Olaleye Idowu

Pandemonium yesterday ensued in katangan Wargi the headquarters of the Wargi local government Area of Bauchi in Protest of Alleged blasphemy where several Houses and shops were raised and many People including  a pastor was said to have been critically injured as Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed reads Riots Act/


Normalcy has, however, returned to the area as Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, warned that he would not spare anyone bent on disrupting the peace of the state.

It was learnt that the lady identified as Rhoda Jatau, a 40-year- old member of staff of the Medical Department of Warji LGA, allegedly posted a video of someone who renounced Islam on a WhatsApp group.
The message, it was gathered, did not go down well with her co-workers who are predominantly Muslims.


However, the girl was whisked away to safety by fellow Christians, who got wind of the impending danger.
But the irate Muslim youths went on the rampage and started destroying properties belonging to Christians when the planned attempt to lynch the girl failed after Jumma prayers on Friday.


“We were at home Friday evening when we heard shouts from Muslim youths in their hundreds wanting to attack the ECWA church but Christian youths and others resisted and repelled them but after they had already set the shops attached to the church on fire,” a member of the ECWA church, who pleaded anonymity, said.


He added: “In the process, one of the pastors of the ECWA Church was seriously injured. As I am speaking to you, efforts are on to save his life as he lost much blood due to the injuries inflicted on him.”
Confirming the incident, the state police command said six houses and seven shops were on Friday evening set ablaze by irate youths while many people were also injured.


The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Mamman Sanda, has also ordered a thorough investigation into the crisis.


A statement issued yesterday by the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ahmed Mohammed Wakil said the violence was a result of a blasphemous message posted on social media by one Rhoda Jatau, a 40-year-old staff of the Medical Department of Warji LGA.


According to the statement, “On May 20, 2022, at about 1745hours, some irate youths set six houses and seven shops ablaze, while some score of persons were injured as a result of a blasphemous message posted on a social media by one Rhoda Jatau (female), 40 years old staff of the Medical Department Warji Local Government”.


The PPRO stated that the police have since deployed all Tactical Teams, Mobile Police Force, and Rapid Response Squad (RRS) whose joint efforts brought the situation under control, adding that the area is calm for now, while visibility patrols are ongoing to keep the peace.


He said that the state police commissioner appealed to the public to be calm and go about their lawful business without any fear of intimidation as normalcy has been restored in the affected area.
“While assuring the general public that the police is on top of the situation and will continue to update the public as to the level of investigation from time to time”


“The command would like to use this medium to reiterate the need for parents and guardians to maintain strict vigilance over the activities of their wards, particularly youths.


“The Commissioner of Police also urges religious leaders, community leaders, and elders generally to always speak to youths to desist from anything that could temper with the security of their areas,” the statement added.


Reacting to unrest in the state, Governor Bala Mohammed yesterday said he would not spare anyone bent on disrupting the peace of the state.
The governor stated when he visited residents of the Warji community to commiserate with victims over the incident.


Speaking at the palace of District Head of Warji, Mohammed expressed worry over the spate of insecurity in some parts of the country, saying that it was time for people to allow peace at all costs as the consequences of insecurity were devastating.


“Religion is very close to peoples’ hearts. It is very uncivilized to joke about each other’s religions. We know that there are Christians and Muslims in Wargi. Those of us who are 60 years old never heard of a crisis in Warji before this time.  


“I must commend religious leaders, traditional leaders, and security personnel for putting up a combined effort that leads to quenching of the violence.
“I will not spare anyone found making attempts to cause trouble. My administration has a special regard for peace and religious tolerance and I will not fold up my arms to allow unpatriotic people to cause trouble in any part of the state,” he said.


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