The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has alleged that a Christian militia group is responsible for the killing of the 22 travelers in Rukaba, Jos, Plateau State at the weekend.
MURIC made the remark in a statement by its director, Ishaq Akintola:
“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 baldadash. 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 caseunder 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 coverup, 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 lawabiding, 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.”