THE FOUNDATION OF JOS
The world over, it is never a friction for policies and principles to be dynamic. In fact dynamism has for many years been adopted as the philosophy of the various times. Needless to emphasize, therefore, that the various dynamic strides in Nigeria are nothing but the much desirable for. However, for the purpose of this book, emphasis will be placed on the dynamism of the Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State Nigeria.
The book intends to discuss in depth the historical evolution of Hausa/Fulani (Jasawa) in Jos, also the emergence of the Jos North local government area right from native authority to date. The period of 1909 to date and many others. But for the purpose of emphasis, it must be pointed out at the on set that the focus of the book will be searchlight on the Ownership of “Jos” by Hausa/Fulani (Jasawa). A Myth, or A reality? A question in deed. The ownership of Jos by Hausa’s matters of the above question. It can be seen from the point of view a reality owing to the fact that some forms of ownership actually exist.
However, despite the above, the fact still remains that the analysis must be a two-way approach and for proper analysis, the discussant must ascend up to the mountain in order to view the valley.
The issue of the original dwellers in Jos as a matter of great controversy in its history. The controversy is better understood by taking a look at the evolution of this early 20th century city. Mention must however be made of the seriousness with which any categorical statement on this issue would draw. First of all, if it could be proved who the indigenes of Jos are, the problem (which is the subject of conflict) of the chieftaincy institution would surely be solved.
Secondly, there is a ranging conflict about weather or not certain tribe is indigenous, in Jos. At this juncture, it is worthy to note that conferring the indignity of Jos on any of the tribes would mean ownership of Jos hence the right to the traditional stool of the tin city.
In discussing the indigenes of Jos it is first of all significant if not necessary to examine some important facts, because it is on their premises that any conclusion on this issue would be made.
According to C.G. Ames1, the people of this Plateau:-
“are not aboriginal inhabitants of the province, though they have all been living in their present lands for a very long time”, It is on record (Ames) that the history of the people of the Plateau began at several distinct sources all of which are outside the Plateau and many of which are very distant indeed.
Their history is characterized by what (Ames) farther describes at
“Lines of migration of people starting from different sources independently and finally arriving at those parts… in which the present decedents of these early immigrants are now living”.
Given that the inhabitants of the Plateau as a whole are not aboriginal, but have migrated from distant places, it would not be wrong to say that the first people to settle in an area or who would be said to have founded a settlement would be the area’s indigenes. It should be borne in mind that since the dawn of military era, and other forms of administration that predated-independent Nigeria, several panels and commissions have been set up to find how best to settle the perpetual conflict of the indignity (Ownership of Jos) without prejudices in the conflict. These in the conflict are, Anaguta, Biroms, Hausas and Jarawa.
In discussing the indigenes of Jos, it is first of all significant if not necessary to examine some important factors because it is on their premises that any logical conclusion on this issue would be made.
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It is on record that the history of the people of the Plateau began at several distinct sources all of which are outside the Plateau and many of which are very distant in need.
The history can be further describe as “lines of migration for people starting from different sources independently and finally arriving at these parts in which the present descendants for these early immigrants are now living”
Given that the inhabitants of the Plateau as a whole are not original, but have migrated from distant places, it would be the area indigenes. (The statement indeed).
These in the conflict are, Hausas, Anaguta, Jarawa and Biroms. It would be appropriate to look at the origin of the tribes struggling for the indignity of Jos vis-à-vis their connection with Jos.
The claim for the total ownership (indigeneship) of Jos by Biroms is a child of recent birth. The claim began to surface (For what ever reason) after about 50 years of Hausa rulership of Jos.
Before taking a look at the origin of the Biroms it should be noted that prior to the (excising of Jos from Bauchi in 1926), no single settlement of Biroms could be traced within the vicinity of Jos Town.
