Jos — The stay-at-home for special prayers as directed by the Plateau State Ulama Elders Council yesterday paralyzed several business activities, with many streets deserted in Jos.
The action was initiated as a result of an order by the Special Task Force (STF) on Fulanis to vacate some villages in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas of Plateau State within 48 hours.
Our correspondent, who went round the city center as well as some markets and business premises reports that at the famous Terminus market, most of the shops were closed while Bauchi Road which is one of the busiest areas was deserted.
On Ahmadu Bello Way, though some shops were opened for business, it was not as busy as usual and banks also opened only for some hours and closed down.
At Yan Kwali, Yan Taya, New Market, Laranto and Farar Gada markets, all shops were closed with no business activities taking place.
In an interview with some people whose shops were closed, they said they decided to comply with the directive not to open for business for the fact that the time was devoted for special prayers.
"I have prayed as directed by our leaders for the peace and safety of our state and country, and most particularly against the decision by the STF, the quit notice calling on the Fulanis to vacate their settlements. I decided to close my shop and stand by it, and will not open it in compliance with the directive," said one Hassan Sani.
One Ndubisi Okeke of the Yan Taya market said he decided not to open his shop because all his business partners did not open and that he was also observing the special prayer for restoration of peace in the state and the country at large.
It was also gathered that a similar closure of markets and other businesses were observed at Bukuru in Jos South, and Barkin Ladi local government area of the state.
Apart from the markets, transport sectors also had its negative share of the action, as many commuters were seen waiting for nonexistent vehicles to convey them to their respective destinations.
Our reporter observed that at the Central Motor Park along Jos - Bauchi road, and three other minor parks, no vehicle had loaded, just as the park was also closed down, leaving a lot of passengers abandoning their scheduled journey to various places across north west, north east and north central states.
The same was true of those going for businesses to some hamlet markets who could not
gain access due to non-availability of vehicles to convey them.
Efforts to make the STF comment on the 48-hour ultimatum as it expired yesterday failed as the STF spokesman, Capt Mustapha Salisu, who promised to call back was yet to do so as at the time of filing in this report.