……Counsels Government On National Integration
The Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) has urged the federal and state government to urgently re-enact a framework.that will help deepen national integration to forestall crisis among people with different religious and ethnic affiliations.
NDD in a statement jointly signed by Mr. Tajudeen Alabede, National Coordinator and Dr. Abdul-Wasi B. Moshood, Director of Public Affairs, pleaded with government to take a drastic action to address the gory tales across the country, while condemning the massacre of more than 20 Muslim faithful by a local militia in Jos, Plateau State on Saturday, August 14, 2021.
“According to the police report, the criminal gang aong Rukuba Road of Jos North LGA attacked a convoy of five buses with Muslim faithful who were coming back from the Annual Zikr prayer in Bauchi State and were heading to Ikare in Ondo State.
“The unfortunate incident brings to the fore the senselessness of the high level of mistrust and hatred among people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds in the country.
“In many situations of local crises, those who share religious and/or ethnic affinity with local opponents, even if they are far removed from the local community, pay a heavy price. This is what played out in the instant case.
“For the umpteenth time, NDD calls on federal and state governments to put in place permanent, sustainable and efficient measures that will deepen national integration.
“The victims, dead or wounded, were travellers on a return journey from a Muslim religious event. Their journey, which became a journey of no return for many of them, involved passing through that section of Plateau State which witnessed communal crisis in recent time.
“The hapless victims never knew what was in store for them. Those who paid the ultimate price never knew that death was lurking around.
“Even the lucky ones had a taste of terror as they were visited with both physical and mental injury,which may take a lifetime to heal.
“NDD sees the barbaric attack as way beyond an ordinary crime.
“The barbaric attack by the militia did not happen during dark hours or in a dark corner. Video clips of the incident which were widely circulated in the public space showed that the killing took place in broad daylight and in the middle of a town.
“What’s more, the victims could not have been the only commuters on that road on the day. They must have been marked out. This context shows that the murderous rage was well-planned by an organised group.
“Thus, all arguments about mistaken identity are grossly inaccurate and insensitive as the victims, almost a hundred in number, belong to an entirely different cultural group.
“How would anyone be excused for the mass killing based on the alibi of mistaken identity? Even in event of a known identity, is it right for any citizen to be a victim of extra-judicial killing?” the group said.