Berom, the game and pond of death

Feature Issue

By Abdu Abdullahi Galadanchi Quarters, Ringim Jigawa State

When retired General Idris Alkali was reported missing, little did we know that his disappearance would culminate in the discovery of the pond of death.

 

The controversial pond at Lefendeg of Du district in Jos South was converted into the pond of deadly activities by the Berom, killing innocent passengers and motorists identified as Hausa/Fulani who were travelling through the area. It is believed that many corpses and seized vehicles were dumped into the water to avert visibility.

 

Despite the clandestine nature of their satanic operations, nemesis caught up with them, exposing their ungodly and despicable acts. With the draining of the water leading to the discoveries of different vehicles suggesting that their occupants were murdered, it was clear to the nation that a new methodology in the game of death aimed at ethnic cleansing was set in motion.

 

The eldest son of one Alhaji Lawal Isa narrated how his beloved father was rendered a victim of the Berom brutality. The father and his friend suddenly disappeared five years ago. Alhaji Lawal relocated to Tilde in Bauchi state with 28 children and four wives from Lefendeg to escape elimination resulting from ethnic violence.

 

He met his death when he travelled to Lefendeg to dispose his possessed land. It was the discovery of his red car in the pond that convinced his son of his death five years ago. Also found in the pond was a 16- seater bus bearing Bauchi plate number.

 

From these shocking revelations, only God knows the level of human catastrophe unleashed on the Hausa/Fulani by these marauding species.

 

To cover their evil adventure, their women and children staged a drama protesting that the Army should not tamper with the pond as doing so would lead to mysterious deaths. This comedy only succeeded in telling the enlightened mind that they were actually partners in systematic killings. While they had their own way of hiding their nefarious acts, God had his unique style of exposing them.

 

For long, the Berom have been driven by ethnic assault and irrationality to molest and despise the Hausa/Fulani community of Jos.

 

Police Commissioner J.D. Gwamwalk, a Berom, was the governor of the defunct Benue/ Plateau. During his tenure, he was at liberty to exhibit his hatred against the Hausa. It took the late Malam Aminu Kano the deployment of his irresistible political will to call on the attention of the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon to intervene and halt what he described as the governor’s ‘self indulgence’.

 

In 2008, the Berom got an opportunity of dispensing their ethnic idiosyncrasies. It was the turn of Jonah Jang to spearhead another ethnic criminality. During the Jos North local government election of that year Jang clearly saw the writing on the wall that the Hausa were determined to win. He conceived this idea as unacceptable and dangerous.

 

Thus, he commenced the process of circumventing popular will by imposing a Berom, Timothy Buba from Jos South to contest for the chairmanship of Jos North. Timothy is a younger brother to  Gbong Gwomg Jos, Mr. Buba Gyang. Interestingly, Buba Gyang was the Controller-General of Customs Service who heavily financed the actualisation of Jang’s dream of becoming a governor.

 

Jang then was the Chief Security Officer of Plateau State but ironically put security of lives and property asunder by stealing the people’s mandate. Before the blink of an eye, Jos was boiling again. Grievously hit by that horror, the late President Umaru Musa

Yaradua was so angry with Jang that when he visited him at the Villa, he snubbed and shouted at him.

 

Between the Berom and the Hausa, the greatest and prolonged bone of contention which may last till the end of the world is the Berom’s uncommon and uncontrolled ethnic pomposity that the Hausa are settlers in Jos. The Berom have uplifted this ethnic mentality to the highest level of ethnic cluelessness. However, history always exists to clarify contentious issues such as this.

 

For instance, Mr. Ames was a colonial administrator who made some statements on the origin of Jos. Hear him:”The Hausa Fulani inhabited what is presently known as Jos.

Before the coming of the colonialists and before the Hausa, Jos was an unoccupied virgin land.” He continued: “No Berom had a house in the heartland of Jos and as close as 1950, there were only 10,207 people in Jos town out of which 10,000 were Hausa.”

 

In a related development, there is a book titled: ‘This is Jos’. A portion of it emphatically stresses:”The town was by 1912 referred to as Hausa settlement of Jos. The beginning of Jos was the conduct of a regular market in October 1910 when the district officer in charge of the then Naraguta appointed Hausa market headman and a head butcher and arranged to start a regular market.”

 

To further authenticate the Hausa as the founders of Jos, The Triumph newspaper of Wednesday January 211987 published the list of the Hausa rulers of Jos as Malam Bunu, Barde Dan Galadima, Ahmad Dan Inna, Malam Shehu up to the last ruler, Sarkin Jos Isyaku.

 

However, one may be bewildered as to how and why the Berom became the custodians of the traditional institution after the Hausa had produced 11 rulers. The reason for this was that the colonialists deliberately usurped the throne in favour of the Berom. The action was informed by the deep expression of the colonialists’ great fear that Hausa ruler-ship would pose a serious threat to their unpopular policy of divide and rule.

 

To buttress this point, a colonial officer, Mr. Plotmicer in his book: ‘Strangers to the City: The Urban Man in Jos’ states:”This unholy marriage of convenience as the collaboration of the colonialists and the Berom was motivated by the desire to control the mining fields in the area (i e. divide and rule).”

 

We are conversant with the fact that most ethnic conflicts are the repercussions of marginalisation resulting from the urge for political dominance In the case of the Hausa of Jos and in spite of the above mentioned historical reality,they have been at the receiving end of political integration in matters related to Jos North. Yet, they show more concern about their economic development which largely contributes to the state\s development. This achievement cannot be attained by the Berom but their ethnic fanaticism against the Hausa is always too cumbersome for even commonsense to bear.

 

With this unfortunate development, the Berom have shown their unfitness for the purpose of mutual coexistence and cooperation in a civilised world.

 

The Berom have not yet come of age to understand the dynamics of ethnic plurality of the nation. For too long they have been crying where they are entitled to laugh.

 

It is unbecoming that the Berom are not willing to stop designing conspiracies against the Hausa/Fulani.

Abdullahi can be reach at aaringim68@gmail.com

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