Thousands of Nigerian women in Jos city, Plateau State in the central Nigeria have marched through the streets in protest against the persistent violence in the state that has led to the death of hundreds of people.
The Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) (http://dynamic.csw.org.uk) has it that the women, some of whom were half-dressed in a cultural sign of deep mourning and desperation, marched to the state governor’s official residence in Jishe.
According to the report, there they all denounced discrimination against Christians in northern Nigeria and called for the military forces stationed in Jos, which are viewed as biased, to be replaced by the mobile police.
Speaking during the protest, the group’s spokesperson, Rhoda Awang said that women are killed and children are killed. Pregnant women are killed and the babies cut out of their wombs.
“We have local chiefs in all the 17 Local Government Councils. Where are they and what are they doing? We have former governors, where are they? Where is Yakubu Gowon (the former Nigerian President who is from Plateau State)? If the people are killed in the state who will they rule over,” she also lamented?
CSW report noted that the women’s anger was further fuelled by the deaths of a woman and child during an attack on a village in Vom on the previous night, and that they made clear their rejection of any federally instituted state of emergency in Plateau State.
It said they also called on Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang to relocate Jos’ Motor Park and the Vegetable Market from the Bauchi Road and Farin Gada areas, as several non-Muslims have disappeared there.
In response, Governor Jang pleaded for restraint and understanding, adding that a gradual withdrawal of troops was already underway.
It noted that a service on Sunday January 30 at the Methodist Church in the centre of Bauchi Town in Bauchi State was disrupted when a bomb, concealed in a laptop bag, was left under a pew at the back of the church by a young man who entered the building towards the end of the service, and later fled on a waiting motorcycle.