The youth wing of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has called on security agencies to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding what led to the Rukuba road killings on Saturday, 14 August, 2021, in Plateau State.
The forum noted that the investigation is necessary to determine whether one of the vehicles in the convoy of those attacked was carrying a large cache of arms.
A statement issued and made available to BBNAIJA ONLINE” in Kaduna on Monday by the MBF youth wing National leader, Nasiru Jagaba, the youths condemned in strong terms the attempt by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) to label the Irigwe ethnic nationality as the perpetrators of the killings, saying that they (Irigwe) were deeply involved in the burial of their people killed by heartless herdsmen.
The statement said, “The Youth Wing of the Middle Belt Region calls on relevant security agencies to investigate thoroughly the circumstances surrounding this attack to determine whether one of the vehicles in the convoy was carrying a large cache of arms. We condemn the attempt by the CNG to label the Irigwe ethnic nationality as the perpetrators of these killings as they were deeply involved in the burial of their people killed by heartless herdsmen.
“The Irigwe people have rightly distanced themselves from the reprehensible and devious act and challenged the police to prove their culpability. It is now the responsibility of the police to1 prove the culpability of the Irigwe people.”
The group noted that while they condemned the attacks and offer their heartfelt sympathies to victims and relations of the dead, they are appalled by CNG’s “malevolent attempt” at painting the unfortunate incident in religious and ethnic colouration.
It explained that Middle Belt youths are surprised that despite what it described as “the intermittent coldblooded murders” on the Plateau and other parts of the North, the group only found its voice when some elements attacked travellers.
According to the statement, “It is on record that not only Plateau State but the entire North has been turned into a river of bloodshed, with hundreds of communities decimated and thousands of innocent citizens killed without a whimper from the group.”
More worrisome, according to the statement, is the deliberate attempt at demonising the Irigwe ethnic nationality as perpetrators of these killings have been orchestrated without any evidence, saying that not only were hundreds of homes reduced into rubble in five Irigwe communities, no fewer than 76 Irigwe persons were brutally murdered within a span of four days in the last two weeks without any attempt by the security forces to bring the killers to justice.
It lamented, “While these murderers have been enmeshed in destroying lives, homes and vast swathes of farmlands, the CNG embraced silence and looked the other way. The CNG seems to be available for the highest bidder and only found its voice when the victims of the Saturday attack turned out to be Fulani people. That the CNG would quickly address the press on the incident and call for the arrest of Irigwe monarchs in the troubled areas shows that the group is engaged in fanning the embers of violence.”
According to youths, there seems to be a veil over what truly happened in Jos last Saturday, saying that if actually the travellers were coming from Bauchi, it is incongruous that instead of passing through Bauchi Road, what were their reasons for preferring the Rukuba Road leading to Miango where Irigwe people were engaged in mass burial of their members that were killed?
The youths noted with heavy hearts that despite outcries from communities and patriotic Nigerians calling on the Federal Government to halt further genocidal attacks on their communities, their people living in the Middle Belt Region have been abandoned by the government and left to the mercy of their attackers.
“We are shocked that despite the horrifying cynosure of massacre unleashed on the Irigwe people and other ethnic nationalities in the Middle Belt Zone, the government and relevant security agencies have played the ostrich and refused to deploy genuine efforts at combating these murdering monsters,” the youths explained.
Arising from the bland disposition of security agencies in bringing to justice murderers of innocent Nigerians, the Middle Belt Youth Wing called on CNG and other groups engaged in playing the script of their masters to stop this deceit of double standards that has become its acceptable ethics, adding that the CNG through its press conference is the symbol of an appaling bigotry that is slowly eating up the soul of the nation.
The youths called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop applying different standards in resolving the security challenges confronting the country, saying that the blood that flows in the veins of both Irigwe and Fulani people is still red in colour and represents common humanity.
The Middle Belt Youth Wing called on security agencies to put members of the CNG under serious security watch, explaining that their press conference has the potential of undermining and threatening the peace of not only the North but Nigeria at large.
The statement called on the attention of the government on the continued killings of university students in Jos, observing that government should do everything to halt further unwarranted attacks on innocent citizens
The youths further called on the Federal Government to take a closer look at the comments credited to Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi who threatened retaliation in the event the government fails to handle the matter, government must be just to all sides if it is committed to dealing with insecurity in the country.
The Middle Belt Youths said they are aware that there are plots to subjugate their people and enthrone the Fulani as masters over their people, adding, “We shall resist such devious efforts within our constitutional rights. Nigerians must not allow themselves to be deceived by the hypocrisy of the CNG that is famed for its double standards.”