The timely intervention of security personnel, yesterday, averted another bloody Sallah celebration in Jos, Plateau State. In Kogi State, Police Command recovered a vehicle found to contain six AK-47 rifles and 11 live magazines.
Eyewitness said some Muslims youths, while returning from the prayer ground in Farin-Gada area of the town, threw stones at houses in the area and smashed cars parked at the premises of some churches and attacked motorists.
The youths were said to have gone to the prayer ground with vehicles filled with stones. On their way back, they were alleged to have brandished dangerous weapons and chanted war songs, which created tension in the area.
The action angered some youths in the area, which is predominantly occupied by Christians. They came out to the major roads ready for a show-down but for the timely intervention of security personnel, who shot into the air to disperse them.
It will be recalled that violence broke out during last year’s Sallah in the city, during which some persons lost their lives.
Police reaction, warning
Confirming the incident, in a statement by the Command’s Deputy Police Public Relation Officer, Mr. Danjuma Azikiti, the state Police Command noted it was disheartening that, despite series of parleys with religious leaders and youths, despite the warnings to stop the use of abusive and provocative languages, and ban on carrying of dangerous weapons, some misguided youths still went ahead to foment trouble during the celebration.
The statement condemned the act, describing same as unfortunate. It thanked God that no life was lost and no church or mosque torched, as well as urged Christian and Muslim leaders, parents, to call their followers, children and wards to order as the police will not condone any breakdown of law and order.
However, normalcy had returned to the town as residents were seen going about their businesses.
Bomb scare causes confusion in Kogi
The Kogi State Police Command, yesterday, recovered a vehicle found to contain six AK-47 rifles and 11 live magazines. The car was parked in Oboroke Ihima of the area by unknown persons. Passersby informed the Ohi of Ihima, Alhaji Abdulraheem Ogido, on noticing the car, who later alerted the police. They promptly responded and took the car.
The ensuing confusion led to people fleeing for safety, thinking there was a bomb in the car.
Meanwhile, Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State has restated his government’s commitment to rid the state of crime and criminals, promising to bring to justice all those arrested in connection with the Okene killings.
Speaking, yesterday, in Lokoja, when journalists in the state paid him a Sallah visit, Wada vowed to work with the security agencies to ensure that those found culpable were punished. He expressed sadness over the church killings, noting that the act was alien to the people of the state.
The car was parked beside a lady who sells recharge card. The source said trouble started when a man came to pick the car but was resisted by the lady, who then alerted residents of the area.
State Police Commissioner, Mr. Muhammed Kastina, who confirmed the incident, said the car was abandoned by some criminals after a confrontation with his men.