As to their origin, Wukari is mentioned in the notes on the tribes of northern Nigeria3 as their place of origin. Reason for their exodus was probably due to the rise of the Jukun Empire or perhaps at a later date to free themselves from the Jukun Yoke. Their migration to Plateau landed them first at Ashono. From Ashono according to Biroms tradition, they moved to Riyom from where the expansion of the tribe took them to Machi, Afang, Assob, Rim, Jal Kuru, Ron Gyel, Zawan, Heipwang and Foron. Which made up the then southern part of Jos Division.
It is therefore, incomprehensible that from the foregoing, that the Biroms people should lay claim to the ownership of Jos. This book will not concern itself (at least for the moment) with the reasons for Biroms action.
Even though, the Anagutas are in the northeast of Jos settled largely on the Naraguta hills where they joined others (Probably Jarawas) and became the Anagutas, an authority on Anaguta history states in his book titled CONTEMPORARY CHANGES IN TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES- THE ANAGUTA OF NIGERIA4 that, the ancestors of the Anagutas had always lived in Gwong (Present Nasarawa Gwom) and that their elders believed their fore fathers emerged from holes in the ground in the vicinity of their present settlement. The Anagutas have no definite tales of migration or any elaborate tales of origin.
Looking at these points, the issue of any people emerging from any holes is simply not tenable. Before analyzing the tradition, it is first of all important to note that the Anagutas rejected the Biroms affiliations to their origin on the ground that they did not recognize any genetic connection between them and the Birom people.
On the issue of emerging from a hole by the Anagutas was only an attempt by them to cling to their present lands in cases of contemporary changes. 5
What is significant about the Anagutas claim is that the boarders of the district of Gwong include a substantial portion of the city of Jos “even though” the Anagutas have no Administrative connection with the municipality. 6
It is interesting to note the existence of the Jos along side Hausa native town as “Jos (Pagan) along side about three miles to the east”7 was Anagutas settlements that seem to give credence to the claim by the Anagutas.
Whenever the case, just as the town now grows to meet villages of Gwong district in Anabor or Jigwong, Zangan (or andoho), Rigiza and Andigwong will not make it mandatory for the Anagutas to claim ownership of Jos native town.
”As for them, their main part is in the Bauchi emirate, the Jos section coming originally Lamingo to avoid conquest by the Emirs of Bauchi. The Jarawa, to this day hold allegiance to the main body which was later excised from Bauchi State in 1979, and returned to Lamingo in Jos for circumcision and other “TSAFI” ritual ceremonies.
The Jarawa are found widespread in numerous settlement, probably due to their adventure and travelling. That is probably why they are found in places as widely separated as Kanan, Inshar, Foran, Char and Kwaki: those now in Plateau are found in Federe, Fabur, Fursun, Maigemu and Shere were brought from Bauchi as a result of the 1976 boundary adjustments of the Irikefe panel. Those nearest to Jos are the ones that immigrated into Gwong District, among the Anagutas to whom they are subordinate in the area to this day.
The claim, therefore, by the Jarawa seems to have no weight because even among the Anagutas in Gwong District they acknowledge the primacy of the Anagutas in Gwong and properly regard themselves as recent immigrants from Bauchi States.
As for Hausas they are widely acclaimed as the founders of the city of its present location. They are whom that have been described by Ames as having: “been there since the beginning of the “century”. In fact it has also been admitted by Ames that some of their fore fathers were here even before the beginning of the Colonial Administration.10
The fact that the Hausas, who later moved to Jos from their first settlement at Naraguta which is a “Typical Hausa Village” 11 and their influence on the tribes of the Plateau12(i.e. in Language and Culture) seems to point that the Hausa People have been living in the Plateau for a very long time, probably for centuries before the coming of the Europeans.
It should be noted that before the end of 1910, Jos was an unoccupied farm land and attributed the beginning of Jos to the conduction of a regular market in October, 1910 when the district officer in-charge of the then Naraguta Division appointed a Hausa Market Headman and a Head Butcher and arranged for even to start a regular market.
The fact that even as close as 1950, there were only 207 people of other tribes in Jos town as opposed 10,000 Hausa (Jasawa)seemed to vindicate their indignity to Jos.
