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This post was written by Tee Akindele on July 31, 2010
Posted Under: Everyday Christian,News

Jos Crisis: July 2010 Updates

Flashes of violence resurfaced again in and around Jos, Plateau State, in the month of July, just when we were beginning to hope that the troubled waters were eventually getting still.

One sad Saturday, the 17th of July it was reported in the news, how some religious extremists attacked Mazah, a predominantly Christian village in Jos North Local Government Area , killing about 10 people with machetes and burning seven houses and a church.

As reported by AFP, Lieutenant Colonel Kingsley Umoh, an army spokesman, said Fulani Muslims entered Mazzah between 1:30 am and 5:00 am, shooting sporadically in the air to lure sleeping residents outside their homes before they were killed. “Seven people were killed instantly with machetes while three others were seriously injured. One of them died on the way to the hospital,” he said.

According to International Christian Concern, They killed the wife and two children of Reverend Nuhu Dawat, a pastor of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN). They also burned down the pastor’s church. The attackers then killed four members of another family and burned down several other Christian homes.

The same spokesman for the Military Special Task Force in charge of internal security in the state,  also said that troop reinforcements were deployed to Mazzah, some 14 kilometers (nine miles) from Jos, the capital of central Plateau State, to prevent the violence from escalating.

The village was calm that Saturday afternoon, but some residents were seen leaving for Jos out of fears for their safety. The police arrested three of the suspected attackers. The are believed to have come from nearby Bauchi State according to ICC.

A few days later, I read about reprisal attacks which occurred on Wednesday, 21st July.

According to the Nigerian Tribune, The bodies of Reverend Nuhu Dawat, his wife and daughter, were taken to Panyam in Mangu Local Government Area of the state while the bodies of four others were taken to Mazah village, where they were killed, for burial.

Nigerian Tribune learned that while the Christian funeral service for those taken to Mazah was going on at the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), emotions ran high and the officiating minister had to cut short the service to avoid violence.

An eyewitness told the Nigerian Tribune that as  sympathisers were returning from the burial, some  angry youths at Angwan Rukuba took to the streets to protest against the killings resulting in reprisal attacks in areas like Dutse Uku and Nasarawa Gwom.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that many people sustained varying degrees of injuries while no fewer that five people were killed in the crisis that lasted for about three hours.

It was further gathered that the   leader of the Anaguta community in Jos was said to have been killed in Dutse Uku area by hoodlums who reportedly torched his residence.

Consequently, there was a pandemonium in Jos, the state capital, as some people hurriedly closed their business premises and fled some of the areas tagged as flash-points in the state capital.

The prompt intervention of the Military Special Task Force in charge of internal security in the state, especially within the state capital, prevented the situation from degenerating.

“We have always been attacked. We are never fighting. It’s always aggression by Islamic fundamentalists. We want the Christians outside of Nigeria to understand that. No true Christian kills. We want the Christians in the West to care for us, find out the truth and tell it to the international community,” said Reverend Chuwang Avou, General Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria, in Plateau State.

International Christian Concern, have asked Christians all over the world to pray:

  • that Rev Nuhu Dawat and his remaining child and all the others who have lost loved ones by the despicable murders by Fulani Muslims will turn to the Lord for He can heal the pain of their losses.
  • that President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration will take firm action to ensure that the military and police will carry out their full responsibilities and protect the Christians.
  • that the authorities will promptly arrest and prosecute the extremists.

Local rights groups say 1,500 people have died in inter-communal violence in the Jos region since the start of this year alone.

Some observers say the violence results from religion being exploited in the struggle for local power. There have been warnings that such clashes could increase in the run up to elections expected early next year. I’d like all Christians to also pray against these unrests even more as the elections approach.

Sources: VOM Canada, Nigerian Tribune

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