The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused Simon Lalong and Rotimi Akeredolu, governors of Plateau and Ondo states, of being hypocrites and involved in an executive conspiracy following their reactions to the recent killing of 22 persons in Plateau State.
MURIC made the accusation in a statement signed by Professor Ishaq Akintola, its Director, over the weekend.
The 22 persons, identified as Muslim pilgrims from Ondo State, were allegedly killed by Irigwe Christian militia, described as a Christian militia group, in the Rukaba area of Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Saturday.
The pilgrims were said to have attended the annual dhikr prayer in Bauchi State and they were returning to Ikare, Ondo State when they were ambushed and subsequently killed.
Governors Lalong and Akeredolu had in separate statements on Saturday called for calm, describing the killing as a case of mistaken identity.
But reacting, MURIC blasted the governors over their statement, describing it as the “shedding of crocodile tears”.
According to the Islamic human rights group, the two governors have trivialised the killings, claiming that their statements have exposed their mentalities against Muslims in Nigeria.
The statement read: “MURIC condemns this massacre in the strongest terms. It is barbaric. We hereby demand the rounding up of all members of the Irigwe Christian militia. They must be brought to justice. They ran away from the crime scene when they saw securitymen approaching. But they had participated in the killing of twenty-two (22) and wounding of fourteen (14) before taking to their heels.
“It is not possible for the six who were arrested to have been the only attackers. Only six attackers could not have surrounded people who filled five buses. The rest must be fished out.
“We reject the crocodile tears and lies of Governors Lalong of Jos and Akeredolu of Ondo State who claimed that the attack was a case of mistaken identity. This excuse is the first sign of executive conspiracy. It is a shame that Akeredolu will trivialise the massacre of citizens of his own state simply because the victims happen to be Muslims. #Muslimlivesmatter.
“How can anybody say Muslims from Ikare in Ondo State were killed in such a large number due to ‘mistaken identity? That is baldadash. It is unthinkable. Who do the Christian terrorists have the right to attack and kill for their pleasure and who should they spare? This kind of excuse has exposed the mentality of the two governors. They are shedding crocodile tears.
“Lalong’s body language makes it difficult for us to trust him. He will sweep this case under the carpet at the first opportunity because his kinsmen are the culprits and he has a history of covering up their crimes. The killing of General Alkali is still fresh in our memory, particularly the attempt at coverup, the comedy at the pond and the eventual intervention of the governor who ran to army headquarters to beg for forgiveness.”
MURIC insisted that the Inspector-General of Police should take over the investigation of the killings rather than leaving it for the state to superintend over.
It also called on all Muslims across the country, particularly in Bauchi and Ondo states, to remain calm and allow the law to take its course.
“We pray for the repose of the souls of the 22 Muslims killed in this unprovoked attack. May Allah have mercy on them and may He in His Infinite Mercy give their families the fortitude to bear the loss. We also pray for the quick recovery of the injured among them and their subsequent safe return to their homes,” the statement added.