Sokoto, Jos massacre: Muslim Media Practitioners demand probe, punishment of offenders
Disturbed by the deliberate killings of innocent Muslims over the weekend in Plateau and Sokoto states, the Muslims Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) has called for setting up of an investigative panel to unravel the rationale for such criminal attacks on Muslims by some bandits and alleged Christian militias.
In a statement by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, President of Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria, in Abuja on Sunday, the group condemned the wicked killings of both Muslims in Sokoto and Jos.
It was reported that gunmen suspected to be bandits attacked Goronyo Local Government Area of Sokoto State on Saturday where nine Muslims were killed and six others were abducted by the suspected bandits.
Report from the area indicated that among those killed by the bandits across three villages are eight men and one woman.
The villages attacked by the suspected bandits are Bejingo, Dantudu, and Tulutu, all in Birjin ward.
The bandits also carted away herds of cattle belonging to the villagers during the attack on Saturday.
Similarly, twenty-two (22) unarmed Muslim travellers were brutally killed by a Christian militia group at Rukaba, Jos, Plateau State, on Saturday morning.
It was reported that the Muslims had attended the annual dhikr prayer in Bauchi State and they were returning to Ikare, Ondo State when they were waylaid by the notorious Irigwe Christian militia.
The unarmed Muslims who were in a convoy of five buses were forced to disembark. They were then killed one after another. Twenty two of them were killed while fourteen (14) were seriously injured. It was the arrival of the police and soldiers on the scene that saved the rest.
The Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria thus joined other well-meaning Nigerians to condemn this wicked and deliberate killings of innocent Muslims in both Sokoto and Plateau States and called on Federal Government to immediately set up a panel to probe those arrested and if found guilty , should be prosecuted.
This, we believe, will serve as a deterrent to others planning such evil acts and prevent any reprisal attacks in future.
MMPN commiserates with the Sokoto, Ondo and Plateau State Governments as well as the families and friends of the affected martyred Muslims.
Our consolation lies with the words of Allah in the following verses.
Allah says in Quran 2: verse154: “Do not say regarding those who are slain in the path of God that they are dead; rather they are alive but you are not aware.”
Also, Quran 3:169 states: “Do not consider as dead those who are slain in the path of God; rather they are alive and well-provided for in the presence of their Lord.”
We equally urge Muslims to remain calm and not take laws into their hands while security agencies fish out the killers and punish them accordingly.
Muslims should also heed the warnings by Allah in Qur’an 5: 32:
…Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely….
MMPN reiterates that no individual or group has the right to take any human life on the basis of gender, ethnic or religion except by the constituted authority if such person runs afoul of the law of the land.
MMPN equally appeal to Journalists and Media Practitioners to be objective in their reportage of such events and any event of that matter in line with the ethics of the profession and spiritual guidance for Muslim Media Practitioners as contained in Qur’an 49 verse 6:
“O you who have believed! If some transgressors bring you news (that requires taking action), verify it carefully (before you believe and act upon it), lest you harm a people in ignorance and then become regretful for what you have done”.