partner with the police and other law enforcement agencies to achieve desired result', the statement added.