• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

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

Kugiya market in Bukuru, Jos South local government area of Plateau State was on Monday thrown into crisis as a trader was feared shot dead while others were injured. Many cars were also burnt in an attempt by the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) to clear the area of illegal traders.

The Plateau State Government, through Executive Order Number 003, banned the indiscriminate display of wares and goods within the business area to ensure a free flow of traffic.

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It was learned that the JMDB, along with security agencies, mostly the police and men of the NCSDC, had gone to effect the order when the traders suddenly went berserk and confronted officials of the Board and the security men.

An eye witness told BusinessDay that the officials had gone to enforce the order, but the traders refused to budge, leading to a violent confrontation.

“The crisis started around 2pm today. One person was killed, 8 cars were set ablaze in the mayhem, with the streets filled with the sounds of shattering glass and the smell of smoke.

According to the eyewitnesses, the traders had been opposed to the relocation plan from the start, fearing it would harm their businesses.

Read also: Over 40 people killed in renewed Plateau attack

“The market has been a staple of the community for years, providing essential goods and services to the local population.

The relocation plan has been met with widespread opposition, with many vendors and residents expressing concerns about the impact on the community”; the eye witness said.

Alfred Alabo, the Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), for Plateau State Command, who confirmed the incident to BusinessDay in a telephone chat however denied the killing of a trader and burning of cars.

He further said the police were still investigating the matter, adding that normalcy has since returned to the area.

As at the time of filing this report, the JMDB officials were yet to comment on the situation, but sources suggest that the relocation plan is part of a larger effort to modernise the city and improve infrastructure.

Many are however calling for a more collaborative approach, one that takes into account the needs and concerns of the community.

GOVERNOR Mutfwang condems attack on task force, traders in Bukuru

Meanwhile Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has condemned in very strong terms, the attack on the Task Force responsible for enforcing Executive Order 003 by some criminal elements.

He said the Task Force is mandated to regulate buildings and vehicular traffic within the Greater Jos master plan. The sad incident occurred on Monday at the Bukuru market in Jos South Local Government Area, where lawless individuals brazenly assaulted members of the joint Task Force.

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 emphasized 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 behavior 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.

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 statement signed by Gyang Bere, his Director of Press and Public Affairs, the governor 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 vandalized as a result of the incident.

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