Two ethnic groups set for showdown over ownership of Jos

AFTER years of respite, the prevailing peace in Jos, capital of Plateau State, may be ruptured,  following claims and counter claims between the Berom ethnic group and their Afizere counterpart over the ownership of some parts of Jos North local government area of the state.

The Berom ethnic group recently, at  a press conference, declared that  unless government did the needful, the two group were likely to clash over ownership of Jos. The Berom particularly warned its Afizere neighbor to desists from laying claim to the ownership of any land in Jos-Bukuru metropolis in other to avoid imminent clash between them.

Apparently reacting to the Berom claims at a press conference in Jos, the spokesman of Afizere Cultural and Community Development Association, Professor Danladi Atu, said the Afizere  of Jos North Local Government were known to be direct owners of the land because they were the first settlers in the contentious areas.

Professor Atu said there were ample evidence and historical facts that the Beroms were just laying claim to the land that did not belong to them, adding that the statement earlier issued by the ethnic group showed that the Berom did not want peace with the Afizere people.

“Afizere people on the other hand are known for peaceful coexistence with their neighbours. The BECO are beating war drum in their write up. This, in our view, is a threat to peace on the Plateau. We are, therefore, alerting the relevant security agencies to take note and monitor their activities.

“The Afizere people are aware of the trade of engaging on unnecessary controversies by the Berom, this does not add value to anyone, because it appears BECO wants to create ethnic tension by stirring the nest of melee and discord “ he said.

Professor Atu, who also faulted the present location of the palace of the  paramount ruler of Jos, Gbong Gwom of Jos, said the palace is located on the ancestral land of the Afizere.

“Based on historical facts, the present location of Gbong Gwom palace is in Afizere land. The palace itself is contentious because it is a common wealth that belong all the people of Plateau state. We are not bothered about the structure, if it is the wish of the people of Plateau to give the structure to the Gbong Gwom so be it” he said.

Meanwhile, there is a palpable tension in Jos North local government over the development while residence of the state capital called on the state government to address the issue before it snowballed into crisis.