Irigwe people in Jos say they have no hand in the murder of 22 commuters

Irigwe Development Association, an ethnic group in Plateau on Monday denounced that its people were responsible for the killing 22 commuters on Rukuba Road, Jos on Aug. 14.

President the association, Mr Robert Dodo, denounced the allegation at a news conference it organised in collaboration with an NGO in Abuja.

Dodo said on the said day, Irigwe people were mourning their losses and were in a mass burial procession, an aftermath an attack on the community by gunmen.

He said the community had earlier applied and obtained permission from the police in Jos, which even provided escorts for the burial procession.

He added that it was the police escorts in the procession that advised the mourners not to use the Rukuba Road route.

“As law abiding people, the Irigwe funeral procession used an alternative route to arrive at destination at Miago.

we make it clear that our mourners and the funeral procession did not through Rukuba Road.

“We did not have any contact whatsoever with those travellers who were unfortunately killed,” he said.

Dodo stressed that the narrative that the Rukuba Road attack was carried out by Irigwe youths and the mourners was false, evil and malicious.

Dodo also denounced media reports that Irigwe people signed a peace accord with herdsmen as untrue.

He said Irigwe people had problem with peace-loving herdsmen saying both groups attended meetings with the state with the hope putting an end to killings in the state.

The Programme Coordinator the NGO, Mr Mark Lipdo, said danger was inherent in labelling lrigwe people or Plateau people as perpetrators killings without conclusive investigation or evidence.

He said the NGO had observed the emergence threats issued in various quarters about plans attacks and reports influx of strangers that had made Irigwe people vulnerable.

“We have also observed with great concern, increased security reports impending attacks in various parts the state. This should not be allowed to continue.

“Rather than allowing conflict merchants and trouble makers to take advantage situations like this, the NGO is calling for a  stand in response to criminality.

“We are calling on to expedite action to ensure that criminals who continued to attack our communities, kidnap, maim and kill people are apprehended and brought to justice,’’ he said. (NAN)