Plateau state: When an Election becomes nuisance
We boarded a Gombe line bus, in the early hours of Thursday, 6:30am, to be précised with high hopes on a journey to Abuja. All the 14 passengers in the bus with a different assignment to accomplish in the capital city, others were on their way to various places beyond Abuja. For those not so conversant with North-east, Jos the capital city of Plateua state is the only route that links the region with other parts of the country. All vehicles coming from Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa, and Bauchi, have to pass through Jos to reach Kaduna, Abuja or the Southern part of the country.
Unknown to us, the authorities in Jos have imposed what I can call a curfew to regulate the movement of people in the state, due to LG elections taking place that Thursday. What most of us can’t comprehend was the idea of stopping people passing through Jos on their to way other places, which must have to be through Jos. That stranded more than 3000 passengers, who have nothing to do with the elections in Jos for more than four hours. Blockade which was at the entry gate to Jos city left us in the middle of nowhere, because most of us left our houses early in the morning, so we had no opportunity of taking our breakfast.
That was unnecessary. Although Plateau state has become a boiling point of religious and ethnic crisis in Nigeria, the decision of the authorities in Plateau to stop people on their way just because they are conducting local council elections is uncalled for. Similar elections were conducted in places like Kaduna, another boiling point for ethnic and religious crisis, but the approach of the Kaduna authorities and security agents was no where near what I saw in Jos. We acknowledged their concern for security, but it is not fair for them to hold people for ransom in a situation they had nothing to do with. Plateau state is not the only state in the federation and cannot therefore act different.
Our hope is that the people of Plateau state will be given leaders of their choice not ones decided by the ruling party. It is only then that we will forgive those who are responsible for holding us in Jos entry gates for hours without food or water.
Lawanti Village, KM25,
Along Gombe-Bauchi state,
Akko LGA, Gombe state.