Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Human Rights Watch on Jos

Here. It comes down to this,

"Non-indigenes are openly denied the right to compete for government jobs and academic scholarships. Members of the largely Muslim Hausa ethnic group are classified as non-indigenes in Jos and surrounding communities, though many have lived there for several generations."

There are some eye-witness accounts to the massacres at the bottom of the article. Violence in Jos will continue to break out sporadically until the wholly artificial indigene-settler distinction is removed in practice by the state government.


Anonymous,  9:30 am  

Yes, the settler-indigene question has to be resolved, but its the same almost everywhere in Nigeria. Why are the consequences so stark - and frequent - in Jos?

Anonymous,  1:01 pm  

Don't be so naive. There are Yoruba muslims in Jos too. Is there anywhere in the far north where non-indigenes are accorded the same rights as indigenes?

Can a man from Jos aspire to be anything in Kano State? Are the Hausas tolerant of outsiders? Can an Igboman contest for election in Lagos State.

You probably do not live in Nigeria.

Anonymous,  3:37 pm  

The 'non-indegene' issue is the same everywhere in Nigeria and nowhere is is more obvious than Lagos.

But Igbos in Kano and Lagos and even Jos do not go about killing people, nor do Yorubas, or other ethnic groups. So please mr Human Right, don't pass half-ass comments on this matter, do a proper analysis.

The way Nigeria is structured, it actually makes sense to preserve the concept of 'indegenes' for now, becos the minorities do not stand much of a chance at federal level, so the only way to feel included is for them to at the very least control their states, that is their own stake in this senseless project called Nigeria. Then mayb in another 50 to 100 years we will move past this.

Jeremy 3:42 pm  

Last anonymous - so your solution is 'do nothing'. A recipe for further human disaster in Plateau State and elsewhere...

MsMak,  5:00 pm  


I'm commenting because your postings on these incidents all seem to have the same slant. Unfortunately they are highly biased, and don't tell the whole story.

You've lived in Naija for a long time. I therefore want to believe that even you know that no issue plaguing this country is as simple as black and white. And moreso with the crisis going on in Jos.

These killings are abominable, and should be stopped, no matter who the perpetrators are (Nigerian, non-Nigerian, Christian, Muslim, Fulani, Berom, etc). However you cannot just accuse one party, and then distill it down to "indigene-settler" issues.

Yes, the "indigene-settler" issue is a problem country-wide, and will have to be resolved on a national level. But there is more to this story in Jos than meets the eye. For some reason, when Christians and Southerners are killed in Northern states, nobody brings up the "indigene-settler" issue.

Remember Gideon, the igbo trader who was beheaded several years ago up North? Or the Yoruba teacher and mother who was killed by her students up North? How about the Youth Corper from Akwa Ibom, killed for wearing trousers? Has anyone ever been brought to justice for their deaths? Dis you mention "indigene-settler" issues then?!

And how about Sharia law being applied in some states? They claim it only applies to muslims. Yet if you are a Christian living there or serving as a Youth Corper, you can't wear certain clothes or do certain things, in addition to being harrassed by so-called illiterate and untrained youths masquerading as "moral police".

Jos was always a very peaceful city. I went to secondary school there for six years. The only noise you ever heard came from the dynamites being used in the tin mines. Why all the fighting and killing now? There is definitely a power struggle going on, we just have to figure out who the REAL players are.

And much as we all abhor it, can you blame one party for adopting violence to defend itself, after being systematically targeted and killed for several years?

We need to return to self-governing federations. And a decentralized police. And outlaw Sharia... we are after all a secular Nation, so i don't get this operating of two parallel systems of law...

Anonymous,  5:53 pm  

yeah the indigene-settler issue is everywhere in Nigeria, even among communities within the same tribe, speaking the same language. Jeremy of all people i think should understand this by now you've been here for this long. Headship of State-owned educational institutions are even restricted to indigenes of the state in some parts of this country. It's that bad. Abi when last did anyone hear of an Ibo or Hausa man as VC of LASU, OAU, or a Yoruba man as VC at UNN? It's that bad.

