Jos Al’umma Consultative Forum (JACOF), a Jos-based group, has alleged the continuous marginalisation of Muslim communities by successive Plateau State administrations 46 years after the creation of the state.
The alleged marginalisation and sidelining of Muslims on the Plateau is coming despite their enormous contribution to the growth and development of the state.
JACOF in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Nazif Ahmad Muhammad and Nuruddeen Inuwa said the Plateau Muslim communities suffered the anguish of sustained calculated efforts to relate them to the background by ‘claimed indigenous population in positions of authorities in the state.’
Despite constituting more than 40 percent of the population of Plateau State, certain government positions remain ‘no-go areas.’
To the group, the governor’s office, Deputy Governor, Speaker, Secretary to state government (SSG), chief of staff, head of service, chairman and civil service commission were denied to Muslims despite their eligibility as mandated by the provision of Nigeria’s National Character.
Read: Zinariya: A Hillside Jos Community Where Basic Amenities Elude Residents
Other offices listed by the group are; Chairman Local Government Service Commission, Health Management Board, Scholarship Board, Primary Schools Management Board (SUBEB) and Plateau Agricultural Development Programme (PADP).
The statement explained that as of 2018, Jos North has a total of 422 polling units, with registered voters of over 390,000 and the greater portion of the votes belong to the Muslims. “For that, every serious politician in the state runs helter-skelter wooing for acceptability and possible cooperation,” the statement said.
JACOF added, “It will interest you to know that in the 2015 Gubernatorial Election, Jos North LGA alone contributed 117,443 Votes out of the total votes of 564,913 that changed the 16 years of PDP administration in the state. These votes which stood at 20.7% brought in the APC administration in the state. Analytically, the votes of Jos-North L.G.A solely.”
The group said Jos North votes surpassed the total votes of all other local government areas that collectively formed Northern Plateau with 21,153 votes.
“Barkin Ladi (13,151 Votes), Bassa (28,770 votes): Jos-East (15, 356 Votes), Jos South (31,760 Votes) and Riyom (7,253) all totalling 112,318 votes. 16 LGAs of Plateau State wouldn’t have returned APC to Government House without Jos-North LGA, the group insisted.”
At the national arena, JACOF noted that Plateau Muslim contribution is greater than 11 individual states in Nigeria.
Read: ‘Trafficked From Gombe To Jos’ — How Almajirai Were ‘Forcefully’ Converted To Christianity
“As earlier said, the votes from our LGA alone outshined that of eleven individual states and FCT. These include; Abia(13,394), Akwa-Ibom(58,411), Anambra(17,926), Bayelsa(5,194), Cross Rivers(28,364), Delta(48,910), Ebonyi(19,518), Ekiti(120,331), Enugu(14,157), FCT(146,399), Imo(133,253) and Rivers States(69,238).
“Politically, we were only left with the position of commissioner, Executive Secretary PSWB, and other ceremonial appointments to yield salaries to the beneficiaries only,” the statement added.
The statement said with that efforts from Jos North L.G.A, Muslims are yet to be considered for a single federal project, nor given due consideration for a single federal appointment.
The group however commended the state government for restoring peace in the state after many years of insecurity that claimed many lives and deprived the people of their fortunes.
Read: Angry Jos Youth Stone Firefighters
JACOF lamented that the State government has not sited any single new project in the core Muslim area in the town. “The only exclusive project we have been nursing and patiently waiting to have is the rebuilding of Jos Main Market, which seems to be “put to death” by Plateau Agenda.
“Sadly, even in the party hierarchy, our Morons and Clod were used to reduce us to no single party executive office at both state and federal levels. The prizes of our labour for the past seven years remain crafty and fantasy.