Tension over killing of Ondo-bound travellers in Jos




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There was tension in yesterday, following the killing of 23 persons on Rukuba Road in Jos North on Saturday.


Governor Simon Lalong, in a broadcast, announced a curfew in three local government areas.

He said 23 people were killed; 23 injured, 26 rescued unhurt and 20 suspects arrested.

The University of Jos (UNIJOS) announced the postponement of its examinations.

Governors, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Miyetti Allah condemned the killings.

The highest Islamic body in the North, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said those behind the attack must not go unpunished.

Lalong said: “In order to avoid further deterioration of the situation and to protect lives and properties of citizens, I have directed the imposition of curfew on Jos North, Bassa and Jos South local governments commencing 6 pm to 6 am from 14th August 2021.

“The curfew shall remain in place subject to further review by the State Security Council.”

The governor, in a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Makut Simon Macham, added: “From 2 pm of today (yesterday), a 24-hour curfew will come into effect in Jos North Local Government Area.

“The governor, therefore, urges citizens to abide by the curfew and remain indoors to allow security agencies maintain law and order and deal with those bent on causing chaos.”

Lalong sympathised with the deceased’s families, called for calm and appealed to citizens to avoid inflaming the situation.

“This is purely criminal conduct and should not be given any ethnic or religious colouration,” he said.

IG deploys special squad

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman, deployed Police Team (PIT) to Plateau.

Force spokesman, Frank Mba, said the team is led by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sanusi Lemu.

The team, he said, comprises personnel of police tactical units – the police mobile force, counter-terrorism unit and special forces.

He said they were “deployed to protect the communities, further attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice”.

Read Also: Plateau killings: Police arrest 20 suspects, rescue 33 victims
Troops of Operation Safe Haven said they arreste 21 suspects and rescued 36 victims.

A statement by the military information officer, Major Ishaku Takwa, reads in part: “As at today (yesterday), troops of Operation Safe Haven have rescued a total of 36 victims of the attack.

“They are in a stable health condition while those hospitalised are responding to treatment.

“More arrests have been made in connection with the heinous act, bringing the total of 21 suspects in custody.”

UNIJOS suspends exams

The management of UNIJOS suspended the ongoing second-semester examinations.

Deputy Registrar, Information and Publications, Abdullahi Abdullahi, said in a statement: “Following the unfortunate security breach…, all examinations earlier scheduled between Monday 16th and Saturday 21st, August 2021 have been suspended until further notice.”

It urged students residing in the hostels and those off-campus, as well as staff members, to strictly observe the curfew.

Governors: killings barbaric

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), in a statement by its Head, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, described the incident as barbaric and urged security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

The statement reads in part: “The killing has all the colourations of several others like it where locals in particular parts of the country have become inhospitable and unwelcoming to other Nigerians living in or passing through their domains.

“The forum views with extreme disgust the horrible and thoughtless loss of precious lives and declares unequivocally that it must stop forthwith.


“Members of the forum also call on the country’s security organisations to fish out all those involved and bring them forward to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to those are contemplating similar action.

“Members insist that no human life deserves to be wasted on any ground be it religious or ethnic, or even on the frivolous altar of mistaken identity and hope that Nigerians will desist from taking the law into their own hands so that the country once again become a safe place for us all.

“Finally, the forum calls on all aggrieved ethnic nationalities and their militia to avoid needless killings of this nature by always seeking law enforcement assistance and legal redress. “

Atiku, NSCIA, JNI, others demand action

Atiku, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr Paul Ibe, commiserated with the families of the deceased.

He was of the view that skirmishes such as the killings and the pain accompanying them make citizens feel as though enough is not being done.

He said the country should continue to scale up security, promising to give all moral and logistic support for security operatives to face the battle and register victory.

JNI, in a statement by the Secretary-General, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, condemned the killings.


“This act represents the height of bestiality and barbarism. We are calling on the Federal and Plateau governments to as a matter of urgency ensure the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of this heinous act…

“We would like to stress that so long as government and its agencies continue to treat serious security matters with levity, anarchy and disorder invariably becomes an exclusive preserve of those affected, no matter how long it will take…

“We call on the Ikare Muslim community of Ondo State to be calm.”

ACF, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr Emmanuel Yawe, said the latest attacks are clear indications that hostilities have resumed on the Plateau.

“What is happening on Plateau is a clear indication that hostilities have resumed and the bad old days of ‘tit for tat’ are back again on the Plateau.

“We call on the people of Plateau to remain calm. Religious and traditional leaders must impress on their people to exercise restraint and not take the laws into their hands.

“No religion – neither Christianity nor Islam- allows its followers to spill innocent blood.

“The security agencies must take their responsibilities seriously. Cases of a breach of the peace as we are witnessing on the Plateau must be investigated speedily and the culprits brought to book in the Courts of law.

“It is the only way to stop a breakdown of law and order in communities, the state of Plateau itself and the country,” ACF said.

The NSCIA, in a statement by the Director of Administration, Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu, appealed to Muslims to be calm and not take laws into their hands.

The council stated that no life should be wasted on any ground be it religious or ethnic, adding that it would ensure justice is done.

The Plateau chapter of CAN, in a statement its chairman, Rev. Polycarp Lubo, urged security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

“The leadership of totally condemns these attacks and pleads with security agents to ensure normalcy is restored.

“Every human life is precious and the unlawful killing of any human being, regardless of their identity and affiliation, is unacceptable.

“We mourn with the families of those lost their loved ones, as well as those who have been displaced or suffered harm of any kind.

“We urge security agencies to swiftly arrest all those involved, to bring an end to the needless killings,” he said.

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), in a statement by its National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, condemned the “senseless violence on travellers”.

“We urge security agencies to fish out perpetrators of this dastardly act and bring them to justice,” the group said.

MACBAN commiserated with families of those lost their lives and those injured.

It said there could be no winner in the senseless violence and that the circle of bloodshed must be stopped.

‘It’s savagery’

Chairman of Jos North Local Government, Alhaji Shehu Usman, warned residents against revenge.

In a statement by the council’s Senior Information Officer, Mr Philip Eplong, he urged law enforcement agencies to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

“This high level of savagery, inhumanity and reckless disregard for the sanctity of life cannot go unpunished,” he said.

He sued for calm and urged residents to go about their normal business.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase, called for proper investigation.

In a statement signed by his spokesman, Umar Mohammed Puma, he urged residents to refrain from reprisals.

The Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ), Council, condemned the killings and urged security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Irigwe youths: we’re not behind killings

The Irigwe Development Association (IDA) said its members were not behind the killings.

It said a report (not by The Nation) accusing its youths of the act “is not only malicious but vicious in its entirety”.

It believes the allegation was “capable of placing the Irigwe Nation on the map of bad people as well as have the propensity of inducing other noble people against the Irigwe people”.

Its spokesman, Davidson Malison, said in a statement: “No doubt that the report was done on the platter of religious and ethnicity as the elements used are purely inciting, instigating and trouble fomenting…”

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