Ensuring Peace In Jos

To achieve peace in Jos, all stakeholders must be brought on board, not just a handful of political dumb-nuts. Bringing all stakeholders together must be done without any concession to ethnic, religious, political and economic affiliations. We must begin to see things a light of its own, to the context that present itself.

While as a Student of University of Jos (1997-2001), and as one of its student leaders; we tried to foster peace within students who were sectionalized and religionized to an extent that it almost destroyed the prided unity we had always enjoyed. The security report at that time brought in a bag of jossites, especially those in Faringada, Bukuru, Racecourse, down to Jos north into a religious violence.

In Unijos, there was a division between the Christians and the Muslims, otherwise called (Malos), and the incessant burning of properties worth Millions of Naira, and the rampant killings of students openingly and secretly.

As an actor in the peace negotiation within the Institution’s parameter, we cannot say we achieve a great level of success, but compared to the state government success, even though several state of emergence was declared at its worst times, it nonetheless was not compared to the resolution of the Student Union government of Unijos. We were called madmen, yet we achieved a substantial result that was far more considerate and was applicable than those of the draconian policy of peace of the state government, that ended in intimidation filled with all manners of excruciating abnormalities in the peace talk.

In one of our peace talk, the Student Union government of Joseph Jang (SUG President), as the Director of Social, later Secretary General, I made it clear that, while we were busy trying to apply the Ghandhian philosophy of non-violence in its logical sense and largesse, as propagated and embraced by students on campus; while such ideological base of non-violence was regularly paid lip service by students off campus; both Christians and Muslims alike.
Secretly, as my article “America why ask why” was being written, I knew there was some levels of high level politics in the Jos crisis affair. I was able to prove to my cabinet then, that, if we must ensure peace in Jos, everybody must be drafted in the peace campaign. Professor Gonwalk (VC Unijos) was consulted, but he later turned down the campaign ideology, because of his grievances that his house was burnt, and also a cousin of his died in the crisis. I later went to him, appealing, while Joseph Jang produced the I-don’t-care scenario. Since I needed peace at all cost, because more than 43% with the data I had consisted of Students from the West, South-south and the East. Fortunately, the East already had their grounds in Jos, prior to inferno of Terminus Market. But for those students from West and South-south geopolitical zone, the intrigue was a different one.

My fear rose when in 1999 five students were murdered in Village Hostel and Abuja hostel respectively by some fanatics (but negating the fact that it was religiously motivated), I deployed an enquiry committee from the arm of the Student Parliament, Chaired by the Speaker to look into the case, and the report, which is still with the school’s authority, unraveled the mystery that the crisis carried, and the solution it proffered if Jos must be gain peace and return to its glory.
It was grossly tied to campus cultism by the school’s authority, which I later rose to defend as the authority lacked the necessary empirical ground to arrived at such a conclusion; but my analogy then has nothing to do with the Unijos internal cohesion; it was a case of crisis in the larger society of Plateau. These students’ death spurred the rise of death toll among students especially girls by unknown assailant, some were raped, assaulted etc, why the boys where battered, some of our students heads chopped off. these were ugly and barbaric death, even though some died of natural course due to the weather.

The bottom-line is, the Jos crisis has several undertones, and without understanding these undertones, then we are missing the blind spot of resolving once and for all the emerging problem that has plagued the nation into a religious, political and ethnic gregarious ethnic cleansing.
A think-tank group should be deployed to Jos, and not these politicians who see Jos crisis as a political course to champion their political gains. Jos crisis is a fall out of the problem of Nigeria’s political dynamics, a haven of premature consideration, and impatience.

Technically, we were called madmen simply for our dedication to instigate peace in Jos, and today our legacy and ideology is what is being used today by NGOs, CLO and even the government. Today, our troubles have resorted to a solution. What a typical irony!
When a man is too preoccupied and obsessed in the transformation of his immediate society, or the larger societal values that entangles him and the rest of his countrymen and women; such a man enters into an arena of psychosis. He is called a Madman/Woman, a trouble maker, a busy body, a Controversial Individual. Most times, nobody pays any relevance to their agitations and pleas, because somehow, they constructed their determination through non-violence and articulate dreams, one which transcends an ordinary comprehension; it somehow beats intellectual reasoning. Such men and women have shaped History; they see what others couldn’t see. They are the Hoards of Leaders, a Cheetah Generation, those whose shoulders lays the change this nation has bled to achieve. It will come soon, by all means necessary through non-violence and constructive revolution!
Illiteracy bring out the worst kind of evil out in anyone, this is called ignorance in the face of all things glaring. Two things should be feared the most; illiteracy and poverty, both are bridges that limit the consciousness of man. They make their victim very wicked and frustrated. A man who’s ignorant and a stalk illiterate in the issues of facts are bent at nothing, bringing nothing out of mere their dumb-skull. Nothing how perfect they are, their mentality has limitations, and thinking well becomes a problem. Even though they have the synergy to think anything good at all, but on the contrary, goodness doesn’t come by contemplative necessity; it comes when there is complete detachment and exercise and training of the brain-power. This is where education, exposure and other paraphelia of proper orientation of certain knowledge are necessary.

The above cannot happen except when we are properly orientated on societal values, at all levels of socialization.

The question now is, how do we pull these think-tank groups together, and what are the criteria for such a call?

Written by
Carl Collins Ogunshola Oshodi
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