Outrage trails Plateau killings, NSCIA, CAN react as tension rises

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• UNIJOS female undergraduate going to church killed, 24-hour curfew imposed

DESPITE the curfew imposed on Jos North, Jos South and Bassa local government areas of Plateau State, hoodlums on Sunday unleashed mayhem, killing a female student of the University of Jos.

It was learnt that some were also killed while many others were injured by the rampaging hoodlums in different locations, including Farin-Gada, Bauchi Road and Terminus area.

The ever busy Terminus market, Ahmadu Bello Way, Tafawa Belewa Street, Angwa Rukuba, Zaria roads, among others were all empty when our correspondent visited around 4pm on Sunday.

Only security operatives were seen patrolling the streets while some others mounted checkpoints.

It was further gathered that the UNIJOS female student, who was on her way to church, was among those killed by the hoodlums on the Ring Road axis of the Plateau State capital.

Governor Simon Lalong had on Saturday imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in three LGAs of Jos North, Bassa and Jos South Local Government Areas following a breach of peace along Rukuba road, Jos North LGA, where a convoy of commuters was attacked, leading to killing of innocent persons.

The curfew was extended to 24 hours by the governor after people in the area (Jos North) were attacked by hoodlums.

Lalong’s curfew came after no fewer than 25 Fulani travellers were intercepted and killed by suspected Irigwe militia in Jos, Plateau State.

The incident happened at about 10.30am around Gada – Biyu – Rukuba road area in Jos, the state capital.

The victims were said to be returning from the annual Zikr prayer in Bauchi State and heading for Ikare in Ondo State when they ran into irate youths mourning their kinsmen earlier killed by suspected herdsmen

Meanwhile, the President of the Students’ Union Government, University of Jos, Joshua Danladi, confirmed the killing of the student to The PUNCH in Jos on Sunday

Danladi said, “Yes, it’s true. Some hoodlums attacked people along Ring Road. I got report that one of our female students was killed during the attack. It’s very unfortunate.”

A statement by the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students, Joint Campus Committee, Plateau State, Jeremiah Dalong, also confirmed attacks on some of the students.

Dalong said, “We are aggressively calling on the state government to pull out all necessary measure in ensuring that the least Nigerian students on Plateau is been protected from whosoever those tyrants may be and to also ensure that intensive medical attention are given to those our students who are presently receiving treatment in Plateau Specialist Hospital, Ola Hospital and other medical centres.”

On Rukuba road and ECWA staff communities, residents, who complied with the 24-hour curfew, called on the government to focus on arresting those bent on fomenting trouble in the state.

One of them said, “All we just want is for the government to be just in dealing with the issue of security so as to restore permanent peace in Plateau.”

IGP dispatches crack team

But the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has dispatched an intervention team to Plateau State to carry out an on-the-spot assessment and ensure a coordinated response to the bloodshed in the state in which over 20 persons were reportedly killed by suspected Irigwe militia group.

The team comprised personnel of Police Tactical Units – the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, Police Special Forces, the Force Criminal Investigations Department and the Force Intelligence Bureau.

This was contained in a statement on Sunday by the police spokesman, Frank Mba, titled, ‘Plateau attacks: 20 suspects arrested, 33 victims rescued as IG orders coordinated response to protect citizens’.

Troops rescue 36 victims, arrest 21 suspects

Also, the Military Information Officer of Operation Safe Haven, Ishaku Takwa, disclosed in a statement on Sunday that the troops had also dominated Jos metropolis with robust patrols and surveillance to maintain law and order.

“As at today, August 15, 2021, 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. Equally, more arrests have been made in connection with the heinous act, bringing the total to 21 suspects in custody.

UNIJOS suspends second semester exams 

However, following the breakdown of peace in Jos, which led to the killing of several people and forcing the state government to impose a 24-hour curfew in Jos North LGA, authorities of UNIJOS have suspended its ongoing second semester examinations till further notice.

The university announced the suspension on Sunday in a statement signed by its Deputy Registrar, Information and Publications, Mr Abdullahi Abdullahi.

“Following the unfortunate security breach that occurred in some parts of Jos Metropolis, which has led the Plateau State Government to impose a 24-hour curfew in Jos North LGA, the Management of the University of Jos has approved the suspension of the ongoing second semester examinations for the 2019/2020 academic session.

“Consequently, all examinations earlier scheduled between Monday 16th and Saturday 21st, August, 2021 have been suspended until further notice.

 “All students of the university residing in the various hostels are hereby strongly advised to remain within their hostels of residence and avoid unnecessary movements,” the statement partly read.

 NSCIA sues for peace, demands justice

In a related development, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, on Sunday condemned what it described as “the massacre of a group of innocent Muslims who were returning from Bauchi to Akure, Ondo State, on Saturday.”

Killings unacceptable – CAN

Also, the Plateau State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria said the killings were unacceptable.

CAN in a statement on Sunday by the Chairman, Polycarp Lubo, called on the police and other security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

“We wish to express deep pain over the recent attacks in Riyom, Jos North, Barakin Ladi and Bassa, leading to loss of lives and property,” Lubo said.

ACF, JNI condemn renewed killings on the Plateau

Reacting to the killings in Plateau, the Arewa Consultative Forum, in a statement called for calm while urging religious and traditional rulers to impress on their subjects not to take the laws into their hands.

ACF’s National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, noted that since Governor Simon Lalong assumed duty as governor, the state had been peaceful, wondering what suddenly went wrong.

On its part, the JNI through its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar-Aliyu, in a statement, warmed that the incident must not be swept under the carpet.

The JNI said, “We have a firm conviction that this unwarranted attack on these helpless Muslims was a well thought-out pogrom.”

The JNI also cautioned Christians to wary of the antics of some frustrated politicians to ignite ethno-religious crises in the northern parts of the country.

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