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


Peace Has Returned To Jos North – Azi

Posted: Apr 1, 2016 at 3:00 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. Excerpts:

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 grass roots 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.