Irigwe indigenes not behind Rukuba killings: Association
The Irigwe Development Association has refuted allegations that its people were behind the killings of travellers on Rukuba Road in Jos on August 14.
President of the association, Robert Dodo, denounced the allegation at a news conference it organised in collaboration with an NGO in Abuja.
Mr Dodo said on the day of the killings, Irigwe people were mourning their losses and in a burial procession following an attack on the community.
He said the community had applied and obtained permission from the police in Jos, which provided escorts for the burial procession.
He added that the police escort in the procession had advised the mourners not to use Rukuba road.
“As law-abiding people, the Irigwe funeral procession used an alternative route to arrive at their destination at Miago.
“May we make it clear that our mourners and the funeral procession did not pass through Rukuba Road. We did not have any contact whatsoever with those travellers who were unfortunately killed,” he said.
Mr Dodo said the narrative that the Rukuba road attack by Irigwe youths and the mourners was false, evil and malicious.
He also denounced media reports that Irigwe people signed a peace accord with herdsmen as untrue.
The association president stated that Irigwe people have no problem with peace-loving herdsmen. According to him, both groups attended meetings with the state government to end killings in the state.
The Programme Coordinator of the NGO, Mark Lipdo, said it was dangerous to label lrigwe people or Plateau people as perpetrators of killings without conclusive investigation or evidence.
He said the NGO had observed the emergence of threats issued in various quarters about plans of attacks and reports of inﬂux of strangers that had made Irigwe people vulnerable.
“We have also observed with great concern, increased security reports of impending attacks in various parts of the state. This should not be allowed to continue.
“Rather than allowing conﬂict merchants and troublemakers to take advantage of situations like this, the NGO is calling for a united stand in response to criminality.
“We are calling on the government to expedite action to ensure that criminals who continued to attack our communities, kidnap, maim and kill people are apprehended and brought to justice,” Mr Lipdo said.
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