When the Terminus Market in Jos, Plateau State, was bombed two years ago, it left many people dead, some wounded and traders suffered loss running into billions of Naira. In this piece, our Plateau State Correspondent, GOLOK NANMWA, writes that traders, buyers and the state government have not still recovered from the loss.
Sometimes, scars of certain unsavoury events in the past are difficult to erase. For instance, impacts of wounds, hurts and tragic occurrences in the past can alter a whole lot of history, social status and socio-economic structure in a long time. That is what makes memory very elastic and tough.
In a state like Plateau where mass killings and destruction of lives put the state on a global map, scary memories can live for as long as lifetime.
Two years after the twin bomb blast that rocked the Terminus Market killing scores of persons in Jos, the Plateau State capital, citizens of the city are yet to recover from that disaster as many are still counting their loses. It could be recalled that a twin bomb blasts had rocked the famous Jos Terminus Main Market on May 20, 2014, leaving a permanent scar in the hearts of residents of the city.
Memories of the gory images of burnt corpses and mutilated bodies are still fresh in their memories. Traders, big time businessmen and women who travelled from different parts of the country to the state capital for booming trading activities woke up just to discover that all their life-long investments and means of livelihood have been razed in one fell tragic swoop.
Thankfully, many people survived the disaster. For instance, Blessing Ajang, a survivor of the blast told our correspondent that she is yet to get over the shock of the blast. According to her “Any time I hear any loud sound, it reminds me of the twin blast that rocked the terminus market” two years ago.
Another survivor, Emmauel Nenponsang, who spoke to our reporter, said the day was a black day for the people of the state. Recounting his story, he said “on that day, I was with my cousin in the market when we suddenly heard a loud explosion. My cousin fainted and was rushed to the hospital by good Samaritan passersby. Till date, he is still traumatised as he now avoids markets and parks”.
Another survivor who gave her name as Elizabeth told our correspondent that the sound of the blast has damaged her ear drum. “I don’t hear clearly any longer since that time. I use to sell water yam close to market”, she said.
Over 200 persons were reportedly killed by the incident. It could be recalled that eight of the dead were students of the University of Jos who were on their way home from lectures. The first explosion was said to have gone off at about 2:30 pm while the second explosion occurred 30 minutes later.
An eye witness had told newsmen about two years ago that “the second blast killed more people than the first, as many residents and traders who had fled the scene following the first explosion tried to join rescue agencies to save the injured and retrieve bodies of the dead. The market was really crowded,” he added.
Some traders, especially those who hawk their wares said life has not been the same after the blast. According to Usman Lire who spoke to our correspondent, the clamp down by security operatives around the market has forced most of them to relocate somewhere else.
He said “the terminus market was the centre of the city and people trooped from all corners of Plateau to the market and this boost commerce, but now I now sell around the Bauchi Road axis of the city and hardly get customers”.
Following the blast, it could be recalled that security operatives in the state clamped down on roadside traders around the Terminus Market area in an effort to decongest the area.
Our correspondent observed that till date, Police patrol vehicles are now a constant feature at the Terminus Market, Ahmadu Bello Way and Rwang Pam Street. Following the blast in May 2014, the immediate past administration placed a ban on street trading and display of wares at the market.
Meanwhile a trader who was sacked from the surroundings of the Termius Market who gave his names as Tanko Barade called on Governor Simon Lalong to provide an alternative market where traders can conduct their business.
He said he lost a lot of money when the bomb blast rocked the market two years ago. Meanwhile the state government has said it would rebuild Terminus Market and create a conducive atmosphere for trader and buyers to operate.
Governor Simon Lalong stated this when he inspected the market. “We intend to rebuild the market to take the traders off the streets“, he said.