UPDATES ON THE JOS CRISIS
The Jos Crisis has a long history. Whereas similar crises have taken place in other states like Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Borno, the nature, intensity, frequency and level of devastation of the ones in Plateau State and around Jos in particular have been different. These have taken place in 1873 (cf. section 3.4 page 32 of Govt. White Paper of Sept. 2001 dated 09/04/09), 1994, 1999, 2001, 2008 and 2010. It is an open secret that at the core of the crisis is religious bigotry that exhibits nothing but religious fanaticism and intolerance. To deny this is neither truthful nor fair. For example, prior to the 2008 crisis, it was claimed that the crisis was political, but the Muslims began burning Churches, Parsonages and the homes of Christians as well as killing Christians long before the counting of votes was completed. How can anyone who is not biased not see that the political climate was only used as a stepping stone to advance what was a religious and ethnic agenda?
Furthermore, those who imagine that the implementation of the “Jos Master Plan” (JMP) caused the crisis as it necessitated the displacement of a good number of immigrants from outside the state particularly those who call themselves “Jasawa”, will need to honestly review their imagination. This is because firstly, the JMP is a recent event while the crises has persisted for years; secondly, if the JMP had anything to do with it, why did the aggrieved persons not take it up with Government? When people feel that their rights are trampled upon and they follow legal and constitutional ways of confrontation and still are not heard, including going to court, normally, if they decide to pour out their anger to force the arm of government to listen to their plea, they would leash out such anger on government property, not innocent citizens of another faith. There is no justification for calling the Jos Crisis a political squabble and not a senseless religious crisis.
AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL: The President, Umaru Shehu ‘Yar Addu’a, was smuggled into the country from Saudi Arabia in top secrecy, and is completely shielded from the public. Why? We do not know. Even the Vice President has not been able to see him. He has been Acting and seems to be doing well. He recently changed the Cabinet, and has now included one Miss J Tapgum as an Assistant Minister. The Federal Government is said to have sent soldiers from Abuja and Lagos to help keep security in the Plateau, but most of those sent are Muslims, who often connive with Muslims and kill Christians or allow the Muslims passage to go in and kill Christians. This has been executed this way because the General Officer Commanding (GOC) is a Muslim.
AT THE STATE LEVEL: Governor Jonah David Jang is still struggling to contain the situation. The Jos Market was destroyed many years ago. Last month the Bukuru market was looted and burnt down by the Muslims in order to cripple the economy. The Bukuru market has been shifted into Gyel in front of the Chief’s palace and the Muslims are excluded from it. They have resorted to attacking outskirt villages around Jos and Bukuru. Fulanis have been driven away from various Berom areas around Jos and Barakin Ladi Local Government Area. In some villages north of Jos called Dogon Na-Hawa and other surrounding villages women and children were brutally massacred by Fulanis who came in from Bauchi from where they had run as displaced persons. About 120 people were killed. The men had moved to the hills in the wrong direction from where they were expecting the enemies to come; whereas they came from the opposite direction. Last Sunday they went to Kuru Station where they burnt the homes and vehicles of the Pwajok family though no life was lost. The fear now is there are silent killings on both sides. People get lost if they go to wrong places at night or day and their dead bodies are later discovered.
CHRISTIAN PRAYERS: Plateau State women came together in Jos and Abuja and prayed and made representations to the State and Federal Governments to bring the crisis to an end. On that day, there was miraculously a rainbow around the sun. What was God saying? Whatever it was, it was encouraging. Another big prayer session was organised at COCIN Headquarters about two weeks ago and people came from various denominations to pray. Other prayer meetings are being planned. PLEASE PRAY WITH US.
Last Friday, the Lord gave me Isaiah 41:14 “People of Israel, don’t worry, though others may say, “Israel is only a worm!” I am the holy God of Israel, who saves and protects you.” I claim this for Plateau State. Thank you.
UPDATED REPORT ON THE JOS CRISIS, 13 APRIL 20I0
You probably heard the latest attack on two families, brothers, in Kuru near Bukuru. There is a strong suspicion that the military is involved. They wanted to kill the family heads but did not succeed. They burnt the houses. The man is an old Gindiri student, one of those first or second sets of BSS. I know him to be a strong Christian. The Muslims are resorting to planting bombs in strategic places. We are having to plan to buy bomb and metal detectors for our Churches. Fear and anger are still high. Mutual suspicion is still high. In the midst of that the Church through the leadership has decided to unite and seek God's face. There was a prayer of the denominations seeking God's forgiveness for the atrocities we too have caused in the name of defending ourselves. For others it was taking vengeance. I felt God was in our midst that day. The Spirit was saying the same thing:
1. Return to God in true repentance.
2. Trust in his protection not in our guns.
3. Unity of the Churches.
4. De-emphasise tribal affiliations and focus on the Oneness of the Church. Women were commended for coming out in black dress to mourn the innocent killings of the women and children in Dogo Na Hawa.
There was great confession and praise.