FRESH CRISIS BREWING IN JOS
Another crisis is again brewing in Jos, following disagreement between the Afizere and Berom tribal groups over ownership of Jos. Following the re-naming by Governor Jonah Jang of the Tudun Wada area of Jos now hosting the new government lodge, Jishe, a Berom name, the Afizere of Jarawa community had last month laid claim to the area and asked the governor to rescind his decision.
This claim did not go down well with the Berom natives, who, on Wednesday, reacted under the auspices of Berom Educational and Cultural Organisation (BEECO), stating that the Afizeres were more like settlers in Jos and could not claim ownership of areas in Jos.
National President of the Afizere Cultural and Community Development Association, Mr. Atang Izam Atang, had, in his claim, said not only Tudun Wada but Kabong and Laranto were Jarawa (Afizere) land under Gwash and not under Du district.
However, Chairman of BECO, Da Luka Chuwang, told journalists at a press conference that the Tudun Wada area was donated to government by the Du district head for the establishment of a market and stated that if the area was no longer used for that purpose, it should have been returned to its original owners rather than having the place occupied by other people who are now laying claims to it. He pointed out that not only Tudun Wada but Jos Museum, Rwang Pam Street, Gengere area, Central Mosque area are all part of the Du district of the Berom natives.
He noted that a Jarawa man, one Hassan Arum, while serving as a witness in a law suit instituted in 2001 over a chieftaincy stool of Agwom Izere, in Jos-east Local Government Area, agreed that that the Jarawas were part of Bauchi State before they became part of Plateau and that their first chief was installed in Bauchi. The president reiterated that that the Afizere, who now want to claim ownership of Jos, were hosted and accommodated under Gwom that shared boundary with Du district.
He condemned the claim by the Afizere president that the supreme court judgment of 2009 gave them the right over land in Jos, saying t the issue resolved in the court was constitutional matter because the Dagwom Du only challenged the power of government to constitute commission to investigate part of his land.
He recalled that the Plateau Peace Conference of 2004 adopted a resolution, calling for renaming areas in Plateau given alien names their original names and wondered why the Afizere, who were also signatories to it could be complaining now over renaming of Tudun Wada. He said the Afizere cultural group never found it expedient to address press conference on the issue of naming some areas of Jos after beer parlours or burukutu (local gin) joints but could complain when they were returned to their original names.