An Islamic rights advocacy group, popularly known as Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has requested the arrest of all the members of Irigwe militia group allegedly responsible for the recent killing of some Muslim travellers in Plateau State. 

 

The state police command on Sunday said it had arrested 20 suspects in connection with the deadly attack on travellers in Jos, the state capital. 

Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director of MURIC

On Saturday, several travellers were attacked and killed by gunmen in the Jos North Local Government Area of the state.

 

The travellers were reportedly passing through Jos when they ran into gunmen who opened fire on them.

 

The victims were coming in a convoy of five buses from a yearly dikr prayer in Bauchi State and heading to Ikare in Ondo state when the assailants suddenly hijacked their buses and disembarked them.

 

Twenty-two persons were killed while 14 others were seriously injured.

 

But the activities of the heavily armed men were curtailed following the arrival of security agencies. 

 

Six of them were consequently arrested at the scene.

 

Condemning the incident, MURIC described the killing of the Muslim faithful as barbaric, saying the government should round up all the members of the Irigwe Christian militia for allegedly carrying out the attack. 

 

It added that others who might have fled the scene immediately security operatives approached should be brought to justice.

 

Meanwhile, its Director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement on Saturday, condemned the reaction of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu who claimed the killings by the armed men resulted from 'mistaken identities'.

 

Akintola said it was unthinkable for the governor to have associated the killing of a massive number of persons with such a flimsy excuse.

 

The statement read, “The unarmed Muslims who were in a convoy of five buses were forced to disembark. They were then killed one after another. Twenty-two of them were killed while fourteen (14) were seriously injured. It was the arrival of the police and soldiers on the scene that saved the rest

 

“Twenty-two (22) unarmed Muslim travellers were brutally killed by a Christian militia group at Rukaba, Jos, Plateau State, today, Saturday, 14th August 2021. The attack began around 9.28 am. The Muslims had attended the annual dhikr prayer in Bauchi State and they were returning to Ikare, Ondo State when they were waylaid by the notorious Irigwe Christian militia.  

 

“The unarmed Muslims who were in a convoy of five buses were forced to disembark. They were then killed one after another. Twenty-two of them were killed while fourteen (14) were seriously injured. It was the arrival of the police and soldiers on the scene that saved the rest.

 

“MURIC condemns this massacre in the strongest terms. It is barbaric. We hereby demand the rounding up of all members of the Irigwe Christian militia. They must be brought to justice. They ran away from the crime scene when they saw security men approaching. But they had participated in the killing of twenty-two (22) and wounding of fourteen (14) before taking to their heels.

 

“It is not possible for the six who were arrested to have been the only attackers. Only six attackers could not have surrounded people who filled five buses. The rest must be fished out.

 

“We reject the crocodile tears and lies of Governors Lalong of Jos and Akeredolu of Ondo State who claimed that the attack was a case of mistaken identity. This excuse is the first sign of executive conspiracy. It is a shame that Akeredolu will trivialise the massacre of citizens of his own state simply because the victims happen to be Muslims. #Muslimlivesmatter.

 

“How can anybody say Muslims from Ikare in Ondo State were killed in such a large number due to ‘mistaken identity’? That is balderdash. It is unthinkable. Who do the Christian terrorists have the right to attack and kill for their pleasure and who should they spare? This kind of excuse has exposed the mentality of the two governors. They are shedding crocodile tears.

 

“Lalong’s body language makes it difficult for us to trust him. He will sweep this case under the carpet at the first opportunity because his kinsmen are the culprits and he has a history of covering up their crimes. The killing of General Alkali is still fresh in our memory, particularly the attempt at a cover-up, the comedy at the pond, and the eventual intervention of the governor who ran to army headquarters to beg for forgiveness.

 

“We thought the lawlessness in Jos had stopped with the declaration of remorse. But today’s massacre of such a large number of Muslims has exposed the hypocrisy of Lalong and his bloodthirsty terrorists. All the Muslims in the convoy of five buses would have been killed and their bodies thrown into the ponds around Jos as usual if the police and soldiers had not arrived on time.

 

“MURIC, therefore, demands that the investigation be taken over by the Inspector General of Police. It is too dicey to be entrusted to the jurisdiction of Governor Lalong.

 

“We also demand to know the latest about the case of the brutal killing of General Alkali. Where are those arrested over his killing and how far has the case gone? Nigerian Muslims deserve to know whether or not justice has been carried out in this case.

 

“It is also abundantly clear from this ugly incident that travellers, particularly Muslims are not safe on Jos roads. The security agencies must find a way of securing that route.

 

“We appeal to Muslims nationwide to remain calm and law-abiding, particularly in Ikare, Ondo State, a predominantly Muslim enclave, and Bauchi, where the dhikr programme was held.

 

“We pray for the repose of the souls of the 22 Muslims killed in this unprovoked attack. May Allah have mercy on them and may He in His Infinite Mercy give their families the fortitude to bear the loss. We also pray for the quick recovery of the injured among them and their subsequent safe return to their homes.”

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