….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



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