Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, January 2010
464 die in 4 days of Nigerian ethnic clashes
464 die in 4 days of Nigerian ethnic clashes
Wed, 20 Jan 2010 17:56:26 GMT
Nigerian troops patrol Jos city in Nigeria as the government imposes a 24-hour curfew.
The death toll has risen to 464 after four days of clashes between
Christians and Muslims in the central Nigerian city of Jos.
Jos - Senate Rejects Emergency Rule, Curfew Relaxed
Sufuyan Ojeifo, Damilola Oyedele, and Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
All Africa, 21 January 2010
A prayer by a member of the Senate seeking to declare a state of emergency in Plateau State was yesterday thrown out by the upper house.
Senator Umaru Argungu asked the Senate to urge the Federal Government to invoke Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution by declaring a state of emergency in the crisis-ridden state.
Section 305(1) of the 1999 Constitution reads: "Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by instrument published in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation issue a Proclamation of a State of emergency in the Federation or any part thereof."
Section 305(3) reads: "The President shall have power to issue a proclamation of a state of emergency only when - (a) the Federation is at war; (b) the Federation is in imminent danger of invasion or involvement in a state of war;
"(c) there is actual breakdown of public law, order and public safety in the Federation or any part thereof to such extent as to require extraordinary measures to restore peace and security."
But Argungu's prayer was unanimously rejected by members when it was put to vote.
Essentially, he failed to rally enough senators to have his prayer debated on the floor of the legislative house.
Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Kanti Bello, in his contribution also expressed an opinion in that direction and an attempt by Senator Ayo Arise to counter Bello was turned down by Senate President David Mark.
The Senate president insisted that Bello had only expressed an opinion and that Arise could only raise a constitutional point of order on a motion and not an opinion.
The motion, entitled: "Outbreak of Fresh Hostilities in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State", was sponsored by Senators Gyang Dantong, John Shagaya, Satty Gogwim and 20 other members.
Dantong moved a motion and drew the Senate's attention to the incident that had left many dead and more than 160 people arrested.
He expressed delight that the Plateau State government under Governor Jonah Jang and security agents acted promptly to stop the carnage by imposing a 24-hour curfew.
Contributing to the debate, Senator James Manager said that the Senate should go beyond debating the motion by taking steps to ensure the implementation of the reports of the previous commissions of inquiry on the various religious crises in the state.
"What has become of the Justice Niki Tobi-led Panel of Inquiry?" he asked, adding that "Something must be done urgently about the Plateau problem."
The Senate urged the state government to "fish out the perpetrators and sponsors of the violence and bring them to book to serve as deterrent to others with similar tendencies."
It also urged the Federal Government and the relevant agencies to investigate the fake military uniforms used by individuals to unleash mayhem on innocent people. In addition, the Senate said previous recommendations from various judicial panels of enquiry should be implemented.
Meanwhile, the Plateau State Government has announced a review of the 24-hour curfew to between 5pm and 10am.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Gregory Yenlong, yesterday announced the suspension of the use of motorcycles in the Jos-Bukuru metropolis until further notice.
THISDAY learnt that there is serious food scarcity in Jos, following the shutdown of shops and lack of commercial activities.
Besides, the Nigerian Army has pledged to give all the support needed to restore normalcy in Jos. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Abdulrahman Danbazzau, gave this assurance while briefing Jang on the security situation in the state.
Danbazzau, who visited the affected areas in the state including the refugee camps, said military medical teams had been stationed in the camps to provide medical assistance and to build toilets for displaced persons. Jang also declared his administration's readiness to bring to an end the recurring crises in Jos North Local Government Area.
Speaking when he received Danbazzau, the governor stated that "it is unfortunate that crisis is recurring at a time when the nation is marking its Golden Jubilee".
He condemned the massive use of military uniforms and sophisticated arms during the crisis and bemoaned the lack of punishment for offenders.
"When such people are not punished, they will turn to armed robbers and hoodlums and the rate of crime will increase in the country," he said.
Jang lamented the transfer of 26 mercenaries who were arrested during the 2008 crisis to Abuja for trial without adequate punishment.
"What is wrong in trying the mercenaries in Plateau State where they committed the crime?" He asked.
He described as false the notion that unemployment is the cause of the crisis, saying "It is not true because they have their sponsors who provide them weapons and other things they need."t
Furthermore, the United States has called on the Federal Government to ensure that the perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice. It also extended its sympathies to those who have lost their loved ones and friends.
"We condemn mob violence in the strongest possible terms and take this opportunity to urge all parties to support efforts to promote inter-communal and interfaith harmony and peaceful co-existence in Jos and the rest of Nigeria," said a statement by the US Embassy in Abuja.
Last Sunday's riot started in Dutse-Uku quarters in Nasarawa-Gwong area of Jos-North Local Government and spread to Bukuru by last Tuesday.
The Inspector General of Police (IG) Ogbonna Onovo immediately sent four units of riot policemen to quell the fight. Soldiers were deployed by Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan and Onovo moved to the state to assess the situation.
NEWS — Nigeria: Thousands Displaced in Jos Riots
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