Amidst widespread anger over the killing of travellers in Plateau State, Governor Simon Lalong has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Jos North local government area.
Last Saturday, 23 commuters were killed by hoodlums and 23 others injured in the area.
Lalong in a statement issued by his director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, yesterday in Jos, said the action was to forestall further security threat in the area.
The governor had on Saturday, announced that Jos North, Jos South and Bassa Local Government areas would observe curfew from 6p.m to 6a.m.
“From 2p.m of today, Sunday 15th August 2021, a 24-hour curfew will come into effect in Jos North local government area.
“This is necessitated by security reports, which indicate rising threats to the safety of lives and properties within the local government,” he said.
The governor urged the people to comply with the directive, to allow security agencies maintain law and order and deal with those bent on causing chaos.
Lalong stressed that the 24-hour curfew in the council would remain in force till further notice.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (I-G), Mr Usman Baba, has said 33 victims of the attack have been rescued with 20 suspects arrested.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr Frank Mba, disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Abuja.
Baba condemned the attack and called on relatives of the victims to remain calm.
He said the police were working with the military, other security forces and the state government to ensure that perpetrators were brought to book.
He said the IGP had ordered the immediate deployment of the police Intervention Team to Plateau for on-the-spot assessment and to enhance coordinated response to protect the community and boost public confidence in the affected areas.
He said the team would be led by Mr Sanusi Lemu, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Finance and Administration.
Lemu is also the coordinating DIG in charge of the North-Central geo-political zone of the country.
Baba said the team was made up of personnel of Police Tactical Units, the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) and the Police Special Forces.
He said the team was deployed to protect the communities, prevent further attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.
According to him, also deployed are investigators and covert operatives from the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) and the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB).
Baba said the operatives were expected to provide additional investigative, intelligent and forensic support to the police command in Plateau.
The operatives are expected to provide additional investigative, intelligence and forensic support to the Plateau State Police Command in the ongoing investigations and rescue operations.
The IGP enjoined citizens in the affected area(s) to support the security forces deployed to the hotspot by providing useful information that would lead to the arrest of other perpetrators of the crime and forestall any further attack.
Governors, NSCIA, ACF, JNI, CAN, Miyetti Allah Demand Probe
Meanwhile the Nigeria Governors’ Forum has condemned in its totality the incident that led to the loss of 23 travellers around Gada Biyu in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The governors said the killing had all the colorations of several others like it where locals in particular parts of the country had become inhospitable and unwelcoming to other Nigerians living in or passing through their domains.
According to a statement by the spokesman of the NGF, Abdualraque Bello Barkindo, these dastardly actions of Nigeria’s once peaceful locals which have resulted in unwarranted and needless deaths diminish Nigerians as a people and pulls the country down to the deepest recesses of the absence of civilization.
The governors said they also caused all kinds of reprisal killings and injurious interactions that did nobody no good.
The NGF spokesperson added, “Members insist that no human life deserves to be wasted on any ground be it religious or ethnic, or even on the frivolous altar of mistaken identity and hope that Nigerians will desist from taking the law into their own hands so that the country can once again become a safe place for us all.
“Finally, the forum calls on all aggrieved ethnic nationalities and their militia to avoid needless killings of this nature by always seeking law enforcement assistance and legal redress.”
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has also condemned the killing which took place at the weekend.
Reacting to the gruesome murder of the 23 Muslims faithful, the apex Islamic body under the leadership of its president-general and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, while affirming the statements of Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, that it was a case of mistaken identity and not particularly intended for the Muslims, appealed to all Muslims to be calm and urging them not to take the law into their own hands.
The NSCIA in a statement yesterday which was signed by its director of administration, Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu, stressed that no human life deserved to be wasted on any ground be it religious or ethnic adding that it would monitor the situation and ensure justice was done.
The apex northern socio-cultural group Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has also condemned in the strongest terms the renewed killings in Plateau State.
According to ACF, what is happening on Plateau is a clear indication that hostilities have resumed and the bad old days of ‘tit for tat’ are back again on the Plateau and a 24-hour curfew imposed on the troubled area.
“There are also reports that 12 suspects have been apprehended. We call on the people of Plateau to remain calm. Religious and traditional leaders must impress on their people to exercise restraint and not take the laws in their hands,” the forum added adding that it is of the view that no religion – neither Christianity nor Islam- allows its followers to spill innocent blood.
Similarly, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Plateau chapter, condemned the killing.
In a statement he issued yesterday in Jos, CAN chairman in the state, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Lubo, urged security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.
Lubo also condemned ongoing killings in Bassa, Riyom, Jos South and Barkin Ladi local government areas.
“We mourn with the families of those who lost their loved ones, as well as those who have been displaced or suffered harm of any kind,” the statement added.
Also, Jamatul Nasril Islam (JNI) said it received with utmost grief the unfortunate Rukuba Road carnage.
A statement issued by its secretary-general, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu the JNI said the act represents the height of beastiality and barbarism and called on the government to fish out the perpetrator and prosecute them accordingly.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has also condemned the ambush and killing of commuters at Rukuba Road in Jos.
MACBAN, in a statement by its Nnational secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, yesterday in Jos, said the whereabouts of some of the commuters, was yet to be ascertained.
Ngelzarma commiserated with families of those who lost their lives and those injured adding there could be no winner in the senseless violence and that the circle of bloodshed must be stopped.
This is as a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday also condemned the recent killings.
He added that the country must continue to scale up security and give all moral and logistical support for security operatives to continue to face this battle and register victory that would restore peace and safety of lives and property to every Nigerian.
A statement by Atiku’s media adviser, Paul Ibe, said the report of the attack on innocent travellers on a major highway in Plateau State stands condemned, just as those too numerous to mention across the country in recent time.