From Lami Sadiq, Jos
Worried by the increasing criminal activities some youths in Jos North converged with major stakeholders under the Coalition of Jos Concerned Youth Association (COJOYA) to address the menace.
Benue/Plateau Chronicle reports that a day after the Eid-el-Fitri celebration there were reports of isolated attacks by these groups, popularly called Sara-suka, around the various communities of Jos North. The usual trend is for the gang members to go on rampage during festivities to attack rival gangs or most times innocent passersby. They often also vandalise properties especially vehicles and shops along the road as they move at night in a ritual they refer to as shara (which literally means sweeping whatever is in their path).
This year’s Eid-el-fitr was no exception although the banning of tricycles on the first day of the festivity by the Nigerian Police had helped in curtailing the excesses of the group.
COJOYA, an umbrella body for 19 youth associations in Jos and environs came up with a blueprint suggesting ways of addressing the menace mostly occurring in Jos North.
Chairman of the association, Barrister Buhari Ibrahim Na Shehu said a panel had been set up for a one day round table discussion to scrutinise the blueprint.
Deputy Chief Imam of Jos Central Mosque, Sheikh Ghazali Ismaila Adam, who served as the Chairman of the occasion, lamented the growing menace of Sara-suka in Jos and linked the problem to failure in parental responsibilities and the increasing use of psychotropic and illicit drugs.
Sheikh Adam said the round table was not only aimed at deliberating on the menace and causes but stressed that it was a first step towards finding lasting solutions to the menace and urged stakeholders to propose ways as well as implementation strategies to stop the menace.
Benue/Plateau Chronicle reports that suggestions offered at the discussion include the empowering of vigilante groups to assist in community policing, rehabilitation and reorientation of willing gang members as well as working with parents of the members at various leaves.