At about 6pm Thursday 26th February, about a few 20minutes into the first rain in Jos in 2015, eye witnesses say a car drove by a motor park on Bauchi Rd. just opposite the University of Jos Medical Sciences gate. The details are not very clear after that because there was an explosion. Then the pandemonium of people fleeing the scene. Shortly after, another bomb exploded just near a military check point beside the main Bauchi Rd. motor park about 300metres away. Official reports say 14 people lost their lives in this terrorist act. There are no claims of responsibility but the Islamic terrorist sect, Boko Haram is widely believed to be behind the attack because of the similarity of the bomb blasts to the ones Jos town has suffered in the past.
The Aftermath of the bomb blast is what further draws concern.
Soon after the blast, there were hundreds of youths, both Muslim and Christian, that suddenly went back to the old divide; the Christian/ Muslim trenches of war, awaiting the slightest provocation for bloodbath. Many of the Muslim youths around the community of the blast set up their own check points and perceived ‘enemies’ were harassed. These enemies, from past experiences, are Christians. Jos may be seemingly at peace now, after many years of bloodletting on the streets, but it still seems that the hatchets are far from buried.
Many shops around Old Bukuru Park are closed or forced to close for fear of reprisals, more so that the next morning is Friday; these shops belong to predominantly Christians.
With elections coming up very soon in Nigeria, the fact that the voting for candidates will be more on religious lines in the Middle Belt and Northern parts of Nigeria, rather than on issues and capacity to deliver, is even more real.
The Elections by the end of the March will most certainly be a litmus test.