Plateau State is in the news recently for the wrong reasons and that over the killing of Muslim commuters along Rukuba Road in Jos North Local Government Area.
Before this particular incident, there had been a series of attacks by the Fulani Hersdmen against the Irigwe Chiefdom of Bassa Local Government Area as well as in Riyom Local Government Area.
Lives were lost, houses burnt and about 3,000 people were displaced. And nothing was seen to be done by the government to stop such attacks from happening and the culprits were not brought to book.
On the day of the attack, some Irigwe people were heading to Miango District for a mass burial of some of the victims killed in the last attack against the people, they sighted some commuters in a convoy of five buses filled with Fulani people on the same Rukuba Road which also leads to Miango, they panicked as the mission of the convoy is unknown to them.
The convoy of five cars occupied by the Fulanis were stopped and the people demanded to know what their mission is in the area which “conflicting and unsatisfactory answers” were given.
The people not satisfied with their answers started hitting their vehicles. Out of fear, they ran out of the vehicles and the irate mob chased after them. Some escaped with injuries, while about 22 were killed and their vehicles destroyed.
On Sunday some worshippers were attacked and killed while on their way to church thereby prompting the State government to declare a 24-hr curfew in Jos North and dusk to dawn curfew in Jos South and Bassa where tensions were high.
Some of the commuters survived the attack. This was made possible because some residents hid them in their homes and when they hue had died down took them to where the security agencies picked them up.
One of the survivors of the survivors of the attack, Muhammad Ibrahim who was rescued by a tricycle operator and taken to the Jos Central Mosque said a Christian tricycle operator had helped disguise him with a face cap and drove him out of the danger zone.
He narrated: “When we arrived at the Gada-Biyu area, there was traffic and we thought it was the normal traffic but before we knew it, people from all angles started stoning us and there was no way we could drive further because they had surrounded our buses and the people were many.
“The area was congested; I don’t know how I got out of the bus but I was on the ground and they were hitting me with stones. Then I saw a tricycle operator whom I believe is a Christian, he asked me to quickly jump in, and he drove off.
“When we got to the Mosque, I said let me get some money and pay him, but he replied ‘I did not help because of money. Now you are safe, let me try and see if I can save more….’ He drove off.”
Though Ibrahim does not know his benefactor’s name, he prayed “Allah will bless him and his generation.”
Speaking on the rescue of some of the survivzors by some Christians, Suleiman Hassan, a resident of Zinariya Community in Jos North local Government Area confirmed said that:
“More than 10 survivors were saved by Christian residents because, most of them ran into the houses of Christian residents in that neighbourhood and were shielded and accompanied out to safety.”
In same vein, Hassan further disclosed that, a Church was prevented from being razed in a Muslim dominated suburb.
“Some wayward youths tried burning down the Church. People of our area who are Muslims stopped them, and organized locals to guard the Church.”
Hassan admitted citizens are hungry for peace but criminals want to always cause mayhem and loot.
He called on the government to go after trouble makers and criminals that have been causing mayhem and disunity amongst them