It should also be noted that another area of interest is that the Jos native town is separated more by river Dilimi with the Anagutas of Gwom Districts than by administrative purposes of the colonist. The Hausas who are well known as Jasawa and who every authority recognize as founding the “Settlement of Jos” could not be considered as aliens to the Plateau just as the other “tribes”. The Jasawa have no other homes but Jos as we wonder why they being scared as indigenes of Jos native town which they have founded and developed.
The conflicts that existed in Jos were those over its political control on the one hand between Hausa (Jasawa) who see themselves as the founding fathers of the settlement and hence its legitimates rulers, and Biroms on the other hand who deemed it appropriate to rule over Jos. Talking of the problem Plotmicor quotes the Jos Division Resident Officer in a letter to the District Officers as saying that “Had the British not arrived these people would have evolved some… administration for themselves… 13 This conflict over the political control of Jos was probably due to the heterogeneous nature of the settlement which according to the colonial Resident Officer “presented problems which needed thinking out” *(Plateau Provincial Annual Report 1921)14 .
The struggle by the Biroms continued with the sympathy of the colonial administration which considered the Hausa rule as a threat to their mining activities connived with missionaries and said Hausa’s had not any sort of authority over the pagans. Gradually, the status of the Hausa Sarkin Jos was reduced to Magajin Gari by 1948 and subsequently the area came to be known as Birom N.A. after repeated protest and resentment by the Hausa it was immediately changed to Jos N.A. in 1955.
The other area of conflict emanated from the efforts of the colonial administration to maintain as distinct, the separate ethnic identities of the communities which “extended to the law court”.15 This was because of the fact that by 1920 or earlier there was an Alkali courts in the Jos Hausa Native Town and all subsequent native courts in Jos were Alkali courts based on Sharia.
The conflict arose when non-muslims who resented what they saw as preferential treatment given to the Hausa Moslems, by the colonial administration began to agitate seriously for mixed courts in the 1950s. A conflict that was, however, continued till today is that over the ownership of Jos and its traditional institutions. Principal actors in these conflicts have been mentioned in the early part of this chapter. The history of the Jos traditional Stool is also embroidered in controversy and conflict. It can be traced to two periods – period of Hausa rule, 1902 – 1948, and the era of Birom ascendancy 1948 to date. (16)
THE PERIOD OF HAUSA RULES
From available record kept by colonial administration and oral testimonies, it was certain that during the more than 50 years of Hausa rule, thirteen rulers features with the title of Sarkin Jos. Oral testimonies speak of BUNU and BARDE as the first and second among the Hausa rulers who were turbaned and sent to Naraguta by the emir of Bauchi before 1902. Others were:
1. Sarkin Jos Salihu – 1902 – 1904
2. Sarkin Jos Ahmadfu Dan’inna – 1904 – 1907
3. Sarkin Jos Hasimu – 1907 – 1909
4. Sarkin Jos Buraimah – 1909 – 1914
5. Sarkin Jos Audu Sarkin Ningi – 1914 – 1915
6. Sarkin Jos Garba Dantafida – 1915 – 1920
7. Sarkin Jos Usuman Kura – 1920 – 1922
8. Sarkin Jos Samnaja Dogo – 1922 – 1925
9. Sarkin Jos Garba Waziri – 1925 – 1927
10. Sarkin Jos Saidu – 1927 – 1935
11. Sarkin Jos Isiaku – 1935 – 1948
From the above, it is clear that any counter claims by Biroms may not be taken seriously. In this case, it is necessary to state in the strongest term that we are not in any way referring to the present chieftaincy institution of GBOWG GWOM Jos, but rather we see it as absolutely necessary and our right to have a traditional title of hakimi in Jos native town.
