Plateau: A haven that will always be

By Katdapba Yunana Gobum

There cannot be a better definition of the acceptance of Plateau State as the haven for all people. It attracts all to its clement weather. It has served and will continue to as the haven for all. No matter what has happened over the years, more people in various parts daily desire to come and reside in this part of the country.


In the last couple of years, people have been fed with outright lies and falsehood. It was deliberate by those involved. They wanted to achieve what they intended right from the start of the struggle. So for all these years, the world, without questioning believed what they were fed.

Some time back, a group of Americans, including some Nigerians, were in Jos to discover for themselves what the truth is, since they were beginning to understand that the news they were given over the years; was wrongly delivered. They certainly got to know as they went around the state, as there are enough evidence to convince them of the innocence of those who have continued to be attacked over the years.


It is over 21 years now that communities have continued to be attacked, with devastating consequences left in their trail.

It was not for anyone to decide for them. Yet we thought that we can offer for them a lee way. There are enough families in the villages of Jos North/South, Bokkos, Barakin Ladi (Gwol), Riyom, Bassa and many others that bear testimony to the harassment, intimidation and deaths of women, children, young men and women and the aged. We do not even need to talk of lost of property and other things gotten over the years through senseless pillage of communities in the night by people that can at best be described as terrorists. They have sworn to be against the state.

But in some situations, the people are able to hazard or say with certainly who they are going by how they came and what they said as they went about killing their victims. The people could describe them and say with some amount of certainty who visited their communities in the dead of the night.


Some of the communities could give graphic details of certain persons who left those villages in mysterious circumstances only to hound the community later. They can give names of the persons and what perhaps they said before they left the communities.

Under such circumstances could we not say that those people in the communities had better and more acceptable accounts of the agonies they went through in the hands of their tormentors? We can’t suggest that those other sources which fed the world are more credible to accept in the circumstances the state found itself in the last one decade.
For them they now know better given the level of ‘peace’ that has returned to the state, thanks indeed to the efforts of all the people of the state and of course men and women of goodwill that kept praying for the state and the people for the enemies of the state not to succeed in their plans to crumble it.

Yet let us not digress a lot from what we want to achieve in this work. Again, for me and many, the truths cannot be lost that had we not done what we said above perhaps so many other persons who do not know the story except the one in the international media may never believe us and what should be done to the communities.
We are at presently at a point that we thought things were returning to normal, and for many citizens; they were happy by the development. So much has been lost in human and material sense. They cannot be reclaimed just so as we know that the state has suffered untold hardship to make the people come back to their senses; and to accept the fact that communities are built on trust and acceptability of the fact that God was responsible for bringing us together.


Not so for many who do not want us in this situation. The result has been the creation of situations which gave the impression that the man and indeed woman from Plateau State does not want to be associated with others from other parts of the country. Far from it, as it cannot be true. The impression was created by those that didn’t want us to live in peace to give the picture that we are wild and most desirous of alienating others from our state.

This must be some joke yet many believed what was written and broadcast to the world. We lived with that stigma and each place one went and introduced himself as coming from Plateau, they looked at you twice as if to say: does the person deserve to be with others?
Could it be possible for people of this state to live without others? The answer we all know is a capital NO. There is no one in this part of the world that does not know the magnetism of Plateau State. There is representation of all Nigerian tribes in the state. Some history has it that they came here as early the tin mines were established by the colonialists.

Ever since they have traded and owned properties here as no other. Such categories of people have not looked at the state as their own, nor do they lay claims to the fact that they own it. All that they are interested in is to live in the state, engage in their businesses and perhaps as in most cases create the avenue for others to also be blessed through such businesses.
Understandably, Plateau State has come to play so many important roles in the relocation of many families in the state. Agreed that the people of the state have been disappointed and looked at as those who do not believe they must accommodate other people from other zones of the federation.

Many of those who believe in our story know that the state is the ideal haven for all. It is for nothing that the state is referred to as the ‘Home of Peace and Tourism’. Despite what we have gone through in the last one decade, there is no denying the fact that the state is still the ultimate destination. Those who deny it do so because of the stereotypes that have been built and are fed to the world and have become part and parcel of the people’s thinking.
Several people had because of the crises on the Plateau relocated to other states. Some of these people do not want to be reminded of the experience they went through. A number of them relocated to Plateau as a result of crises in Kaduna, Kano and other states in the northern part of the country. Suddenly they found themselves caught in between the devil and the deep blue sea and cannot go back to where they were coming from.
While some of them stayed put on the Plateau; some of them moved on to find expression in other parts of the country and run their businesses. Some who moved to other parts of the federation may not have found it easy because some of those who left Plateau may have died in accidents and other crises that occurred in other parts of the country.

Some didn’t live to tell the story. Some lived to tell the world what they went through as a result of the mistrust that still exists in the country. Some of them were unfortunate to go through some forms of attacks that occurred in the areas that they ran to. Some have returned to Jos, while others who left have vowed never to come back to the state owing to the unfortunate crises that kept recurring.

Since those unfortunate incidences, Plateau State and its people have vowed to move forward. It is seen in the actions of the people as well as what one sees as interact and do other things that affect us. Several businesses that closed as a result of the crises have reopened as well as the movements of the people in the state.

In the past, those travelling to Plateau State were warned and told to stay away from it. People from other parts of the country as the world were told no one could be found on the streets of the state, as it was a ghost town or state. As a result of the above some of the workshops and seminars that were always held here are no longer done.

Reason: the state was not safe for the people of the state what more of others that may be just visitors? These are the stereotypes peddled by those who started the crises that almost ruined us in the state.

This is what we have tried to fight, even as we know that in some parts of the civilized world; people know that people were transacting their businesses without molestation, the number of people and cars are competing for space on most of the streets in Jos.

I have tried to find out from hotels what their patronages are like, and the answer we get is alarming. It has not stop to alarm us that things have changed positively for our good. Most businesses that were abandoned by their owners have started but on a larger scale.

Basically there are more people who have started something new in Jos that they were when the crises started a decade ago.
There are a lot of young men and women who have since chosen not to be defeated by the crises and their lost. The crises have taught them to find other means of survival, even when the world chose to think that they were not serious people. The people are indeed astonished at the level of industry that has continued to be exhibited by our people.

The news of the relocation of some Christian natives from Yobe State and some parts of the North East to Jos further gave us reason to celebrate that God has blessed us as the place to be and to insist that; as the beetle you cannot kill the spirit that has been sowed in the mines of the people.
The fact cannot be just glossed over by anyone of us, there is space for yet many to come. We have not refused any tribe space here, and it must be added that the truth about the people of this state cannot be easily dissolved in the in the hills and mountains that surround us. No amount of falsehood can obliterate the age long truth that has been associated with the state-and that is; God has blessed us to bless others and not to drive them.

Note: The above material had long been used. The attack on Maikatako village in Bokkos LGA on November 15, 2022 night came as a shock. While we had thought that a reprieve had come knocking on Plateau, little did we know that more is coming its way.

The attack, it has been reported let to the loss of 11 lives and property lost in the mayhem. And as usual, no one was apprehended as in the ones that took place in the last couple of years back. The victims’ families were left with consolations that government would take a look at what had taken place and bring the attackers to justice.


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