By KINGSLEY OMONOBI
Following the reported killings of some 43 Igbo traders in Jos, Plateau State , the Federal Government has been called upon to take decisive actions to help the state government stem the crisis from escalating into a tribal conflict.
Making the call in Jos after a fact finding visit, a chieftain of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Chief Willy Ezugwu, addressed Igbo traders during a meeting between the State governor, Jonah Jang and the Igbo leaders in the state.
Recall that the Igbo Community Association had claimed the killing of 43 Igbo traders by rampaging gunmen at Milidi Spare Parts Market, Jos, in broad day light even with the presence of military men of the Special Task Force.
Ezugwu faulted the seeming indifference of other state governors especially those from the South-East, to the plight of the people and government of Plateau State.
According to him, “this is the time other governors should rally round Governor Jang and help intervene at whatever level they could in the efforts to return normalcy to the state capital.
While condemning the serial killings in Jos which he warned might assume ethnic coloration with the killings of Igbo traders in the state capital, Chief Ezugwu opposed the call by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for a state of emergency in Plateau state saying the “labour goofed with its position and should have rather suggested collaborative efforts to bring about peace in the state instead of calling emergency which will further make the crisis fester”.
His words, “We have to understand the issues involved in the crisis in Jos clearly, otherwise, if we call for state of emergency, are we also going to call for same in Maiduguri, where Boko Haram sect has been holding sway killing almost on a daily basis or in Abuja with the spate of bombings or in Bayelsa where militants are being used to terrorize political opponents at will.”
Continuing Ezugwu said, “The issue of alleged connivance of military men deployed to keep peace should be investigated thoroughly, saying that the people in the villages appeared to have lost confidence in the soldiers which would not help the situation” saying “The rejection of the military men by some aggrieved villagers whose relations were killed was blamed on this allegation”.
On efforts of the Plateau Governor, the CNPP Secretary-General, commended the state governor for steps taken so far and called on the people to understand the peculiar situation and the limitations of governor Jang.
“This situation is a very delicate one. The governor as a retired military man surely understands what could be done but we are in a situation where he is a Chief Security Officer of the state but can’t control even a sergeant. The security agencies are controlled from Abuja; how then do you expect the Chief Security Officer to perform? he asked.
He wondered what the military men were up to when the communities they were supposed to watch over were being attacked.