Information available to 247ureports.com through sources in Jos, Plateau State indicates that the ongoing crisis in the State may return with a heightened vengeance judging by the indices unfolding at the four local government areas [LGA] presently living under the state of emergency imposed by the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan following the Christmas Day 2011 bombing of a Roman Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja. The President, following his declaration of state of emergency, has withheld all LGA allocations to the four affected LGA [Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom] – and for this reason salaries and other financial obligations remain unsettled for four months and counting.
As gathered, the State of emergency declared by the President may have come with good intentions but the consequences have become an unwelcome visitor to the four LGAs. According to officials resident at the area of concern, the state of emergency declaration was supposed to bring about the complete take over of the affairs of the LGA by the military – including the administrative affairs of the four LGAs. But the declaration by the President was said to have stop short of commanding the military to step into the LGAs to take over control. For this reason, the State Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang who had previously appointed transition chairman to man the LGAs pending when the State conducts an LGA election – continued to administer the four LGAs [that were supposedly under State of Emergency] with his appointed transition chairman.
As the State Government of Plateau State operate the various LGAs with appointed transitional chairmen, the monies / allocations released by the federal government are sent to the State government – to be managed by a care-taker committee set up by the governor and the legislators. In essence, the entire monies meant for the various LGAs are managed by the State Governor indirectly through the care-taker committee.
So with the supposed state of emergency, the military are said to have not sought to take over the affairs of the LGA – and the Governor’s are said to not be willing to hand over the affairs of the LGA to the military – and so for this reason, the President rose to halt all payments of LGA allocations to the four LGAs for the last four months. But a source within the Governor’s office who spoke to our correspondent indicates that ” when the president declared the state of emergency, he ordered the military to take over power from the administrators with immediate effect but the governor refuse them because he has an evil motive. This made the president angry and he stop any allocation to this areas. What we want you to do is to let the president know that this ongoing fighting is the grass that is suffering. We are suffering and the feature of our children is in danger.We are helpless, voiceless as the governor has bribed those in position of fighting for us” As a result, the salaries of the workers at the respective LGA remain unpaid including hospital workers and teachers. The teachers and other school workers have gone on strike – until further notice. The hospital workers have threatened going on strike at the end of the month.
The workers representing the four affected LGA were recently in a heated meeting with National Assembly [NASS] members representing their areas – to discuss a way out of the lock-jam. As 247ureports.com gathered, the workers pleaded passionately for the NASS representatives to impress on the Mr President to order the military men to take over the affairs at the LGA – tro enable the workers collect their salaries – and for their children to resume school.
One of the affected workers was passionate with his plea. He pleaded with our correspondent for help stating that “Our situation is getting worst than before. Do you know that some of our children in secondary and primary schools were not able to write the just concluded termly exams due to lack of school fees and now another term has begun. A notice has so far been issued to us not to even think of sending them to school because they will be sent back. And another thing is like in Riyom local government area and Barkin ladi LGA all in plateau state, have been experiencing serious attacks and their houses and food stuffs all destroyed and this heartless governor have refused to step down the political appointees to give way for the military to take over leadership of the LGAs. Sir, you need to see things for yourself i swear to God you must shed tears and these people are tribe of the governor. Pls intensify effort and let the president know”.
It is feared that if the President and the security forces remain tamed and docile over the administration of the 4 LGA in question, violence will return again to Jos metropolis – particularly since the Governor recently announced the ban of “okada” riders in Jos metropolis. The law is expected to take effect starting Monday. The last time the Governor attempted to implement such a law 2 years ago, it resulted to uncontrollable violence.