By Agabus Pwanagba, Jos
A peace advocate, Salis Mohammed, has claimed he is the last Muslim to own a Night Club in Jos, and that after him no Muslim man had the “convenience” to own one.
Mohammed was alluding to the aftermath of the decades old crises in Jos which polarised the city along religious and ethnic lines.
The 57 year old Jos-born peace advocate, alongside his peers have decided to re-discover the once peaceful atmosphere in the city using the name J-Town Ambassadors(JTA) as a platform to mobilise youth across all the neighbourhoods in the city.
“When I said I am the last Muslim to own a night club in Jos, it is a statement of fact. It started with Seasons Night Club in 1988, even Change Night Club that you people always say ‘change junction’, this is the man standing here. Nenman Disco up to 91-92 and after that no Muslim would have the convenience to do such again.
“So what we are doing here today is basically my kind of initiative. I happen to be among the JTA members that is doing peace work and I have been doing it in the past 17 years.
“We need multiple hands to get this thing done. That is what JTA is all about. We are bringing diverse backgrounds, more resources and younger experiences so that we can deal with the various components of the conflict indices rising from cultism.
“In one part of the town, they call them cultists, in the other part of the town, they call them Sara Suka. These are the various driving forces of conflict within the town. So we have the issue of the Almajiri, we have the issue of lack of employment, we have poverty issues.
“We are going to be looking at these issues differently from how other NGOs approach it and how they have been approaching it that has not given us the kind of results that we desire,” Mohammed stated in an interview during a meeting with the youths in Jos.
He also disclosed how he intended to use the young ones to re-discover the friendly and cordial co-existence that Jos was known for.
“For JTA now, we would make most of these ones ambassadors too. We all have children. My son is 27, so we want to transfer it down. We want to give them the Jos we enjoyed so that we can retire peacefully.
“It is unfortunate now that I can’t spend nights in Kabong like I used to do when I was young. My children are missing it. My friends use to sleep in Gangare. They can’t do it now. So we want to give our children this kind of Jos we enjoyed,” he added.
He offered his advice to the younger generation of Jos, “Stop the blame game. Live the life you deserve. You don’t deserve killing. You don’t deserve maiming. Once you blame the other person, you expect the other person to blame you too.
“There would never be a time in Jos, or anywhere in Nigeria, where you have only Christians or only Muslims. So we don’t have a choice. We are wasting our time.
“There would always be Muslims; there would always be Christians and it is a must for us to live together. There is no short cut. I have plenty money in the pockets of Christians. So i must live with them,” he concluded.