9/11: The story of Terminus.
The term, '9/11' is synonymous with the terror attacks on the World Trade Centre in America. However, there is more to that date than the disaster that rattled the American nation.
Towering above other buildings in the vicinity, the Terminus Market was a sight to behold in the days of her glory. An enigma of yellow and black, the market was an architectural miracle. Drawing from all spheres of the society, the market served as a commercial hub for Jos residents from all works of life. The market also brought from across Nigeria a troupe of sight seers who were aiming to get a glimpse of the legendary building. Also among the group were tourists from countries that stretched as far as Europe and Asia. It was no wonder she was regarded as the largest market in West Africa. I can remember escorting my Late father to the market, days to Christmas, to get some nice clothes and shoes i and my siblings will grace for the festive season. Being inside the Terminus itself felt like being in a massive hall with stairs all over, bright lights all around with an ever sound of voices. A newbie in the Terminus Market, is bound to get lost for at least 7 days of continuous visit in the web of identical balconies and stairs before he or she masters the terrain. The Terminus was such a place to create memories that were capable of soothing your soul for the whole period of your life. Did you know people came to the Terminus not because they had something to purchase, but because they needed a place to escape to from life's stress and challenges? This was the extent of the influence the Terminus had on people.
This glory was however soon to be short-lived. On the 8th of September in the year, 2001, a bloody religious crisis had rocked the city of Jos. This crisis had started as an inconsequential street fight and without warning, had spread throughout the state like wild fire. The disturbance at its early stages quickly claimed numerous lives and properties. Before security interventions succeeded in bringing order to the situation, more than enough lives and properties had been lost. However, the situation had been brought under control. At 10:43pm the next day being the 9th of September of the year, 2001, a horrible news was making rounds across the street; Terminus had been bombed and was on fire. The news at first sounded like an expensive rumour to those who came across it but this rumour was to be proven as a fact when hours later, in the distance, one could clearly make out the reflection of a giant yellow light in the moon less sky. It was true.
Instinctively, everyone had rushed to their Television sets to catch the news on the recent development. But from what we saw on the news that night, we had come to discover that Terminus was not the only building burning at that moment. Live broadcasts on CNN told the globe that The World Trade twin towers in the U.S.A was burning furiously and was on the verge of collapse. It could be coincidence or it could be a planned, well coordinated line of action on the part of Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda, I may never know.
But one thing I do know is that on the night of September 9th, 2001, Terminus ( Jos Main Market ) was razed to the ground by a menacing fire and along with it, the livelihood and source of solace for many Plateau men, women and children.