• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

When Governor Mutfwang’s Executive Order 003 in Plateau turned fatal

Plateau government partners Immigration Service to strengthen border security

…As hoodlums engage Task Force officials

In a bid to restore order and sanity to the busy streets of Jos, the Governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang recently signed Executive Order Number 003, 2024 prohibiting the indiscriminate display of wares and goods in key business areas. The move aims to ensure a free flow of traffic and enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the city.

However, the attempt to enforce the order last week by the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB), met with resistance from traders at the Kugiya market in Bukuru, Jos South Local Government Area, resulting in chaos and violence. An irate youth was fatally shot, and 10 cars were set ablaze by hoodlums who hijacked the protest.

This incident echoes a similar confrontation at the Jos Taminus market a month prior, which claimed the life of a police officer.

Read also: Troops nab 35 terrorists with deadly arsenal, in Plateau, Bauchi 

Mutfwang condemned in very strong terms, the incident that led to the attack on the Task Force responsible for enforcing Executive Order 003 by some criminal elements. He said the Task Force made up of members of the JMDB, the police and other sister agencies is mandated to regulate buildings and vehicular traffic within the Greater Jos Master Plan (GJMP).

“The sad incident occurred on Monday, 17th June, 2024 at the Bukuru market in Jos South Local Government Area, where lawless individuals brazenly assaulted members of the joint Task Force,” he said.

Governor Mutfwang expressed deep regret over the shameful actions of these miscreants, who not only targeted the Task Force but also endangered the lives of traders.

He emphasised that the market was designated by the government to accommodate lawful business activities with an appeal to street vendors to relocate accordingly.

The governor lamented the reckless behaviour of the attackers, who wielded dangerous weapons to inflict harm and loot shops, resulting in the destruction of vehicles owned by innocent traders. Tragically, one of the suspects fatally shot his accomplice during the chaos.

Governor Mutfwang condemned the incident as entirely avoidable, questioning the motives of those who flouted Executive Order 003 and resorted to violence against law-abiding citizens.

He called on security agencies to swiftly apprehend all perpetrators and ensure that they face justice without delay. He reiterated the State government’s unwavering resolve to confront troublemakers decisively.

Read also: One shot dead, many cars torched as traders, JMDB officials clash in Plateau

Highlighting the broader purpose of Executive Order 003, Governor Mutfwang clarified that its intent is to safeguard Jos from deterioration into a slum and a haven for criminal activities.

In a statement signed by Gyang Bere, his Director of Press and Public Affairs and made available to Journalists in Jos, governor Mutfwang reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to collaborating with law-abiding citizens across all divides to foster peace and unity in the state.

Governor Mutfwang appealed to religious and community leaders in the affected area, to guide their followers against unlawful conducts and implement measures to thwart criminal elements who may exploit the situation to cause disorder.

The governor expressed appreciation to all security agencies for their dedication and urged them to intensify efforts to restore calm amidst the current challenges. He sympathised with members of the public whose vehicles and other properties were vandalised as a result of the incident.

Government not deterred by resistance from beneficiaries of a bad system – Ashoms

Musa Ashoms, Plateau State commissioner for information, has said that the government has denounced the recent incident in Bukuru, where a joint task force enforcing Executive Order 003 was met with resistance from miscreants.

According to a press statement he personally signed, Ashoms said that the government condemned the destruction of property and sympathised with those affected, adding that the government viewed the incident as a provocation and a challenge to its authority to enforce law and order.

The Commissioner added that despite massive publicity and engagement with stakeholders, some elements were trying to impede progress and cling to the old ways.

“We condemn the destruction of property and sympathise with those pained by the losses incurred. We assure the public of government’s capacity to not only rein in this emerging tendency but to also bring perpetrators to book.

He noted that the government is determined to move forward with positive transformation and will not be deterred by resistance from beneficiaries of a bad system.

He further said that the incident is seen as a recurrence of the Ahmadu Bello Way incident, where resistance to enforcement led to tragedy. He assures the public of its capacity to rein in this emerging tendency and bring perpetrators to book.

Ashoms explained that the joint task force was carrying out its lawful duty to ensure businesses operate within the law in the Bukuru metropolitan area adding, that the market was designated for lawful activities only, without provision for street vendors.

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“In line with its brief, the JMDB Joint Task Force was at the Bukuru Market in Jos South Local Government Area to ensure that businesses were in operation within the ambit of law, given that the market was designated by government to accommodate only lawful activities without provision for street vendors,” he said.

He further explained that the government had embarked on massive publicity and engagement with stakeholders and communities to ensure a smooth transition.

“As a government that embodies the legitimate aspirations of its citizens, we recall the massive publicity and engagement with stakeholders and various communities.”

The commissioner insisted that “the time to let go of the past is now, and the government is determined to move Plateau State in the direction of positive transformation.”

BusinessDay observed that despite the challenges, the government remains resolute in its commitment to implementing the executive order. The governor’s vision is to transform Jos into a modern, organised city, attractive to investors and tourists alike.

Executive Order 003 is a crucial step towards achieving this goal

The ban on indiscriminate display of wares and goods aims to: Enhance traffic flow and reduce congestion; improve the overall appearance of the city, promote a more organised and structured market system and support the growth of local businesses and entrepreneurship.

The order applies to all business areas within Jos, including markets and shopping districts. Traders and vendors are required to operate within designated spaces and adhere to strict guidelines.

Those found flouting the order will face penalties and sanctions.

The government has established a task force to enforce the order and maintain law and order. The task force comprises representatives from various security agencies and government ministries.

The government has also engaged in dialogue with traders and stakeholders to address concerns and provide guidance. Governor Mutfwang’s administration remains committed to its vision for a transformed Jos.

Despite the initial resistance, many traders and residents have expressed support for the executive order.

They acknowledge the need for a more organised and structured market system.

The successful implementation of Executive Order 003 is crucial to achieving this goal. As the city moves forward, residents and traders alike must work together to embrace change and foster a more prosperous and organised community. The future of Jos depends on it.