By Chesa Chesa and Onoja Audu:
THE uproar on the Plateau swept a job away in Abuja on Monday as Sarki Muktar was fired as National Security Adviser (NSA) by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, who replaced him with his predecessor, Aliyu Gasau.
In attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff, Paul Dike; the Service Chiefs, Abdulrahman Danbazzau (Army); Oluseyi Petinri (Air Force); Ishaya Iko Ibrahim (Navy); Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), Afakriya Gadzama; Inspector General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo; and Chief of Defence Intelligence, Babagana Munguno.
Also present were Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Yayale Ahmed and Ministers Godwin Abbe (Defence); Ibrahim Lame (Police Affairs); Adetokunboh Kayode (Justice); Shettima Mustapha (Interior).
Muktar was appointed NSA in 2006 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to replace Gusau, who served in the administration from 1999 but left to contest the Presidential primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
No reason was given for the sack of Muktar, but a statement issued by Jonathan’s Media Assistant, Ima Niboro, thanked him “for his services to the nation and the present administration, and wished him well in his future endeavours.”
Details of the meeting were not disclosed.
Niboro only told reporters that the new conflict in Jos “came up for discussion and adequate measures have been put in place to contain the crisis.”
Another source narrated, however, that the meeting apportioned blame for the violence, although that may not have been the only reason Muktar lost his job.
He was reportedly found wanting in the handling of the violence caused by Boko Haram in Maiduguri last year, and in other security lapses Jonathan does not feel comfortable with.
Tension grew in Jos and its suburbs on Monday following rumour of reprisals against the killing of about 500 Dogon-Hauwa villagers on Sunday.
In the village, the victims – some of them elderly women and children – were given mass burial by the Plateau State Government amid wailing by relatives.
In the city, schools, banks, and other commercial activities were shut down as youths took to the streets to protest the murder by Fulani herdsmen.
As news of the protest spread, shop owners in markets closed down, and parents hurriedly withdrew their wards from school.
Confusion bred pandemonium around Hill Station junction, with motorists making U-turns with their headlights on, and driving at high speed to avoid would be attackers.
There were several crashes at the Mama Terminus area. Some got out of their vehicles and took to their heels to escape from militants supposedly coming from neighboring states to join the fight in Jos.
Commercial banks shut down to prevent looting. Workers at the state polytechnic, Federal High Court, and Coca-Cola plant trooped out and rushed off on foot.
Workers carrying out the dualisation of Kada Biu and GD Gomwalk Way abandoned their equipment and disappeared into tin air.
Armoured tanks moved around with stern looking military personnel to prevent the break down of law and order.
At about 12 noon, most roads were empty; but there was traffic jam from Hill Station junction to Tudun Wada.
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