A socio-cultural group in Plateau state Irigwe Development Association on Monday faulted the hasty conclusion by the spokesperson of Plateau State Police command, ASP Ubah Gabriel Ogaba, that the recent killing of 22 Muslims on August 14 was carried out by youths of Irigwe.
At a press briefing chaired by the president of the association, Prince Robert Ashi Dodo, he said that singular remarks has further polarised the restive area.
“As a law enforcement agency, the police owes it a duty and responsibility to ensure that public interest is paramount in whatever it does. That to our mind does not include inflaming passion and putting an already fragile situation in the balance.
“One faulty statement is all that it would take for conflict merchants to latch onto and cause chaos/confusion.
“Sadly, the police statement provided the cannon fodder with which the fire of hatred was stocked. Our expectation is that the police must and should do everything within its powers to stir the society from the path of destruction,” he said.
He noted that following the ugly incident of August 14 at Rukuba road where the 22 Fulani travellers were killed, so much of what he called half truth have been peddled by many people he referred to as leaders in order to vilify Irigwe nation of having a deadly militia that attack travellers.
“That the killing on Rukuba road was carried out by Irigwe youths and their mourners is false. Let it be known that Irigwe nation wrote a letter to Plateau State Police Command to intimate them of a mass burial to take place that Saturday. Let the world know that the command did not only escort Irigwe youths and mourners from Jos to Vom and eventually Miango, but the police patrol vehicles preceded the youths and mourners for security purposes. It is therefore unfounded to claim that the travellers were killed by mourners and Irigwe youths,” he said.
While disclosing that the past weeks have been the worst nightmare for Irigwe land because of invasion by Fulani militia, he said its rather painful that government agencies were so swift in visiting injured travellers and gave them VIP treatment, while Irigwe people who had been murdered in hundreds, he said, do not enjoy that.
Earlier, the programme coordinator for Stefanos Foundation, Mr Mark Lipdo, gave a statistics of those killed since 2018 saying a total of 548 people have been killed, 202 injured, 7,567 houses burnt and 5,801 farms have been destroyed in Irigwe land.
He also faulted the hasty conclusion by the police authorities in Plateau.