…Vow to make Jos great again

By Chris Ochayi

In the aftermath of gale of violence that recently swept through Jos, the Plateau State capital, eminent persons including the erstwhile National Chairman of National Population, NPC, Chief Samu’ila Danko Makama, Col. Lawan Gwadabe (rtd), Maj. Gen. Ahmed T. Jibrin (rtd), Senator Jack Tilley-Gyado, and Senator Solomon Ewuga, have condemned in strong terms the violence that resulted in loss of lives and destruction of properties in the state.

Operating under the aegis of Make Jos Great Again Forum, MJGAF, the prominent citizens, while further condemning all acts of violence perpetrated by individuals or groups, in the name of ethnicity or religion, warned that no religion condones taking another person’s life, no matter the provocation.

The Forum in a statement issued Tuesday, which was obtained by Vanguard in Abuja, however, appealed to all citizens of the state to live peacefully with one another in order to restore the state to its pristine past which earned it the enviable sobriquet of “Home of Peace and Tourism”.

Other members of MJGAF are Arc. Salis Garba Mohammed, Engr. Hassan Hussaini, Professor Vicky Sylvester. Elizabeth H. Rimdans (Mrs), Lillian Kachollom Rwang-Ishaku Iliyasu (Mrs), Alh. Ibrahim Saleh Hassan, Hon. Ibrahim Dasuki Salihu Nakande, Chief Sam Edet Bassey, Umar Abdulhamid (Babuga), Odessa Chuwang (Ms) (Honourary Secretary to the Board), Senator Davou Zang, Otunba Michael Eferemo, Brig. Gen. I. A. Sabo (rtd), Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed. Capt. Aliyu Mohammed Garba (rtd), Kamal Ahmadu Arabi and Nde Joshua Mukan.

While calling on both the Federal and State Governments to redouble efforts to prevent and
forestall a repeat of such ugly incidents in the future, the Forum also expressed its determination to work with the State Government in its efforts to re-awaken the hospitality instincts inherent in the good people of the state.

The statement signed by Chief Samu’ila Danko Makama, Chairman of the Board of MJGA reads; “Make Jos Great Again, MJGA, group is a Forum composed of men and women from all walks of life, cutting across different ethnic and religious creeds, who in time past lived in the city of Jos, the capital of Plateau state.

“Many of the members at some time relocated and settled in different parts of the country such as Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Benue etc. Yet members continue to reminisce on the serene, hospitable, beautiful and social life that characterized Jos in their youthful days.

“As a group of like minds, we members of Make Jos Great Again, MJGA, Forum refer to themselves as JOSIANS, with the understanding of greatness in living together in peace and harmony for a considerable number of years, before and in the 1960s, 1970s,
1980s, 1990s to date. We enjoyed social, economic, educational and working experience in the great city of Jos.

“Regrettably, Jos which used to be a great city of peace
characterised by peaceful co-existence is to a large extent no longer the case. Jos city, the envy of all, has since 2001 witnessed several ethnic and religious crises and conflicts which displaced some of its inhabitants, eroded the feeling of brotherliness, created suspicion and animosity among the people and brought the once great city of glory down to its knees.

“For the past six years, Plateau state has been enjoying relative peace, courtesy of the efforts of the present state Government until recently when there was a resurgence of violence resulting in loss of lives and property.

“On August 14, 2021 there was an unfortunate incident that occurred along Rukuba Road in Jos the state capital, where several lives were lost.

“The attack on commuter buses that were transiting through the state capital was alleged to be retaliatory to an earlier mayhem that occurred in Miango and some other parts of Bassa Local Government Area.

“Worse still, few days later, there was another apparent reprisal attack at Yelwan Zangam in Jos North Local Government Area, resulting in loss of lives and property.

“The decisive action of the State Government which quickly moved in with restrictive measures greatly helped in dousing tension, preventing further escalation of the crises and restoring sanity.

“The cycle of crises, conflicts and disputes in the state is generally characterized by attacks and reprisal attacks amongst the people that hitherto coexisted in complete peace and harmony for ages.

“It is the objective of the MJGA Forum to join hands with the State Government and all other stakeholders to regain the peace and harmony that prevailed in Jos in particular and Plateau State in general.

“The MJGA Forum joins many other well-meaning men and women of goodwill in strongly condemning all acts of violence perpetrated by individuals or groups, in the name of ethnicity or religion.

“No religion condones taking another person’s life, no matter the provocation. We appeal to all citizens of the state to live peacefully with one another, to restore the state to its pristine past which earned it the enviable sobriquet of “Home of Peace and Tourism”.

“We are calling on both the Federal and State Governments to redouble efforts to prevent and
forestall a repeat of such ugly incidents in the future.

“The MJGA Forum wishes to commiserate with the families of all those that lost their loved ones in the unfortunate incidents.

“We also commend the efforts of the State Government in taking decisive action to contain the deplorable situation and adopting measures to prevent further bloodshed and loss of lives and property.

“We are determined to work with the State Government in its efforts to re-awaken the hospitality instincts inherent in the good people of the state to its
glorious days when all and sundry, irrespective of tribe or religion cohabited, interacted and related freely in peace and harmony.”

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