By Marie-Therese Nanlong – Jos
What started as a peaceful protest in Jos, the Plateau state capital on Tuesday assumed a religious dimension as hoodlums hijack the process, burning cars and looting shops around the Ahmadu Bello, Terminus, Barrack road, and Old Bukuru Park area of the city.
Offices were hurriedly closed as residents scamper for safety even as young boys who may as well be in their teens move in groups attacking and injuring passersby, vandalizing cars, and looting shops.
The incident caused panic which spread across the state capital as some people mistook it for the well-known interreligious conflicts which have plagued the city over the years.
Security agents were seen trying to arrest the situation as teargas were being fired to disperse the hoodlum who was throwing stones at the security and at the time of this report several shops have been looted, many who were injured were rushed to nearby pharmacy and health facilities to get attention but the State Acting Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Donbey Peters told Vanguard on the phone that two cars have been confirmed burnt.
He said, “We are working to bring the situation under control, what I know for now is that two cars have been burnt and some shops looted. The peculiarity of the disturbances in the city is what is giving it the religious or ethnic colouration but it is just hoodlums who hijack the process. We are taking stock of the situation and credible information will be made available as we assess the situation.”
He added, “no arrest has been made yet but the area is calm now.”
The entire city center has been deserted as residents are finding their ways home.
Meanwhile, the Department of State Service has invited, Prophet Isa El Buba, the General overseer of the EBOMI Prayer Ministry to answer questions over his participation at Sunday’s prayer walk. He arrived at the Plateau State office of the DSS Command in Jos at about 10 am Tuesday.
It would be recalled that El Buba had participated in “a prayer walk” on Sunday afternoon in solidarity with the #EndSars protest and the exercise had been peaceful hence the ire of residents who condemned his invitation calling it “official intimidation.”