Why is it that it's only the Hausa-Fulani that foment violence & crisis on this same issue? If they are denied certain things that they feel they are entitled to, why not simply go back to their original villages?

It's a national question it's not limited to Jos alone. But only in Jos do you here of hundreds of people being hacked to death with machetes every few months cos the Fulanis think they can take everything by force.

As a Yoruba man from Ekiti I cant get up one day and ask to contest for Chairmanship in Owo (Ondo State) where I grew up & lived for 21 years because I am 'not an indigene'. Except in places like Lagos (state level) and parts of Abuja can you do this.

This settler issue is not peculiar to Jos alone these guys are just bloodthirsty abeg.

Myne Whitman 6:20 pm  

Interesting debate but the truth remains that we cannot fold our hands and do nothing. That it is happening all around the whole country is no excuse. Maybe when the indigene-settler issue is tackled, we can then see the real problem?

pam,  9:39 pm  

christians or lets call them "non indegenes" have been slaughtered in their thousands all over the north for decades. NOTHING happens. We all know this.
Suddenly because in Jos its become a tit for tat scenario theres outrage and demands for justice. I think its awful people need to recourse to such violence. But I do believe the settlers need to seek civilized ways of venting frustrations. Its the same everywhere but no one in other places reacts this way.

Anonymous,  2:32 am  

@ Jeremy

My solution is simple. Democracy is not for everyone. A sound economy, rule of law, security of lives and property, education, ability for personal aspiration, these are the important things we can achieve without democracy. The Chinese understand this.

Prior to 1999, Jos was a haven, peaceful, beautiful, tolerant, with great weather. Then came democracy - Nigeria style - and everything changed, chaos, turf wars, ingroups and outgroups, etc.

The military are corrupt, God know they are, but the civilians are just as corrupt, and they number in their thousands, and they can't provide security, they can't ensure the sovereignty of the nations, large swathes of the country is now lawless or with parrallel authority, this is a failed state. It wasn't a failed state before '99, I lived in this country during military rule and there was personal liberty, albeit with a bit of wahalla, the was a sense of security, you couldn't dare mess with the national security. The Sultan of sokoto was jailed for mucking about, people were held to account for any riot or disturbance, eg Saro Wiwa.

Rights come with responsibility, you forego some of your right when you act irresponsibly, this is the basis for building a society. But look at us, we have run amock, declaring sharia here and there and amputating people, forming state militias like opc and bakassi to terrorise citizens, a low level insurgency in the niger delta, kidnapping babies and grandmothers, assasinations, over 1,000 corrupt elected officials in Abuja alone all with their hands in the till, over 30,000 dead from various unrests, wars for elections, all these since 1999. Is this what democracy is? Please, give me the chinese model anyday, let's stop fooling ourselves, we are not ready, we need 30 years of solid single minded dictatorship to groom an entire generation that will have a different mindset, maybe they can carry on in about 40 yrs.

Quiz: Name a country with a significant population that has developed under universal suffrage democracy.

Ans: None. Brazil, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, USA, Russia, Germany, China, etc all experienced their major leap forward under some sort of controlled system, either dictatorships, one party systems, or non universal suffrage.

hawodi 4:02 pm  

As is usual with anything Nigerian, the comments are biased without any much content.

The last killing was not the first and a lot of Huasa Fulanis were killed during that first crisis and anybody with common intelligence will know that since nothing was done, there was bound to be a reprisal attack and that is exactly what happened.

What Jeremy and any right thinking human being is saying, is that, must we allow this to continue? Its nonsensical for anybody to support any form of killing.

Whatever happened in Jos could/should have been avoided but politicians will always take our lives for granted because we are so so gullible once religion is involved and they are using that cover very well. Maybe we should just outlaw religion and see how much progress we make. Its really annoying.


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