After the status of the Hausa Sarkin Jos was reduced to Magajin Gari which was the first style introduced by colonial administration to knock Hausa’s out of the of administrations, five successive people were appointed with such title as follows:
1. Magajin Gari Mammadi
2. Wakilin Gari Dan Karfalla
3. Wakilin Gari Usman Na Garba
4. Wakilin Gari Dankarfalla
5. Wakilin Gari Alhaji Ali Kazaure
Bunu, the tradition relates was appointed or delegated to Jos as chief from Bauchi; following a request by both the colonial administrators and mining companies to rule the people in Jos Native Town. This was said to have happened during the reign of then Emir of Bauchi, Mallam Yakubu Mai Gari.
Due to limitations of available research materials, no official record has been found about any such request to the Emir of Bauchi, the reason (and possibility too) of such request may not be far-fetched. Administration’s (as well as the miners) indirect rule policy in which the medium of exploiting the masses was usually through their own ruling institutions which advised and respected.
Moreover, the fact that Jos was before 1926 under Bauchi province and Bauchi Emirate provided a royal avenue for the venture which would be acceptable to the Jasawa, strongly substantiated such a request.
Sarki Bunu, who was said to be the younger brother of the Emir of Bauchi first settled at Naraguta. Bunu, according to oral testimonies was a powerful ruler who got the treatment and acted in much the same aristocratic manner as the Emir of Bauchi would himself done. Perhaps it was Bunu that E.D. Morel said in his book.18 “I observed … riding into Naraguta from a distant mining camp… a gorgeously attired Mohammed Dan Sarki in his many coloured robes on a richly prisoned horse”. He maintained an elaborated palace, the ruins of which exist today at Naraguta.
Once tradition relates how Bunu intercepted and released the chief of mandara, who had been arrested by the colonial government and was being taken to kaduna enroute Naraguta. By this Bunu was acclaimed as having done what even the emir of Bauchi did not attempt with the colonial government. Bunu died in Kaduna due to illness. The tradition does not specify the time of his death but said that it was after his death that the settlement moved to Jos. However, since the divisional headquarters was transferred from Naraguta to Jos in 1920 – 21, it was certain that he died before 1920.
Sources came across during this research have shown that the Hausa rulers performed important functions. For instance, it is on record19 that in 1930 Sarkin Jos Saidu and the Wazirin Zaria were appointed to a Grade ‘A’ native court to inquire into an affray between the villages of miango of the then Jos Division and pitti in Zaria Emirate which resulted in 26 death. Their investigation was up-held as a credit by the colonial authorities.
Alhaji Ali Kazaure who was the last person to hold such post of Wakilin Gari was relieved off his post in 1970 without any reason given to Hausa’s and the stool remained vacant to date the restoration of which Hausa’s hope any moment from now “ALLAH”, will give his immediate consideration.
From the above explanation and clarification, one can understand that, basically and fundamentally, really and realistically Jos North Local Government area belongs to Hausa /Fulani (JASAWA).
For clarity and better understanding let us look at the ERA of Birom ascendancy.
THE ERA OF BIROM ASCENDANCY
Moves to terminate Hausa rulership of Jos began during the time of Sarkin Jos Isiaku. In 1947 a Birom named Mallam Rwang Pam, then a headmaster at Riyom was appointed Sarkin Birom (Chief of Birom) and not Sarkin Jos (certificate attached). This was apparent because among the then ten districts that were sharing the same native authority Treasury, Birom came next to Jasawa in term of population, and there was the need, therefore, for them to have a representative at the native treasury authority. This appointment made Mallam RwangPam a member of the Birom Tribal Council, which later served as his stepping stone and opened the way for him to become the Sarkin Jos.
As faith will have it, Sarkin Jos Isiaku died in 1948. His death marked the end of Hausa rulership of Jos. The circumstances that led to the shift of the chieftaincy from the Hausas (Jasawa) to the Birom who have no locus stand over it, were highly controversial and a matter conjecture.
It is important to note that a strong probability existed that the institution a Birom chief (instead of Hausa) who was hand picked rules away from Riyom to rule over Jos, was a ground design by the colonial administration in connivance with the Tin Mining Companies to enable them tap the mineral wealth of the area unchallenged.
