Residents of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State have vehemently rejected plans by Governor Simon Lalong on the rebuilding of the burnt Jos Main Market by Jaiz Bank.
Citizens of the area made their submission on Monday during a town hall meeting convened by member representing Jos South State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Dalyop Gwottson Fom, as directed by Governor Simon Lalong, held at Langfield event Centre, Jos.
The town hall meeting which had in attendance the representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), traditional rulers, ethnic associations, market women, community leaders, and all pressure groups in Jos South LGA kicked against the rebuilding of the market under the present security challenges.
Most residents who spoke against the reconstruction of the market cited insecurity as a major factor that led to the burning down of the market over 20 years ago.
A resident of Gyel community, Simon Dung Zi said the government has failed to make public the recommendations of the committee set up to investigate the twin bomb blast that collapsed the main market.
He kicked against the rebuilding of the market due to the high level of insecurity in the area which constitutes a threat to life and property.
Another resident, who re-echoed insecurity, argued further that Plateau people will be short change by the Jaiz Bank which is billed to rebuild and operate the market for 40 years before handing it over to the state government.
He said the project is going to mortgage the future of Plateau youths and advised the Plateau State Government to rethink the reconstruction of the market at the said location.
He advised the government to concentrate on the completion of Legacy Projects across the state and allow the next administration to consult widely among the citizens on whether to rebuild the Jos Main Market or not.
Prof. David Yakubu of the University of Jos, who narrated the imperative of rebuilding the market by Jaiz Bank said the project will boost the economic well-being of the people.
Fom, who presented the position of the people after voting, said his constituency rejected the rebuilding of the market.
“The town hall meeting was well attended by CAN, JNI, traditional rulers, various ethnic groups, community leaders and all pressure groups in Jos South and the people voted overwhelmingly against the reconstruction of the Main Market.
“The position of Jos South constituency is loud and clear that the people do not want the rebuilding of the Jos Main Market under the present circumstances.
“Some of the residents who spoke cited insecurity as their reasons while alot are worried because they don’t have confidence in the present administration. Some said if the Main Market was important, the Governor would have converged the resources used for the ongoing flyover bridge to construct the market,” he stated.
Fom explained further that his constituents took their position without any form of sentiment but in the collective interest of peace and unity of the state and in protecting the Plateau heritage.