The Islamic human rights organisation, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has again “demanded stiff punishment according to the law for the killing of 32 Muslim travellers on Saturday, 14th August, 2021”.
The group, in a statement by its director, Ishaq Akintola on Tuesday, insisted that reprisal killings will continue unless justice is swiftly and effectively served.
The statement reads:
“Once again we are constrained to reiterate our strong condemnation of the brutal killing of Muslim travellers which occurred on Saturday, 14th August, 2021 at Rukuba, Jos, the Plateau State capital. The attack was carried out by Irigwe Christians mourning their lost ones. That attack was wicked, callous and animalistic.
“However, we are of the opinion that killing with impunity will not stop unless justice is swiftly and effectively served. A situation where every brutal killing is anchored on a previous attack is Bohemian and unacceptable. It smirks of a society whose norms, values and law enforcement machinery has totally broken down. This must not be allowed to happen.
“This cycle of reprisal killings can be traced back to the Zango-Kataf crisis of 1992. Subsequent killings would have been averted if the reports and recommendations of the Okadigbo panel had been implemented. But criminal elements continue to hide under the canopies of religion and ethnicity to unleash mayhem on innocent people because of the laxity in the system.
“What we need therefore is systemic change. State governments must stop providing cover for criminals. This aptly applies to the situation in Plateau State today as we find Governor Lalong giving a ludicrous excuse to extenuate the sadistic killing of innocent and unarmed Muslim travellers. Unfortunately this is not the first time Lalong will aid and abet the killing of Muslims.
“We therefore reiterate our demand that the investigations into this latest massacre must be handled by the Federal Government. For this reason, we commend the strong intervention of the Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Army in the restoration of normalcy in Jos and its environs. We warn that the state governor should not be allowed to interfere with the course of justice.
“In particular, jurisdictional technicalities must be jettisoned in the interest of national security. This is a case that has evoked sensibilities of the citizenry across the length and breadth of Nigeria. Therefore, justice must not only be done, it must be seen to have been done if we want reprisal killings to stop.
“Finally, MURIC calls on Nigerians to forge water-tight national solidarity which no religious or ethnic sentimentality can debilitate. We must think humanity first, not our faith or tribe. Life is sacred and no human being, nay, no single Nigerian citizen, deserves to die a miserable death.
“We must remember that every criminal activity carried out by us inevitably renders our loved ones prone to similar or even worse attacks. Let us all eschew violence against others in order to prevent attacks against people that are dear to us. You cannot sow a million seeds without reaping a single potato.”