13th September, 2011
Concerned residents of Jos have renewed their calls on government to urgently take pro-active measures to guarantee security of lives and property in the troubled city.
A spokesman for the people, Mr. Eze Cletus, who owns a recreation facility in West Mines section of Jos, said the people of the area had always expressed concern over threats of explosions, but noted with regret that the perpetrators were always allowed to carry out such threat.
â€œEverybody, including Christians, Muslims, Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo and other tribes come here to socialise as brothers and sisters without anybody harassing one and other.
â€œIf bombs can be planted in an ever busy area where innocent and law-abiding citizens are carrying out their legitimate businesses, then what is the role of government to whom we have entrusted our security?â€
Miss Habiba Musa, a trader in the area, noted with regret that â€œharmless women who go through unfriendly weather conditions most of the times, are always the ones targeted for destruction.
â€œWhat have we done wrong to become bombersâ€™ targets?â€
Musa Kabir, a barbeque dealer in the area, appealed to government to bring the perpetrators to book.
â€œNobody is safe again in Jos, if bombs can be planted in this area. Those behind the atrocities should know that their families are also not safe, because the area is home to everybody.â€
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that following the trauma caused by the explosions, most people who escaped death by a whisker did not open for business.
â€œI donâ€™t plan to come out soon, because it is only when you are alive that you can do business. Many of our customers who escaped death will not come here for weeks to come,â€ said Mrs. Sandra Nweke, a provisions dealer in the area.
Mr. Steve Aluko, the Executive Director, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), who resides in the area, cautioned government against treating the reccurring Jos crisis as an isolated case, stressing that it must be tackled headlong before it got out of control.
â€œGovernment must share a larger portion of the blame, because none of those arrested or accused of sponsoring the crisis has ever been tried; so there is clearly a culture of impunity.
â€œThe security agencies have also proved incapable of protecting the country against crisis. Government must be assertive and ensure the security agencies live up to expectations.â€
Aluko warned against division among the security personnel on the basis of ethnicity and religion, and challenged appropriate authorities to sanction anyone found to have compromised his or her integrity in the crisis.
He also challenged residents to be more vigilant so as to identify strangers, while each community should devise every legal measure to protect themselves against attacks.
The Plateau Police Command has warned residents against rushing to the scenes of explosions before the arrival of police anti-bomb squad.
A statement by the commandâ€™s spokesman, Mr. Apev Jacob, stressed the need for people to be careful, warning that more explosives could still be hidden around such areas, and those rushing to the scenes could fall victims.
NAN reports that some residents who had trooped to the scene of the first explosion on Sunday night were almost caught up in the second explosion, which went off five minutes later.