Thursday, January 20, 2011

Secret Killings - Jos Residents Devise Survival Strategies

Residents of Jos have adopted various survival strategies as the warring parties resort to secret killings in the troubled city.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one of the strategies, known as "chameleon tactics", involved the use of clothes "acceptable to each of the warring territories.

"I wear my jeans trousers and T-shirt if I move to Christian settlements and change to caftan, trouser and cap when returning to the areas inhabited by Muslims," Shehu Mohammed, an undergraduate of the University of Jos told NAN.

Mohammed, whose campus is in a Christian-dominated area, resides at Bauchi Road, populated by his fellow Muslims.

He added, "The dressing has helped me a lot. It helps me from attracting the attention of hoodlums."

A female journalist, Mrs Zainab Babaji, who reports for the Voice of America Hausa Service, also told NAN that the "chameleon tactics" had helped her to survive while carrying out her professional duties.

"Depending on where I am going for the day, I have the right dress to match whatever dress code is safe," she said.

Babaji said that it was "highly dangerous"for her to wear traditional Hausa dress and enter certain areas to perform her duties.

Another resident, Mr Bulus Pam, told NAN that he usually changed his dressing whenever he was going to the market to purchase meat and vegetables.

"If I want to buy meat, I wear jumper, cap and trousers because those items are sold in Hausa-dominated areas."

A civil servant, Adams John Auta, told NAN that many of his friends had adopted the "chameleon style"and moving around successfully in various parts of Jos. Auta, however, appealed to the security agencies to work toward ending the incessant secret killings in Jos and its environs so as to ease the fear that had become the lot of the people in the past few months.

Meanwhile, hotel operators in Jos are experiencing a drop in business activities following the prolonged crisis that engulfed some parts of Plateau in recent times.

NAN correspondent, who went round some of the hotels, reports that patronage is at its lowest, with few or no customers in many of the hotels visited.

Mrs Best Mildred, General Manager, Hill Station Hotel Limited, Jos said that hotel business was "completely dead in Jos".

"As you can see, the hotel is empty, few people occasionally come around and this is not good for the business," she said.

She also said that people were no longer patronising the hotels for fear of the unknown and described the situation as very sad.

Mildred, therefore, called for peace and appealed to the people to forgive and forget the past.

"Peace is the responsibility of everyone, so individuals and the government must put heads together to give it a chance," she said.

Mr Ajayi Dotu, Manager, New Era Hotels, Jos, said, "New Era is experiencing zero patronage."

According to him, the present situation is the worst ever. Ajayi prayed for God's intervention in the lingering crisis and called on the people to bury their differences.


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