From Mustapha Saye, Kaduna
Jama’atul Nasrul Islam (JNI) has received with utmost grief the unfortunate Rukuba Road carnage in Plateau State which resulted in the massacre of about 22 innocent, defenseless Muslims returning from Bauchi State on their way to Ikare, Ondo State.
This act represents the height of barbarism as the JNI calling on the Federal and Plateau State Governments to as a matter of urgency ensure the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of this heinous act.
In a press statement issued and singed by the Secretary General JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu stated that the Muslim community recalled with nostalgia the unfortunate assassination of Major General Idris M. Alkali, in the state and subsequently dumped his vehicle in a pond and threw his dead body into a ditch. It is heartrending that the perpetrators arrested have not been brought to justice. We would like to stress 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.
“This (Rukuba) tragedy cannot be swept under carpet; we have a firm conviction that this unwarranted attack on these helpless Muslims was a well thought-out pogrom.
It is also rather unfortunate that men in position of authority will call this brutal act as a mistaken identity, does this rather suggest the affirmation of ethnic or religious profiling which is seen as a norm? No life, we repeat no life is worth taken save as stipulated.
“It should be noted that the late General meritoriously served the Nigerian Army for 35 years and was a fine gentleman. Nonetheless, the perpetrators are yet to be punished. What more do we expect for ordinary unarmed citizens numbering 22 persons, murdered in cold blood, according to the PPRO, Plateau State Command, although the figures could be much more as no one is talking about the severely injured. We nonetheless expect something definite and decisive. We however call on the Ikare Muslim community of Ondo State to be calm.
“The JNI is not oblivious of the fact that some years back Muslims from Ningi in Bauchi State were waylaid and killed in Langtang, Plateau State. Again Muslims from Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States have been waylaid and killed around Riyom on several occasions. Muslims traveling from Chad Republic through Riyom were killed in 2008. Muslims just like any travelers have to pass through Plateau State to get around to their various destinations.”
” Thus, the late General Alkali was gruesomely murdered simply because he is a Muslim traveler plying the road. In all these incidences nobody has been brought to justice. 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. The state and Federal Government cannot fold its arms and allow innocent Nigerians to be killed in this manner. Government 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 reenforcements for peaceful coexistence 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!
” The massacre of Muslims on an Eid day, on the Rukuba Eid ground and publicly cannibalized the victims is still fresh in our memories. Sometime in June, 2018, when they blocked high ways and killed several Muslims and vandalized their vehicles. 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 no life has been lost, 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.
“The institution and administration of criminal justice has to therefore buckle up and make the citizenry see that justice has not only being but seen as done, because there is life in law of retribution – as Allah The Almighty succinctly says, “perpetrators must be prosecuted within time and those found wanting shall face the wrath of the law, this will go a long way in curbing the culture of impunity.
“By and large, the JNI is calling on the government to as a matter of reconciliation identify the culprits and bring them to justice. The judiciary should also live above board by shunning all forms of premordialism in handling such cases. The whole world is still watching and waiting for the verdict on the killers of General Alkali.
“Similarly, we call on governments and the security agencies not to be deterred on the search for the Rukuba Road assassins and whosoever is found wanting should be dealt with accordingly. The Plateau State government should also be more proactive in saving the lives and property of innocent Nigerians. Muslims particularly those residing in Plateau should be steadfast with supplications. As all hands must be on deck, to make Plateau state a peaceful and tourist attraction it used to be, for the benefit of the state and all peace loving Nigerians.
“We also like to draw the attention of Christian neighbours 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 herder and farmers conflict, it is on records that Muslims in these states have never blocked highways or roads to attack Christians or other non-Muslims in their localities.
“Not quite long ago, Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic was attacked by armed bandits and some people lost their lives including a student. Yet, the students of the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic Zaria located just about 50 meters away from Kaduna-Zaria-Kano highway never embarked on any violent outburst or targeted killings.
“Therefore, a stich in time saves nine and nobody should live under any illusion of having a monopoly of violence.
“We reiterate the call of His Eminence the Sultan for calm and peaceful coexistence,” the statement concluded.