Another reason which now have more substance than the former, blames revolution on a trinity of colonialists Tin miners and missionaries, which sought to unite all the minorities of the Savannah region under a Christian umbrella in order to curtail the influences of the Hausas as well as to provide a suitable European settlement due to the favourable climate of the area and pave way for easy evangelisation.
It should be noted that since the formation of the settlement, no steadfast system of appointment or succession to the thrown of Sarkin Jos was followed. Consequently, by 1957 Mallam Rwang Pam20 had already begun to answer Sarkin Jos instead of Sarkin Birom. This brought great resentment by the Hausa whose post was relegated to the subordinate post of Magajin Garin Jos. This development was and is still being presented not only by the fore-founders of Jos native town, but also by other tribe who are neighbours to Hausa’s because They both feel cheated.
Mallam Rwang Pam was appointed as Sarkin Birom by “Mr. Cecil Rex Niwen” in 1957 (Copy of certificate of appointment already attached). He died on 14th July, 1969 and he was succeeded by the present Chief of Jos Dr. Fombot on 19th August, 1969. The Chief makers were Chief of Pangana, Miango and Rukuba.
As near as 1925 Jos was part and parcel of the then Bauchi province which was exercised by the then authorities who have come to meet Hausa’s living here long before advent of our colonial masters. It is an irony of fate and history that other portion of the state that were exercised along with us, namely Wase and Kanem L.G.A.’s who are also of the same Hausa/Fulani descent as Hasa’s, are fully accepted as indigenes of the state; while Hausa’s are being doubted simply because of some propaganda that was based on advantage take over the educational background of Hausa’s ancestors. Other portions that were simultaneously exercised with Hausa’s from the then Benue province and who also received full indigenous recognition of the state were Lafia, keffi, Awe and Nasarawa who are also Kanuri/Hausa/Fulani descendants.
Historically Jos belong to the Hausa/Fulani and they are the real indigenes. What is happening today in terms of rejection is just distortion of history which will bring more difficulties and complex questions than solutions.
The Biroms claimed the ownership of Jos because Gbong Jos is a Birom, neglecting the history of how the stool turned to Gbong Gwong Jos from Bwong Gwong Birom. Also the Jarawas and Anagutas claim to Jos is because of the proximity of their villages. But their historical areas though in Jos geographical division, is not in Jos native town. They are only neighbours to Jos town where as Hausa/Fulani claim, the book entitled: “This is Jos” State: “… the twon was by 1912 referred to as” Hausa settlement of Jos”(1)
Mr. Ames (a colonial administrator) noted that:
“… the Hausa/Fulani inhabited what is presently known as Jos before the coming of the colonialists and before the Hausas Jos was an unoccupied virgin land. The Hausas have been there since the beginning of the century. No Birom had a house in the heartland of Jos. ‘He continued: “… as close as 1950, there were only 10,207 people in Jos town of which 10,000 where Hausas” (2)
Also refer to the names of heads of prisons, police, administrators, judges etc of those days. You will realize that they are all Hausas. This is Jos stated:
“… The town continued to be treated like any Hausa… city where Muslims rules applied and was completed with an alkali court
Also from the names of the wards such as Abba Na Shehu, Garba Daho, Ibrahim, Tafawa Balewa, Sarkin Arab, Gangare, Ali Kazaure and also the names of street such as Dan Karfalla, Tsoho Salihu, Masallacin Jumma’a etc, One can conclude who owns the towns. This brief history is just a tip of the lceberg considering what is on record.
