By Ajape Sefiu A.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the crisis that leaves about eight confirmed dead while six mosques and two churches have been burned in Mangu as violence spreads in Mangu Local Government of Plateau State.

This was revealed in a press release signed by the group’s director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, on Thursday, January 25, 2024.

MURIC, however, has also appealed to the combatants for calm.

The statement read, “The death toll in the raging crisis in Mangu, Plateau State, has reached eight. Six mosques and two churches have been burnt. The burnt mosques include a central mosque, the Anguwan Dawo Jumat Mosque. An Islamic school, Audi Islamiyyah, was also burnt. The two burnt churches, Deden and Assemblies of God’s Church are located in Sabon-Kasuwa in Dercom and Alogom areas of Mangu. Both belong to COCIN.

“MURIC denounces this wanton destruction of lives and properties, particularly houses of worship which should be respected. It is barbaric and satanic. We must learn to coexist peacefully.

“We note with serious concern the consistent consistency of attacks on Northern Muslims who live in Plateau State. We find it noteworthy that although Southern Christians of the South East and South West also reside in large numbers in Plateau State, it is the Northern Muslims who are always targeted for killing. The others have never been attacked…

“The fact that all the eight people who died in the riot are Muslims point to where the aggression first started as well as the targets of the attacks. Reports gathered from the Plateau State branch of MURIC and that of the Jamaat Nasril Islam (JNI) states that the crisis started on Tuesday, 23rd January, 2024.

“The reports also affirm that the security outfits in ‘Operation Rainbow’ are partisan as there are complaints that Muslims and their mosques did not receive adequate protection, a situation which made it possible for the Christian youths to burn as many as eight mosques while only two churches were affected.

“We charge the security agents to be fair to all. Partisanship in the security agencies can cause irreparable damage. It can also allow the crisis to escalate beyond imagination.

“We appeal to the people of Mangu in particular and Plateau State in general to stop all forms of hostility. They should cooperate with law enforcement agencies. The name of Plateau State has become synonymous with killing and destruction. This has started to scare prospective investors, tourists and visitors away from the state. This is bound to affect the state’s economy.”