By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Piqued by the appointment of Shehu Bala as the Management Committee Chairman of Jos North local government area by Governor Simon Lalong, the autochthonous people of Jos, Plateau State have protested the appointment saying it is an act of provocation that a non-indigene to occupy the seat.
Bala is of the Hausa community and was the Chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the yet to be conducted election. His appointment has generated controversy and protests from various indigenous groups even many in his political party are against the action by Lalong.
The latest is the protest through a press conference held yesterday in Jos and Hon. Theresa Nyako, who spoke on behalf of the autochthonous people of Jos called on Governor Lalong to direct Plateau Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to conduct election in Jos North, Jos South, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom LGA where polls were suspended in October, 2018 for security reasons.
Azi, flanked by Community leaders of Afizere, Anaguta and Berom, the indigenous tribes in Jos North local government area said they are ready to die in defence of their land which was bequeath to them by their forefathers stressing, “We want to state in clear, unmistakable and unambiguous terms that we totally reject and condemn in the strongest terms the suppression of our franchise in Jos North LGA among others.
“The imposition of a non indigene who also doubles as the APC candidate during the pendency elections completely rubbishes global best democratic practices, it is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional. It is a great disservice to our people in particular and indeed Plateau State in general as it has the capability to breach peace in the tin city. It makes a mockery of Governor Lalong’s pillars of his purported 3-point agenda.”
She revealed that there is a hatched plan for the newly appointed Council Chairman, Hon. Shehu Bala to submit a memo for the creation of a District in Jos North for the Hausa/Fulani which will prepare the ground for the realization of the age-long quest for an Emir of Jos and asked Lalong to reverse his decision.
“We urge the natives of Plateau to monitor carefully the conduct of the Hon. Members of Plateau State House of Assembly and hold them accountable in case of any attempt to annex our heritage to feudalist. We are equally prepared to die for our people and for our collective heritage.”
In a swift reaction, Governor Simon Lalong, through his Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Dan Manjang said elections were suspended in Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas due to some serious security challenges.
“With the security situation improving in those areas, and as a good measure in the interest of the people, Government is working hard to ensure that elections are conducted in the affected Local Governments areas,” adding “The Management Committees were reconstituted in line with the provisions of the law and in a bid to ensure smooth governance in those areas.”