Jos, once known as a hub for leisure and nightlife in central Nigeria, is being devastated by deadly ethno-religious violence. The security crisis has compelled authorities to issue curfews and other firm measures hampering free movement in the metropolis.To check further violence from claiming innocent lives, on 8 July, the state government declared a dusk-till-dawn curfew.
Elvis Chukwu finds the latest regulation worrisome. "On an average, without the curfew, we sell between 35 to 40 crates of beer every night," says the 28-year-old who doubles as proprietor and waiter for The Container, a popular bar in the Yan Trailer area. Chukwu depends on the profits he makes from the small bar to pay for his undergraduate tuition and cover other needs. "I think the governor should restrict the curfew to Barkin Ladi and Riyom, where the attacks happened," he says.
Endeavouring to stem the incessant violence in Plateau State, the Nigerian government has in fact put in place several measures. That includes declaration of a state of emergency in the state’s capital city, Jos.
Curfew or chaos
"I close from the office by 4 p.m., "I can only have very few drinks with friends so I can retire home before 7 p.m., if not the security agents will embarrass me. "When asked what he thinks of the curfew, Barde says: "I’m not against it, but if the government is not careful, the measure will devastate economic activities in the affected local government areas."
Nightshifts no more?
On a recent night, a commercial sex worker, who did not wish to have her name published but will go by Clara here, can be found at a deserted beer parlour in the Jos suburb of Fudawa. "I don’t understand why curfew must be imposed on Jos," she says angrily when the issue comes up.
When this reporter indicates it’s time to take leave by tapping a wristwatch with an index finger, Clara can’t hide her disappointment. Without a word, she snatches her handbag and hurried exits the bar.