RE:JOS MAIN MARKET REBUILDING:MATTERS ARISING
….The JNI Plateau State Chapter position
1. The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI Plateau State Chapter, under the leadership of His RoyalHighness the Emir of Wase, Dr. Muhammad Samba Haruna, has been watching with keen interest the imbroglo surrounding the planned reconstruction of the Jos Main Market burnt down and abandoned since February 2002. We watched and read every single views and utterances regarding the matter and we found some views not just disgusting, but highly inflatable and provocative to every single Muslim in the state and affront to
2. While we initially viewed the issue as purely a governmental affair, knowing fully well that the government of Barrister Simon Bako Lalong made the reconstruction of the abandoned and deliberately burnt Jos Main Market as part of its campaign promises, which essentially made majority of Muslims in the state to vote for him in 2015 and 2019. We thought every single citizen in the state will welcome the idea of the reconstruction of the market which used to serve as a great source of income to the state apart from it’s serving as a hub for economic activities not in the state but serving most states in the North -East. It is common knowledge that the Jos Main Market before it was burnt down was serving as a trade centre and a meeting point for traders from the Southern part of the country with their counterparts from the North East. The climate weather of Jos and the peace i t has been enjoying prior to the breakout of the unfortunate ethno-religiius crisis in Jos of September 7, 2001 was making Jos one of the most vibrant centre of commerce in the country like Lagos and Kano. In fact it was beginning to compete and was already the best place for trading activities in the North Central.
3. We are deeply saddened by the turn of events recently where some people who think they own Plateau State or they are superior citizens than others conjecture all sorts of absurd reasons to truncate the noble move of the Plateau State Government to fulfil one of its campaign promises. What baffled us was the delving into the matter by some Christian clergymen including the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN Plateau State Chapter.
One of such provocations that is of particular concern to us was a trending video in socialand mainstream media where someone was speaking under a clear banner that stated Concerned Christians of Plateau. We wonder since when the rebuilding of the Jos Main Market turned into a religious issue that religious bodies willuse it to cast aspersions at and abuse Muslims and Islam. The person in the video under reference clearly called Muslims in the State terrorists, accusing the Muslims of burning down the Jos Main Market- a crime they knew nothing about in view of the fact that about 50% of shop owners and operators at the burnt Jos Main Market were Muslims.
4. We are not unmindful of the outcome of preliminary investigation report of hose behind the burning of the Main Market, which was suppressed forcefully and anything that has to do with the market was left in a cooler until the coming of this administration. We are not politicians, but we read events between the lines as we have the duty to guide and protect all Muslims in the State. Our consultations clearly indicate that all Muslims in the state are fully in support of the reconstruction of the Jos Main Market embarked upon by the present administration under the leadership of GovernorS B Lalong. This is the stand of the JNI not just because JA’IZ BANK is involved but because we strongly believe in the viability and desirability of having the Main Market back into function in the interest of all in the State. We don’t care which
financial institution funds the project as we know money has no religion.
5. We therefore call on all citizens in the State, especially our brothers in faith to eschew any form of bitterness that might have been implanted in their minds by some dubious politicians and support the move by this administration to restore the Jos Main Market into full use. The market is very essential to our onerous duties of restoration and sustenance of the hard-earned peace in Jos and Plateau State at large. It is a well known fact that market is one of the melting places of followers of all faiths and commercial integration is one of the easiest means of restoration of confidence and fostering peace among the citizens in the state.
6. We pray Almighty Allah to strengthen the will of the Plateau State
Government in serving the citizens without fear or favour.
7. We affirm our commitment to ensuring a peaceful Plateau State and unequivocally state that we don’t have any terrorist Muslim in Plateau State.Muslims were the greater victims of the criminalact of burning the Jos Main Market. While we forgive whoever is behind it as Islam preaches forgiveness, we will do anything within our powers to ensure the Jos Main Market is out back to use. Our brothers and sisters are tired of trading under the sun and rains on the streets.
We call on allMuslims to remain calm, peacefuland resolute in prayers for a united and prosperous Plateau State where one is not judged by his faith nor ethnicity.
Salim Musa Umar