How a Christian man saved my life in Jos killings – Fulani survivor recalls narrow escape
One of the survivors of the Rukuba road incident, where about 22 people were gruesomely hacked down in reprisal attacks, Muhammad Ibrahim has narrated how he was rescued by a Christian tricycle operator who took him to safety at the Jos Central Mosque after disguising him with a face cap to escape out of the danger zone.
According to the Vanguard, Ibrahim said: “When we arrived at the Gada-Biyu area, there was traffic and we thought it was the normal traffic but before we knew it, people from all angles started stoning us and there was no way we could drive further because they had surrounded our buses and the people were many.
“The area was congested, I don’t know how I got out of the bus but I was on the ground and they were hitting me with stones. Then I saw a tricycle operator whom I believe is a Christian, he asked me to quickly jump in, and he drove off.
“When we got to the Mosque I said let me get some money and pay him, but he replied ‘I did not help because of money. Now you are safe, let me try and see if I can save more….’ He drove off.” Though Ibrahim does not know his benefactor’s name, he prayed “Allah will bless him and his generation.”
The build up to the events which erupted last Saturday is rooted in previous attacks on christians. It would be recalled that before the Saturday incident, there had been a series of attacks in the Irigwe Chiefdom of Bassa local government area as well as in Riyom local government area.
About 70 people lost their lives though official figures showed less, over 200 houses were burnt and about 3,000 people displaced.
So last Saturday, when some Irigwe mourners were heading to Miango district for a mass burial of some of the victims killed in the earlier attack, some commuters in a convoy of five buses were also seen along Rukuba road which also leads to Miango and this raised suspicion as to the intention of the commuters who are of the Fulani ethnic group.
It was gathered that some passers-by who observed the movement of the convoy stopped them and demanded their whereabouts to which “conflicting and unsatisfactory answers” were given.
This prompted the people to start hitting the vehicles and attacking the commuters.
Out of fear, the commuters ran out of the vehicles and were chased. While some were lucky to escape with injuries, about 22 were killed and their vehicles destroyed.
The situation snowballed to Sunday when some worshippers were attacked and killed while on their way to church thereby prompting the State government to declare a 24-hr curfew in Jos North and dusk to dawn curfew in Jos South and Bassa where tensions were high.