Yelwa Zangam Attacks: Group Calls for Security Towers, Buses, Reclaiming UNIJOS Lands, Donates Relief to Victims

By Ralph Madugu

A group, the Plateau State Forum (PSF), University of Jos, has recommended the building of security towers to be manned by trained, armed and licensed university security guards.

It also recommended the procurement of buses to ply designated routes as well as reclaiming the institution’s land encroached upon on the Bauchi Road and Naraguta campuses to safeguard students.

The Forum, which is the umbrella body Plateau people working in the University of Jos, made these recommendations at a press conference recently in Jos in the wake of the recent crisis that engulfed some parts of the metropolis and some adjoining LGAs.

Led by its Chairman, Prof. Nestor Chagok, and Secretary, Mr. Gogwim Godwin, the PSF said they are worried bythe incessant attacks on students and staff during crises.

Officials of Plateau State Forum of University of Jos during their Recent Visit to Yelwa Zangam Community

According to the Forum, the University has suffered the loss of several students and staff around the hostels and staff quarters as well as other areas where they reside in Jos.

We, the people of Plateau State working in the University of Jos are worried that anytime there is crisis or tension elsewhere or around the city of Jos, staff and students of the University become victims of attack by the neighboring community, the last one being that students were attacked, killed, maimed and some missing till today.”

Reiterating the need to step up surveillance in communities at risk and ensure early response during emergency situations, the Forum noted that while the recent night curfew was in place, communities in Bassa and Yelwa Zangam in Jos North were attacked, leading to casualties.

This the group described as “disturbing”, stating that it remained a puzzle that the communities that were destroyed in Bassa which lasted for hours and even days are close to the headquarters of the 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army yet there was no significant early intervention despite early warning signals to relevant authorities.

On other measures that could be taken to safeguard the university community, the Forum called for the dualization of the road along Village Hostel with a deep and wide trench in between the road to the university fence right through to Bauchi Junction to Naraguta Hostel particularly along the Bauchi Road and its surroundings, establishment of a Mobile Barracks in the vicinity of the campus and the quick relocation of all faculties and departments from Bauchi Road to Naraguta campus and the College of Health Sciences to Lamingo Campus.

Relief Materials Presented to the Community

“The Management in consultation with the Federal Government should acquire and relocate all communities within the radius of 2-3 kilometers around the University Permanent Site.

“The Management in consultation with the Federal Government should open a major entry gate at the north western part of the University towards Zaria Road.

“Management should continue to dialogue with neighboring communities on the need to live in peace with the university community. 

“The Management in consultation with the Federal Government should acquire and relocate all communities within the radius of 2-3 kilometers around the University Permanent Site.

“The Management in consultation with the Federal Government should open a major entry gate at the north western part of the University towards Zaria Road.”

Relief Materials being Off loaded

Commiserating with those have lost loved ones in the recent crises, the Forum prayed for speedy recovery for the injured saying “We equally share the pains of those who are currently in distressful situations because of the destruction of their habitations and substances. May God heal their bodies, minds and hearts and restore that which they have lost many times more,” and expressed hope that the state will return to its place as the Home of Peace and Tourism where people will come from far and near to relish its “pleasant environment and boost our wellbeing.”

Meanwhile, the PSF has donated relief materials to various victims of the recent terrorists’ attacks on Yelwa Zangam community in Jos North LGA.

According to a statement signed by the group’s Chairperson, Relief Committee, Dr. Kachollom Best, its representatives, led by Prof. Nestor Chagok, alongside other members visited the “Anaguta nation resident at Yelwa-Zangam, Jos North LGC to present various relief materials to victims of the recent terrorists’ attacks on the community.”

Prof. Chagok disclosed that the visit was to commiserate with the Anaguta nation over the “terrible attacks meted on it and donate items contributed by members of the Forum.”

While encouraging the people to forgive the perpetrators, Prof. Chagok stated further that the Forum is particularly saddened over the pathetic plight of the victims and prayed against a reoccurrence.

President of the Anaguta Development Association expressed deep appreciation to the Forum for this show of uncommon love in their time of great distress, stating that this had emboldened their faith in God who would reward them for their love.

“May I thank you all for the sacrifice and love shown to the Anaguta nation, and request that we continue praying for our dear nation.”

Highpoint of the visit was the presentation of the materials. Special prayers for Plateau and the nation were offered by Dr. Kachollom Best and Mr. Joel Gogwim.

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