Peace Has Returned To  Jos North – Azi | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Peace Has Returned To  Jos North – Azi

Posted: Apr 1, 2016 at 2:40 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
Onoja Audu, Jos

Hon.  Theresa Daniel Azi  is the  Management committee Chairman of Jos North Local Government . In this interview    Onoja Audu, she bares  her mind  on the current development  in her council that led to the return of peace  to Jos the Plateau state capital.


Jos North is more or less a mini-Nigeria due to  its  cosmopolitan nature where almost all tribes in this country are found. What were the challenges you met on ground when you came on board?
The challenges were many  but  with  the help of God and the good people of the locality , we were able to bring all groups within the local government council together through constant consultations with the people and intervening at the right time in matters that requires the attention  of my management committee. The first challenge we met on ground was on the salary, but I must commend  my state government  for  ensuring that we clear the backlog  of salary arrears  owed  to the local government  workers .I am happy  to announce to you  that we are up to date ,apart from  the 4 months of no- work- no- pay  we inherited from the previous administration .

The problem we met on ground was that the people of Jos North were not carried along by the past administration in the  council   and as a result, the moment we came on board , the people trooped into the local government council  to signify their interest and willingness to  work with us to move the council forward. I operate open door policy in this office. Tuesdays  are set aside as  my visiting days and  from what you have seen today, I have been receiving people from different communities of the council   since this morning till now, people from different backgrounds in the council ,giving them listening ears to their complaints and addressing them as a mother .

How have you been able to deal with the issue of security challenges  in the council considering the fact  that Jos North  been cosmopolitan in nature, criminal gangs  may be hiding in some neighborhoods  in the council?

Since  I assumed  office , the issue of security  in the council has been relaxed.  What we need in Jos North  is for God to give  us peace and we should be able to work in harmony with one another no matter the differences in tribe and political linings . We have been having security meetings with people from various communities that make up the local government. We tackle issues as they come from different communities in the locality. one thing about security  is that once you hear about security challenges  coming up in any neighborhood, take pro active measures to tackle it ,bring all the disputing groups to round table and iron out what is the problem  and through this method, we have been able  to keep peace in the council and  I want to use this opportunity to call on the people in the council to give their support to Governor Lalong administration so that lasting peace will return to the state.

How have you been relating with the three dominant indigenous tribes  of Jos North  such as the Beroms, Anagutas and Afizeres  vis-à-vis  the Hausa-fulani, the Yorubas ,Ibo communities including other minority ethnic groups in your council ?

As a mother, I relate with them as if all of them are my children and having studied their peculiarities and differences, I know how to relate with each of these tribes and  talk to them to come together  and work for the  betterment of the local government council . These people are unique and they must be given a sense of belonging to get the better part of them as partners in progress. We have held several meetings together and if there are issues, we resolve them together as i did not leave any of them behind , they are always called  to come for meetings whenever  there is a disturbing matter in the local government council, we sit together , rub minds together and we give suggestions on how we can jointly move the council forward.

Before now as a result of the previous crisis in Jos North,  there  were some  neighborhoods considered as no-go areas, have you been able to tackle this problem of mistrust among the different tribes that are domiciled in Jos North?

Today ,I can categorically tell you  that  there is no more no-go-areas again in Jos North , You can move round all the neighborhoods in the council . People  now move freely  in Tudunwada ,sleep in the neighborhoods  and carry out  their  business transactions . We have gone to Ugwan Rogo neighborhood to sit with the people and rub minds together with them  and as well eat together . We have equally gone to Gangere neighborhood  to rub minds with the people .  We are calling on business minded people to come to Jos-North to  invest  in whatever  sector of the economy they want to invest, I guarantee the safety of their investment as lasting peace has returned to Jos North local government area  of  my state .

 What kind of relationship  is existing between Local government Management committees  in the state and the government of Governor Lalong?

Our relationship is  very cordial with the state government  and we are bound to ensure the focal points of the administration which revolves peace ,tourism, Agricultural development  and the development  of mining resources on the Plateau are achieved at the grassroots of the state .

What  are you doing to ensure  only  the qualified  people in your council  are  issued  indigene  certificates given the fact  that  issuance  of indigene certificate has been a big problem  in the council since it was created till date? 

What we usually do  is to make  sure proper checks are carried out  on documents  that people tender before  the council  before any one is given indigene certificate and from screening done so far , some claims are found to be fake while genuine applicants are issued their certificates . we tackle the issue security wise because  through  screening  whenever  we see someone with fake claims , we invite security agents to come in and handle the matter.