Jos was an integral part of Bauchi Emirate. To support this assertion the book entitled “This is Jos state:
“……in the turn of the century, Sir William Wallace commanded an armed force to subdue the Emir of Bauchi and a political officer of this expeditionary force named Sir Richard and Temple used this opportunity to tour and map the area. It was….in march 1902, G.R Nicholas a mining engineer, undertook a successful expedition to the Jos Plateau…, The following year he returned with Colonel H.W. Laws also a mining engineer escorted by a full company of the west African Frontiers force…(6)
Agreed historically, each of the tribes claiming ownership of Jos must have migrated from one place or the other. For example Jarawas, Mwaghavuls. Ngas and part of Anaguta migrated from Bornu to Bauchi and later migrated from Bauchi to present places in Jos division or Plateau. Historically, Gbong Gwom Jos, Dr. Fom Bot claimed that the Biroms migrated from the old Gobir Empire in the present Kebbi/Sokoto State (that is Madawa, a border between Niger Republic and Sokoto)(17) while other sources said the Biroms originated from Wukari, though culturally this is not tenable, because the Biroms share no cultural hegemony with the Jukuns unlike many other tribes who share hegemony with Kwararafa. Part of the Anagutas also are said to have came from Gobir of Kebbi State.
From this historical fact it could be seen that we the Hausa/Fulani are not the only tribe that have migrated to Plateau. Even at the time of migration the Biroms, Jarawa and Anaguta should not have arrived on the same day, but still each recognised their individual territory, then why are each of them denying Hausa’s territory as well as claiming it?
THE METAMORPHOSES OF HISTORICAL DISTORTION
According to a colonial officer Mr. Plotmicer in his book entitled: Strangers to the city: the urban man in Jos, he said:
“…This unholy marriage of convenience as the collaboration of the colonists and Biroms was motivated by the desire to control the mining filed in the area (i.e. divide and rule)…(9)
This was initiated by first creating the stool of non existing central Birom chiefdom (which we had no any reason to suspect or criticise) and we are not against it. In that regard the Gbong Gwong Birom was installed in the person of Mallam Rwang Pam in 1947, not to rule over Jos but his Birom kith and kin. As at the time he was to be promoted to second class chief from third class in his letter, the deputy lieutenant Governor of Northern Nigeria, Sir Cevil Rex Niven addressed Dogwom Rwamg Pam as “Sarkin Birom” not “Sarkin Jos”.
The second insidious gimmick against our people was the creation of Jos division which covered about 1,431 sq miles then, the population of the division by the 1963 census was 457,759 people. The division was then divided into nineteen independent districts. The districts does not belong to Biroms and Anagutas alone as Mr Sen Luka Gwom stated on 1st November 1997 before this honourable committee at Plateau State House of Assembly. Other tribes that were in Jos division local administration, who were later skimmed out of Jos traditional council, include Jere, Rukuba, Irigwe, Jal or Ntem, Amo etc. The nineteen independent district heads as at 1969 include:
DATE OF INSTALLATION
Mallam Chai Mang
District Head of Jal
Mallam Maigari Minjidu
District Head of Buji
Mallam Pam Tok
District Head of Heipang
Mallam Abul Doya
District Head of Amo
Mallam Pam Dalyop
District Head of Vwang
Mallam Dung Rwang
District Head of Kwon
Alhaji Ali Kazaure
Wakilin Garin Jos
Mallam Ashi Dodo
District Head of Kwon
Mallam Suleh Muh. Sarki
Sarkin Garin Buruku
Mallam Nga Dangyang
District Head of Gyel
Mallam Nyoro Gwok
District Head of Gashish
Mallam Dalyop Gwong
District Head of Bachit
Mallam Pwajok Dalyop
District Head of Kuru
Mallam Chuwang Dung
District Head of Forom
Mallam Sani Dankaka
District Head of Jere
Mallam Dodo Do
District Head of Riyom
Mallam Philibus Dashwei
Ag District Head of Fan
Mallam Mashat Bot
Ag District Head of Ropp
Mallam Nyam Sambo
Ag District Head of Gwong
Before the establishment of the British System of administration each district was virtually independent of the rest except for family ties which in some cases ran across district boundaries (11). This shows that before 1902 Jos was also independently a Hausa enclave as we had Sarkin Garin Jos not Wakilin Garin Jos then. We must therefore differentiate between Jos Native Town and Jos Division consisting of other tribes.
The chairmanship of Jos division local administration council prior to 1947 was held in rotation by these district heads. e.g. in 1946. The district head of Amo (Mallam Sambo) was the chairman of the council. It was later that permanent chairmanship was proposed (by the colonists for their own interest) and Mallam Rwang Pam was chosen in 1947 as the first chief of Birom with a title Gbong Gwom at a status of a third class chief.
