From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A Muslim Group, Jama’atu Nasirl lslam (JNI), has warned that they may be breakdown of law and order in Nigeria, particularly in Plateau state and its environs, if urgent steps are not taken to stop the profiling and killing of Muslims in the affected states and communities.
The group reminded the people that no individual, ethnic or religious group in Nigeria should live under any illusion of having a monopoly of violence, stressing 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.
The warning, perhaps, was in response to incident that happened in Rukuba Road, Jos, Plateau State, on Saturday which, JNI said, resulted in the massacre of about 22 Muslims returning from Bauchi State on their way to Ikare, Ondo State, enroute Jos.
JNI said the act represents the height of beastiality and barbarism, thus calling on the Ikare Muslim community of Ondo State to be calm, with high expectation that something definite and decisive would be done by Federal and State governments to arrest and prosecute the culprits.
Secretary-General, JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, in a statement, frowned at the claims by some people that the attack was a mistaken identity insisting that the claim was untrue, using previous incidences to justify his claims.
Among several other instances in the past, he recalled with nostalgia the unfortunate assassination of Major General Idris M. Alkali, by youths of a Plateau community after which they dumped his vehicle in a pond and threw his dead body into a ditch. “It’s heart-rending that the perpetrators arrested have not been brought to justice,” he said.
He added: “Government cannot fold its arms and allow innocent Nigerians to be killed in this manner. They must be decisive in sending a message of deterrence. Be that as it may, the JNI is perplexed and bewildered over the seeming unfortunate mayhem that resurfaced in Jos and its environs, despite all the series of re-enforcements for peaceful co-existence in Plateau State.
“Clearly, there seems to be a well calculated design aimed at undermining and sabotaging the gain made so far. Likewise, the recent Jos mayhem witnessed a new trends adopted by the murderers in targeting only Muslims
while venting their anger.”
He, thus, accused the media and international organizations of taking sides in issues that relate to Muslims and other Nigerians. “We are saddened by the apparent, hypocritical and double standard of the local and international human right groups as well as civil society organisations.
“Why is it that if Muslims are killed/massacred or maimed, the international organisations and human rights activists always keep mum and pretend as if nothing happened. Is there difference of lives locally or internationally as regards the sacred nature of it. The hypocritical disposition of these groups is condemnable.
“Because anytime there is an unfortunate crisis where Nigerians other than Muslims are at the receiving end, these organisations would always rise to the occasion by condemning such act and rallying for support for the perceived victims. The media is always awash by such stories.
“We have repeated it times without number that the sanctity of life in Islam is to the extent that if any life is lost unjustly by an act of any individual is tantamount to killing the whole humanity, likewise if life is saved or secured is tantamount to saving the whole of humanity, as the Glorious Qur’an enunciated.”
He, thus, asked Christian neighbors, especially in Plateau state and northern Nigeria in particular to be wary of the diabolical attempts by some frustrated politicians to ignite an all-out ethno-religious conflict in Northern Nigeria.
“Many states in Northern Nigeria especially Nasarawa and Kaduna states and by extension northwestern states have suffered from the scourge of herders/farmers conflict. It’s on records that Muslims in these states have never blocked highways or roads to attack Christians or other non-Muslims in their localities.”
“It is a well-known fact that when indigenous peoples of Plateau rustled Fulanis cattle and killed herders, and Fulanis take the laws into their hands, they quickly shout hell and target Muslims generally.”