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Police Suspect Irigwe Youths in Jos Killing of 25 Fulani Travelers, Over 50 Still Missing

Police Suspect Irigwe Youths in Jos Killing of 25 Fulani Travelers, Over 50 Still Missing

About 25 Fulani travelers were killed by suspected Irigwe militia in Jos, Plateau State on Saturday, reports have confirmed, prompting state governor, Simon Lalong to impose a curfew on Jos North, Jos South and Bassa LGAs between 6pm and 6am.

The travelers were intercepted and killed around Gada-Biyu–Rukuba road area in Jos before noon on Saturday.

Reports said the travelers were dragged out of their vehicles and brutally killed with machetes, daggers, knives, stones and other dangerous weapons.

There are fears that about 50 of the travelers may also have been killed as they have remained unaccounted for.

The Plateau State chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Nura Abdullahi, said they were concerned about the fate of the remaining victims who were yet to be accounted for.

“Our concern now is that out of 90 persons in the five buses, only 25 dead bodies have been recovered with 10 others that are injured. We are demanding that the state government and security agencies recover the remaining 55 persons,” he said.

The Plateau State police command said the killers were “suspected Irigwe militia.”

Plateau State Police Command in a statement confirmed that 22 lives were lost in the attack and identified the culprits as “suspected Irigwe youths and their sympathisers.”

The State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ubah Gabriel, said in a statement: “22 Islamic faithful were intercepted and killed.

“They were travelling in a convoy of five buses and returning from the Annual Zikr prayer in Bauchi State and heading to Ikare in Ondo State. Unfortunately, 22 persons were killed and 14 injured in the attack.

“Upon receipt of the report, a team of police personnel, the military and other sister agencies were immediately mobilised to the scene where 21 victims were rescued and six suspects arrested,” he said.

He said the Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, and GOC 3-Division, Major General Ibrahim Ali, have visited the scene and ordered for a discreet investigation to fish out other perpetrators of the act.

A funeral prayer according to Islamic rites was held for the 25 victims within the hospital premises before they were conveyed to the Dadin Kowa burial ground in Jos South for burial.

MACBAN national secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, said in a statement that the travellers were from Ondo State and returning after visiting Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi.

Ngelzarma said the travelers had been attacked without any provocation in a “senseless violence”.

He added: “We call on the security agencies to fish out perpetrators of this dastardly act as this is coming barely two weeks after trucks carrying livestock and foodstuffs were vandalized at the same location.

“Plateau, which enjoyed peace in recent times, is seeing an escalation in the run-up to local by-elections and this is unacceptable. We believe those behind this dastardly act are known and must be brought to account,” he said.

Mistaken Identity?             

Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Satuday said the 25 travelers killed in Plateau State were indigenes of his state.

In a statement signed by his chief press secretary, Richard Olatunde, the governor said the true identities of the victims will soon be unraveled.

The governor said from the report he received from Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, the incident was a case of mistaken identity.

“The victims, according to preliminary reports, took a route where crisis between Muslims and northern Christians had ensued for some time, and that they may have been possibly mistaken for aggressors. Accordingly, either of the two feuding groups in the area could be responsible in this regard.

“I have spoken with my brother governor in Plateau, and he has assured me that the situation is under control. I want to plead with our people to remain calm. From the report I gathered, it is clear some were killed while many others who are injured have been taken to the hospital for medical attention.

“I also want to commiserate with the family of all those who lost their lives in this unfortunate incident. We mourn the departed and feel the pains of their loved ones,” he said.

 

Share your thoughts on the story Police Suspect Irigwe Youths in Jos Killing of 25 Fulani Travelers with Nigerian Sketch in the comments section below.

Faruk Khalil
Faruk Khalilhttps://nigeriansketch.com/
Khalil Faruk (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), has a Bachelors and Master's degree in Political Science and has worked as a reporter, features editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief respectively in a leading Nigerian daily. He has undergone trainings in journalism, photo journalism and online journalism within and outside Nigeria.

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