Nigeria, and the world at large, woke up on Sunday 7th March to learn of yet another carnage on the Jos Plateau. On that day, in a sordid operation that commenced about 1.30 am and lasted 2 hours, about 600 villagers in the Christian village of Dogon Na Hauwa and two others nearby, were hacked down and butchered in cold blood by Fulani herdsmen, allegedly imported from neighbouring Bauchi state. (read some details at http://www.goodseedfellowship.org/)
According to eyewitness accounts cited in a statement by the influential Christian Elders Consultative Forum, “The Hausa-Fulani Muslim militants came chanting ‘allahu akbar’ and broke into homes, cutting human beings including children and women with their knives and cutlasses.”
The statement, signed by the the National Coordinator of the group, Bishop Anderson Bok, and the Secretary General, Dr. Musa Pam, described the fresh attack as “yet another jihad and provocation” against Christians in the state.
Apart from the Christian Elders Forum, both the traditional ruler of Jos (Gbong Gwom Jos), Da Gyang Buba and the Executive Governor of the State, Jonah David Jang averred they got wind of the massacre ahead of time and had duly informed the Nigerian Army, who were supposed to be in charge of security and an on-going 12 hour curfew in place in the state, since the last mayhem at Jos earlier in January. According to newspaper reports, the army commander bluntly denied receiving any phone call from the governor, while another officer claimed he missed the route to the locations, hence arriving late at the crime scene!
However, eyewitnesses told Jonathan Racho of the International Christian concerns (ICC) that some security forces indeed arrived in time enough to witness the killings, but they refused to enter Dogon Na Hauwa. The only action taken by the security forces, according to the report, was to stop Christians who had come from neighbouring villages to come give assistance to the villages under attack. The soldiers allegedly cited the on-going curfew! (www.persecution.org/slaughter/?p=16) The state governor, a retired officer of the Nigerian Air Force himself, was barely able to check his emotions both at the frustrations from Federal agents and at the gory sight of charred bodies of innocent children and women that littered the ground.
In his reaction, the national president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, urged Acting President Jonathan to prove to the 140 million Nigerians especially the Christian community that they have a stake in the nation just as their counterparts who have perfected the art of provoking them at will. Speaking with newsmen, Pastor Oritsejafor said: “I have just returned from a trip abroad. While I was away I was inundated with reports of another catastrophe in the Jigawa State capital where several churches were burnt and just as I was trying to settle down and collate reports from the field I am hearing of another on a Sunday morning.”
This latest killings occurred hours before the commencement of a Peace Meeting convened by Christian stateman and former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon, who is from the troubled Plateau state.
Weeks earlier, the Plateau state government had raised alarms about the setting free by Federal government agents, of militants arrested in the previous killings. The suspects with their case files would simply be transferred to Abuja (the federal capital), and that was the end of the matter!
Speaking to journalists in Jos, earlier on in the wake of the January killings, the Plateau State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Edward Pwajok said efforts to ensure speedy and transparent prosecution of all those suspected to be masterminds of the crisis were being frustrated by federal agents. Mr Pwajok further lamented that “government was disturbed because it was the same scenario after the November 2008 crisis, when all the over 300 files that had been processed and based upon which remand orders were obtained in the courts, were taken to Force Headquarters, Abuja…..And in spite of the repeated demands, no file was returned to Jos, thus leading to the release of all the suspects of the 2008 Jos unrest. Continuing, he said: “Again, all the 26 suspects arrested in the wake of the 2008 unrest on suspicion of being mercenaries were taken from Jos to Abuja and nothing has been heard from the police force Headquarters since last year,” (http://allafrica.com/stories/201001260114.html)
In the January 17th incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gregory Anyating, had told journalists that 35 people were arrested, five in military uniform with arms. A statement by the Christian Elders described the January 17th attack.
“The attack coming in the wake of today, Sunday the 17th January 2010, after the normal Christian services in Churches is premeditated, wicked, deliberate and terrifying. Our fellow brothers and sisters were just coming out of churches in Nassarawa area of Jos when some Islamic youths pounced on them with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons. Shortly after the attack, we were made to believe that some Islamic fundamentalists were engaging themselves in some fracas after some disagreement, which spilled into churches leading to Christian casualties.
"Why must it be churches and Christians who will suffer from an all-Muslim affair?...."Why will Islamic fundamentalists engage themselves on a Sunday morning shortly after the service if the 'terror' act was not premeditated?"
The statement ominously warned: "While thanking the Plateau State government for its prompt reaction, which quickly restored peace to the city, we call on our Moslem brothers and sisters to see this as the last of such provocation on the Christians in the state. Enough is enough."
It is apparently the “prompt reaction” of the state government that angered the Islamic fundamentalists who found out they could not have the field day of free killing they had hoped for. More than 367 suspects and mercenaries were arrested during the crisis (although none prosecuted, as a result of direct intervention by agents of the Federal Government).
Apparently, as many of the foreign press with their usual sympathy and shameless bias towards Islam have been trying to portray, the March 7 incidents are “reprisal” acts for the January failure. For instance, in a report submitted by one Shuaibu Mohammed and written by Nick Tattersall, Reuters described the March massacre as “clashes between pastoralists and villagers!” What “clashes” when innocent folks (mainly women and children) are roused from their beds in the middle of the night by gunshots and burning roofs, to be hacked down with machetes as they stepped into the streets? According to ‘earwitnesses’, each stab of the long knife or hack by the matchete is followed by grunts of “allahu akbar”, which the murderers apparently used to steel themselves to the dastard act. Not a single one of the cold-blood murderers was killed – Clashes indeed!
Whereas, it is on record that every act of violence to date on the Jos plateau had been first instigated by Islamic elements. The latest tactic of attacking sleeping villagers in Jos suburbs simply reflects the seeking of easy targets by these Haman-minded jihadists (see Esther 9:1-2) - as Christian youths in Jos had now taken their own security into their own hands following the abysmal failure of government security forces.
Describing the March 7 killings as “cowardly killing of innocent Christians” National Secretary of PFN, Pastor Wale Adefarasin said the incident was further evidence that terrorist attacks similar to September 11 and the failed Christmas Day bombing in the United States now thrived in Nigeria. “Nigerians demand that for the first time all the perpetrators of these shameless acts including those that have aided and abetted them must feel the full weight of the law.” he concluded.
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