Jos Crises: CAN Counts Losses


As uneasy calm gradually returns to troubled Jos city after a week of violence, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said on Tuesday that it lost “more than 50 members” to the violence.

Its Chairman, Rev Mwelbish Dafes, said at a news briefing in Jos that 52 were wounded, while 26 members were still missing.

Dafes said that several churches were burnt, while many shops belonging to CAN members were either burnt or looted.

He claimed that the crises was an “unprovoked attack” on the Rukuba road community and alleged that the violence was instigated by people out to worsen the security situation.

“Youths of Rukuba road, Gada Biyu and Utan communities wrote to the various security heads in Plateau where they expressed their reservation on the insistence on using the Rukuba praying ground during the Eid-el Fitr festivity since the area was normally volatile.

“Consequent upon the youths’ letter, Police Commissioner Emmanuel Ayeni met with other security agencies where it was greed that the Rukuba road praying should not be used for the prayers.

“But to our dismay, the sect did not wait till Tuesday as they came to the ground on Monday, a situation that created lots of tension.”

He noted that on Monday that the violence broke out was not a Sallah day, since the Federal Government had declared Tuesday and Wednesday as public holidays, and blamed the security for allowing the festivity that day after Ayeni stated that it actually “contravened security measures adopted toward a peaceful festivity.”

Dafes urged the Federal Government to investigate the role of security outfits in the crises so as to guard against any recurrence.

The CAN boss expressed sadness that the city had been divided along religious lines, noting that such was dangerous.

He called on the two major religious groups to refrain from acts capable of inflaming tensions, and particularly suggested the need for mutual respect among adherents of both faiths.

The religious leader called for the implementation of previous reports on Jos crises, noting that their non-implementation was responsible for the recurring violence.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that several people were killed in a resurgence of violence that rocked most parts of the city throughout last week.

Ayeni last week blamed the violence on the leaders of Izala Islamic sect, who he accused of ignoring his directive to use another prayer ground instead of the Rukuba ground that was usually visited with violence on such occasion.

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