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To Those Muslim and Christian Youth Born in 1990 to 2000 IN JOS — by Abdul Abdul M

To Those Muslim and Christian Youth Born in 1990 to 2000 IN JOS  —  by Abdul Abdul M
We grew up in an era of brewing tension of ethno-religious crisis in Jos , we grew up with the unconscious believe that every Christian/Muslim is an enemy and is after nothing but an end to our life and our religion.
We grew up with the mindset that killing a Christian/Muslim during any uprising is another form of religious act and should be celebrated and I could personally remember how a classmate of mine told me how His people ( Christians ) burnt down a mosque and killed a man ( muslim ) and i was so angry over that.
We were small , very pure , innocent and in JS1 but we were already programmed to hate each other , i can see His face right now as he was telling me and was laughing and I was just standing fuming with anger over the death of that person because He is a Muslim killed by Christian’s.
And that was why when my Secondary school teacher ( Christian ) got killed and burnt with His bike just miles away from my house I wasn’t bothered and I was happy deep inside cos I was small and with zero understanding of what was happening and I was made to believed it was the right thing to do.
Hatred for people of other’s faith was instilled into our system at a very early age  , we were divided along religious line, at a point we started attending separate schools and when in a mixed school we only friend student from our faith cos we thought student of other faith are enemies and we shouldn’t relate with them.
We have had several experiences, from 2001 crisis to date , we have lost loved one’s at each other’s hand , we lost many friendship, we destroyed each other’s properties, we couldn’t go to so many places that are of immense importance to our personal development due to fear of being killed.
The Christian’s still have a church or churches in Anguwan rogo but they can’t use it , the Muslim’s own a mosque at Rukuba Road but they can’t access it , many of us have houses that we can’t live in no matter how much we love that area.
Most painful, all the volatile areas in both Muslim and Christian communities are underdeveloped with zero social amenities,  high level of insecurities and poor living conditions , from Jenta to Dilimi , from Anguwan rukuba to Gangare , from Rukuba Road to Anguwan rogo , from Kabong to Kwanan shagari etc and most of us live there but we don’t care.
While the only remaining mixed areas comprises of average rich Christian and Muslims and they have never at any point fight with one another , they are at peace always , the millionaire’s quarters , federal and state low cost,  Wase  close,  Ibrahim Taiwo , Rayfield etc and we never asked why.
Their children of our age have gone far in education , they have gone far in coexisting and helping one another and we are still here killing each other and those that can’t kill are busy insulting each other on social media.
Fact is,  We can’t have a wasted 30 years of intolerance, instability and hatred for one another , the role we have been playing in relation to Jos crisis is one of the reasons why Plateau is still underdeveloped and backward.
To what extent has this situation helped us in becoming a better version of ourselves ?? We are always at the receiving end.We need to keep aside religion , ethnicity,  tribe and condemn any act of terror perpetrated by anyone without mincing words.
it is sad that despite all we experience while  growing up we still think beating the drums of war is the way forward, it is sad we have taking it as a ” We versus Them”, it is sad that we rant when ours got killed and we keep num when other’s are bereaved.
No matter what , no matter how strategic,  no one has the power to send the other out of this state , no one has the power to wipe a certain tribe or religion,  we are created by One God and He knows why you are a Christian and I’m a Muslim , the moment we learn to coexist and fish out the criminal elements among us the better for us.
Let’s call a spade a spade , we all have a role to play and it begins with purifying our intentions , it begins with reconciliation,  it begins with calling for forgiveness and it begins with changing the narratives of our existence and encouraging the spirit of oneness.
We need to know that you and I are not enemies but the enemy is out there, let’s wake up and be determine to wake others , let’s not give up on one another.
Abdul Abdul M

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