Angry Plateau youths hold Senator, husband hostage

By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos

THE menace of rainstorm in Plateau State has continued to escalate due to the refusal of the citizens to adhere to measures aimed at averting environmental disasters. As a result rain and windstorm have continued to wreak havoc in some communities, causing hardship to the people, who however appear unperturbed by the dangers.

For example, this year alone, hundreds of millions of Naira have been lost to windstorms and heavy rains. From the University of Jos in Jos North, Kanam, and Mangu to Pankshin local government areas, the jeremiads of loss is the same but no lessons appears to have been learnt in all the cases recorded.   

In April this year, the University of Jos, suffered a heavy blow to its infrastructure at the Naraguta Campus as windstorm blew off the roofs of several newly constructed buildings that were recently commissioned.

The windstorm affected the new buildings housing the Faculties of Natural Sciences, Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine as well as the new Taekwondo Indoor Gymnasium and the Twin Theatre Lecture Hall. Similarly, part of the fence of the Jeremiah Useni Mini-Stadium was pulled down by the windstorm.

This month, scores of buildings were destroyed in the Tambes community as well as in the Federal College of Education in the Pankshin Local Government Area by heavy rainfall.

It was gathered that the downpour which started around 3pm and lasted for only a few hours, destroyed property worth millions of Naira, throwing the inhabitants into penury as most of them were stripped of all their sources of income and shelter.

As if that was not enough, a model primary school was blown off by windstorm at Mile 8 area of the state with two classroom block destroyed along the headmaster’s office.

Narrating their ideals, National Chairman of Tambes Development Association, Daniel Karket and the Youth Leader of the area, Teksat Golji, said though no lives were lost in the incident the rainstorm caused severe damage to several buildings.

According to them, some of the buildings destroyed by the rainstorm included ECWA Church, COCIN Church, Catholic Church, Central Primary School, Community Secondary School, and over 50 residential houses.

The community leaders appealed to the State Emergency Management Agency and the National Emergency Management Agency as well as spirited individuals to come to their aid, saying the destruction was too much for them to bear. Similarly, Saint Benedict Catholic Church that was recently built was destroyed as the result of the heavy rainfall even as the Chairman Building committee, Vincent Danjuma, appealed for assistance from government and other spirited individuals.

Notwithstanding these incidents, residents have not heeded any caution as filth is indiscriminately dumped in gutters and structures erected on waterways, thereby compounding the dangers of environmental degradation.

However, the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dan Manjang, has pleaded with citizens to imbibe good hygiene and desist from indiscriminate erection of structures. 

The General Manager, Jos Metropolitan Development Board, Kefas Yirwang, has said that sensitisation has been done on the need for residents to clean the drainage channels and get approval from the relevant authorities before construction of any structure in the state capital.

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