In 1955 the entire division was united under one local administration as a result the paramount chief of Birom at that time made the head of the administration and a second class chief with the new title of Chief of Jos in that same 1955 (this is Jos said “it was in 1954)…”(12) while narrating how the Hausa/Fulani were robbed of their stool.
The book “This is Jos” stated:
“… it was not until 1951 after innumerable agitations (instigated and decided by the colonial masters) that the status of Chief of Jos was reduced to Magajin Garin Jos and the area (was manoeuvred to) become known as Birom N.A. and later changed to Jos N.A. in 1954 (because many districts out of Jos division were not Birom speaking areas).That was when Chief of Biroms became the Chief of Jos…”(13)
This is how the Hausa/Fulani were robbed of their stool with no reason was given for that and a new designation was given to it called Magalin Garin or Wakilin Gari. As the term connotes, even these can only be given to indigenes as such five Hausa successfully ruled in that capacity namely:
i. Magajin Gari Mammadi – 1948 – 1949
ii. Wakilin Gari Muhammad Dan Karfalla -1949 – 1951
iii. Wakilin Gari Usman Na Garba – 1951 – 1956
iv. Wakilin Gari Muhammad Dan Karfalla -1956 – 1959
v. Wakilin Gari Ali Kazaure -1st April 1959 – 1973
Another attempt to strip the Hausa of Jos traditional titles was made by removing Alhaji Ali Kazaure as the Wakilin Garin Jos in 1973 which is still unoccupied.
Despite all these Hausa/Fulani were considered as indigenes in all records. Hausa/Fulani were considered as indigenes of Plateau State in the Plateau State official diary of 1990 at the page two it states:
“…The multiplicity of ethnic groups in Jos… is made up of… Biroms, Jarawa (Afizere), Anagutas and Hausa as the dominant groups…”(14).
Mallam Rwang Pam died on the 14th Jult 1969 (after twenty two years of reign) and Dr. Fom Bot was enthroned Chief of Jos (not by Birom because the stool belong to Jos division) by the Chiefs of Pengana, Nyango, Irigwe and district head of Jos division on 19/8/1969 and by ceremony was done on 20/3/70 (15)
It was then held by every tribe that Hausa/Fulani were indigenes of Jos for one cannot be part of the king makers of any society if one is an indigene. Though, the stool was unjustifiably rubbed from Hausa/Fulani but in order to make peace our people take it in good faith, as such among the king makers that selected Dr. Fom Bot were Mallam Suleh Muhammad, Mallam Sani Dankaka and Alhaji Ali Kazaure. They were among the king makers of Jos. Ali Kazaure (Wakilin Garin Jos) also assisted His Excellency the Governor of Benue-Plateau State (Mr. J.D. Gomwalk) in the installation of Dr. Fom Bot as Chief of Jos (16). This is to show the position of the Hausa/Fulanis even among the king makers of Jos and it also portray us as peace loving citizen.
HOW THE LGA CAME TO BE:
The local government came to be in 1991 when additional LGA were created in that same year. Every peace loving citizen applauded that development including Anaguta Afizere (please refer to The Sunday Standard of 20/10/1991), except some tribes out of their selfish sentiments, who were the architects of 12th April, 1994 crises which resulted in the killing of many of our people as well as setting ablaze our places of business and places of worship. After the local government settled despite their previous threats to peace the same people are now benefiting from it and we that advocated for that were fought and rejected as non citizen.
The present Jos-North LGA represents the following wards:
i. Abba Na Shehu Ward
ii. Ali Kazaure ward
iii. Dalhatu Ward
iv. Garba Daho Ward
v. Ibrahim Katsina ward
vi. Sarkin Arab Ward
vii. Gangare Ward
viii. Naraguta “A” Ward
ix. Naraguta “B” Ward
x. Tudun Wada – Kabong Ward
xi. Jenta Adamu Ward
xii. Tafawa Balewa Ward
The local government area with our contributions in the past and present is the pivot of the states commercial, social and other economic activities in the state. The local government contributes over 70% of the states government internally, generated revenue which is largely collected from the indigenous Jasawa. Please refer to the table below of tax and education levy collected from our wards as at 31/3/88.
