Sunday, August 15, 2021 12:15 am
The Nigerian presidency on Saturday said the killing of travellers from a religious event in Bauchi in Jos, the Plateau State Capital was premeditated.
At least 22 persons were killed by a gang of youths who hijacked the buses of the travellers with many others injured.
But the President said while it is widely known that Plateau State has been one of the states affected by herder-farmer clashes, which have, in a significant way, been curtailed following the intense peace-building efforts of the administration of Governor Simon Lalong, the attack on the travellers was not an opportunist ambush.
“However, to be clear, this is not an agriculturalist-on-pastoralist confrontation – but rather a direct, brazen and wickedly motivated attack on members of a community exercising their rights to travel freely and to follow the faith of their choosing.
“With the evident preparedness of their attackers, it is clear this was a well-conceived and prearranged assault on a known target, location and religious persuasion of the travellers not an opportunist ambush,” the presidency said in a statement signed by Malam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity.
“The Presidency offers condolences to the families of the victims and continues to liaise closely with the local authorities – including security, the police, and governmental agencies.
“These kinds of attacks on our country’s citizens are unacceptable, heinous, and stand in complete contradiction to the teachings of the great religions of our nation.
“The Presidency stands steadfast with both Christians and Muslims at this time in condemnation of this latest attack and expects and insists that justice is swiftly – but fairly – delivered to the perpetrators.
“Make no mistake about it: in line with my commitment to protect all Nigerians, I have ordered our security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of this gruesome massacre of innocent travellers and bring them to justice,” President Buhari said.
As the facts of the sad incident continue to unfold, the Presidency commends the ongoing efforts by the Governors of Plateau, Bauchi, and Ondo; the Sultan of Sokoto His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar III and Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi as well as a number of notable Christian and Muslim leaders as they intensify efforts to calm down the situation.