Horrific news from Jos has it that a clash between Christians and Muslims in Babale village of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State resulted in the death of at least 4 people and at least 10 houses burnt.
There has always been religious crises in Jos but recently there has been peace in the area but this was disrupted on Tuesday, when a car that was trying to avoid a ditch ran into a motorcycle and killed the rider and the passengers. The ensuing pandemonium spilled over to yesterday, Wednesday.
According to the Daily times, a Peugeot 406 station wagon, driven by one Samsudeen Mohammad Umar (a muslim), of Number 6, Rikkos New Layout, was on high speed on the Jos-Bauchi road, when he noticed a ditch by the roadside and in a bid to avoid the ditch knocked down the motorcycle rider and his two passengers who were Christians and residents of the village.
This however made the villagers to rush out and in seeing the nature of the accident, some of them insisted that the ditch, which was dug by a church within that vicinity, must be closed up. The ditch was part of the safety measures put in place by the church to force drivers plying the Jos- Bauchi road to slow down and avoid knocking down their church members, an eye witness told Daily Times.
While some villagers insisted that the ditch must be closed up especially as it had caused a lot of accidents to those not familiar with the route, the Christians, especially the church members insisted that the ditch must remain saying that the death of the two persons on the motorcycle was as a result of the carelessness and over-speeding of the vehicle owner.
The ensuing argument led to the clash between the Christians and Muslims and as the news spread so also were the two groups taking up arms against one another. It was further gathered by Daily times that in less than two hours no fewer than 10 houses had been torched and two more people killed.
Policemen meanwhile had been posted to the village to create calm and maintain peace. The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Emmanuel Abu, who confirmed the story to Daily Times, blamed the youth for the rampage.
He said they became violent and started destroying properties. He also said the police has made two arrests in connection with the incident while investigation is still going on.
Religious tensions are high not only in Jos but in Nigeria as the elections draws closer but General Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate under the platform of All Progressives Congress visited with some Catholic Bishops in Abuja on Tuesday February 10th and while addressing the bishops said he had no personal religious programme and as a practicing Muslim, he doesn’t share the views of any extremist group.