COLLECTED SO FAR
Abba na Shehu ward
Ali Kazaure ward
Garba Daho ward
Ibrahim Katsina ward
Tafawa Balewa ward
Sarkin Arab ward
1998 TOTAL COMMUNITY TAX, EDUCATION LEVY AS 31/3/88
Despite our clear history and massive contribution to the development of the area politically, socially and economically, we are segregated upon. As at now there is only one district in the whole local government area. Also another example was at the stewardship of Sir Fidelis Tapgun when he intended to increase the number of districts in the state, our areas mentioned above were excised, belonging to no districts but just floating wards.
For the source of these facts please refer to “The Nigerian Standard” of 19/10/93. Instead out of selfish interests Hwolshe and Girgiring of Jos South were merged to Jos North. This decision to single out these wads was informed by the desire to deny natural justice to our people who constitute the majority of the total populace. As at today Jos North with only one district (Gwong) has a rejected population of 493,685 people (based on 1991 census). This is against the call by the Government White Paper on Chieftaincy Affairs in Plateau State in September, 1976. The panel state:
“…In order to achieve ethnic harmony and for the purpose of peace and stability in general, a district should be created in Jos town comprising the following wards”.
The wards includes:
i. Abba Na Shehu Ward
ii. Ali Kazaure Ward
iii. Dalhatu Ward
iv. Garba Daho Ward
v. Ibrahim Katsina Ward
vi. Sarkin Arab Ward
vii. Gangare Ward
viii. Naraguta “A” Ward
ix. Naraguta “B” Ward
x. Tudun Wada -Kabong Ward
xi. Jenta Adamu Ward
xii. Tafawa Balewa Ward
By 105, and within 2 few years thereafter, the whole of the Plateau word been occupied and pacified by the British.
The British incursion into the Plateau was spurred by the mining department of the Royal Nigeria Company in accordance with the aims of the colonial administration in Nigeria; to pacify and administered in the interest of trade.
In 1906, Jos was administered as part of Bauchi with headquarters at Naraguta (Narrkuta) which was later transferred to Jos around 1920-22.
In 1926, after the creation of the Plateau province which came into being as one of the measures of the reorganisation of Northern provinces in which 5 divisions were part of (Jos Pankshin, Jama’a, Shendam, and Southern). Jos was made the provincial headquarters and seat of govt.
The administrative machinery that evolved was made up of a central treasury, police prison and courts in each division under the direct control of the district officer.
According to Plotmicor, at the onset, the colonial administration tried to keep culturally dissimilar ethnic groups separate. Thus the urban centre of Jos was divided into (2) two separate administrative units.
Native town (which was founded by the Hausa) subordinate to the Divisional native administration which was before 1921 located at Naraguta.
The township (which was where the settler population lived) was a separate entity of its own within Jos where Asians and Europeans eventually settled but in a special reservation a part from other Africans- ‘Anguwan Turawa’ (G.R.A.).
Both the township and the native Town invited powers of local govt. and civic administration.
The township was under the jurisdiction of the ministry for local government. of the then Northern Region with communication and command generally handed through the Resident of Plateau province.
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The native town on the other hand was what Plotmicor described as a subordinate native authority under the partial control of the Jos native Administration which was co-extensive with Jos Division.23
When Jos was declared a second class township in 1920, its council was determined by the colonial administration. The geographical and jurisdictional boundaries of the township were defined by the govern (of the then Norther Region) who also authorized a local authority, a civil service and ordinances in accordance of 1917. It should be noted that the advisory board of 1921 was made of entirely Europeans who represented government. department and Europeans commercial interests. – trenchcoat, NairaLand; featured image: Jane Hahn