An Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has advised Nigerians travelling from the North to the South or vice versa to be security conscious and to avoid going through the city of Jos. The group lamented the loss of innocent lives as a result of roadblocks set up by the local militia.
In a statement made available to journalists on Monday, the group’s director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, advised travelers to use the Saminaka bypass straight to Bauchi when going up North and vice versa when coming down South.
The statement reads in full :
“We of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), conscious of the sacredness of life among other Allah-given fundamental human rights of every human being, decry the constant waste of life arising from the brutal killing of travellers by wild local militiamen. These militiamen often block the road at the slightest opportunity to waylay travellers. Hundreds of travellers, particularly Muslims, have been mercilessly slaughtered in Jos zone of death.
“Although we have advised the Federal Government (FG) to create a new bypass that will enable travellers to avoid going inside Jos, it is our belief that this carnage can still be avoided before FG takes action on our advice.
“We find it mandatory to issue a travel advisory to all and sundry. The Saminaka bypass can be used as a short term measure. There is a bypass through Saminaka town straight to Bauchi.
“For example, the safest route for those travelling from the South to the North is, from Kaduna, head towards Pambegua and go through Saminaka to Gumau. From Gumau, one can take the road leading to Bauchi and Gombe. From Gombe, go straight to Yola or Maiduguri.
“Another alternative is to head towards Keffi from Abuja. From Keffi, go towards Gitata and link Saminaka from there. From Saminaka, repeat the same route to Gumau, Bauchi, Gombe, Yola and Maiduguri.
“Those travelling to Lagos or Port Harcourt from Maiduguri, Yola or Damaturu are advised to veer off to Gumau town after Bauchi. Gumau is forty (40) kilometres from Jos. From Gumau, go to Saminaka, then straight to Gitata, Keffi and to Abuja. From Abuja, continue to Lokoja after which you go towards Owo by the right or to Auchi/Benin by the left or even to Enugu and Port Harcourt by the same left.
“The safety of lives and properties is MURIC’s priority. It is rather unfortunate that despite the efforts being made by the security agencies, the Muslim-hating militia groups in the Middle Belt, particularly in the Plateau region, have decided to turn the area to a death zone and a killing ground.
“Whereas right to life is guaranteed by Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Plateau militiamen kill travelers with impunity. Also, despite the fact that Section 41 of the same Constitution which is the font et origo of all laws in this country, guarantees freedom of movement. Yet Jos militiamen block the roads with reckless abandon and infringe on travellers’ right to move freely within the country.
“We have issued this travel advisory out of our deep concern for life and the freedom of every homo sapien compos mentis. Every Nigerian, nay, every homo sapien within our boarders must be allowed to move freely without let or hinderance. The faith of the traveler does not matter to us. Our concern is humanity. Every man or woman, Christian or Muslim, has the right to live and to move around the country.
“To conclude this advisory, we call on FG to provide adequate security around the Saminaka bypass which we have advised travelers to start using. On the long run, FG should set the machinery in motion for the construction of a major bypass in Jos zone as well as expedite action on the construction of a standard rail gauge around the country.”