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20,000 protesting women storm Plateau Gov’s office

A  new set of military men from the Nigerian Army arrived in Jos yesterday to take over from the officers and men on ground following a mass protest by over 20,000 women. The soldiers who arrived in almost 20 Marco Polo buses were immediately taken to the headquarters of the Special Task Force (STF) close to Hill Station Hotel, Jos.

In the past two months there have been persistent calls for the total withdrawal of men of the STF but it is not clear if the Commander of the STF, Brig Gen, Hassan Umaru, will be replaced or not.
One of the soldiers who arrived on Monday said the men were drawn from various military formations across the country adding that many more would arrive Jos by today to take over from those on ground.

However, there was wild jubilation around the Hausa/Fulani dominated areas of Bauchi Road and Masalasi Jumaah, at the sight of the soldiers. They had thought it was a state of emergency that had been declared in the state.

The over 20,000 women had stormed the major streets of Jos, the state capital as early as 7:00am denouncing the continuous presence of the military STF in the city. They threatened to withdraw their support for President Goodluck Jonathan if the military were not withdrawn.

The women who trooped out in black attire paralysed business activities for the early hours of the day and obstructed vehicular movement within the state capital, forcing some motorists to withdraw their services.
They walked through Yakubu Gowon Way, D B Zang Way and terminated the protest at Jitshe Government House where they were addressed by Governor Jonah Jang along with some of the state’s top government functionaries.
Some of the placards carried by the women were with various inscriptions condemning activities of the STF, some of which read: “STF park your load and leave Plateau, stop killing us, go after the real trouble makers.”
At a point they were shouting no vote for President Goodluck Jonathan in the coming presidential election if the military were not withdrawn from the streets of Jos before the election.

Addressing the women, Governor Jang who saluted the courage of the women enjoined them to be calm adding that President Goodluck Jonathan in conjunction with the state government were leaving no stone unturned to find lasting solution to the crisis.
Governor Jang who said it was not all soldiers that were bad said in every setting there were bad eggs adding that there were a lot of professional soldiers willing to carry out their assignment without any sentiment.

Meanwhile, the state government has debunked the speculation making the rounds in the  state that a state of emergency had been declared in Plateau State saying behind the speculation were enemies of progress who were behind the hostility on the Plateau.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Press Affairs, Mr. James Mannok, slamming a state of emergency on the state had always been a wishful thinking of some people who thought it was the only way through which they could achieve their selfish desire.
The state government implored the people of the state to discard such rumour and go about their lawful businesses and shun any act capable of causing brake down of law and order.

In a related development, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos Professor Sonny Tyoden has confirmed that three students and two members of staff of the institution have been so far killed  and 17 other students since the bomb last incident of December 24 till date. He said while addressing journalists at the University Gust House in Jos that the 17 students of the institution were wounded between the 28th and 30th of January in the encounter  between the students and people living at the immediate surroundings of the University  and the clash which ensued with the police but no death was recorded.
He explained that three students of the institution were stabbed  on the 28th  in front of the Naraguta Hostel gate and this, led to a reaction by the students who later came out to demonstrate to express their anger and frustration.

He said information gathered by the management revealed that some youths equally mobilized from the community around the university which necessitated the intervention of the security personnel bringing the number of those wounded to 14.
Two other students, the vice chancellor explained  were wounded on Saturday and another on Sunday; all by  bullets form the solders; bringing the total of students wounded so far in the latest mayhem in Jos to 17; adding that all of them were admitted in the University clinic and ECWA hospital popularly known as Jankwano hospital. He insisted that no student has been killed so far from the skirmishes which occurred over the weekend; saying that the only time the University lost student was during the gun blast on the  December24 and on the crisis which broke out on December 30 when  three students and two staff members were killed.

He said some of the hospitalized students have been discharged and back in their hostels The vice chancellor gave the assurance that the University has been liaising with the security agencies effectively in ensuring the safety of lives and property in the University community. He said the situation is gradually returning to normal and lecture would fully resume in the institution Thursday this week.  .


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Posted by on Jan 31 2011. Filed under Plateau, State News, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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