The Presidency has condemned the attack on travellers from a religious event in Bauchi, passing through Jos, Plateau State Capital.
A presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Saturday night, said the Presidency regretted the deaths of at least 21 persons with several others injured in the ambush.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of what he called “gruesome massacre of innocent travellers” and bring them to justice in line with his commitment to protect all Nigerians.
The Presidency commended the ongoing efforts by the Governors of Plateau, Bauchi, and Ondo; the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar III, and Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi as well as a number of notable Christian and Muslim leaders for intensifying efforts to calm down the situation.
The Presidency, which offered condolences to the families of the victims, had continued to liaise with the local authorities, including security, the police, and governmental agencies.
The statement titled ‘Presidency Strongly Condemns Hoodlum Attacks on Travellers’ read: “It is widely known that Plateau State has been one of the states affected by herder-farmer clashes, which have, in a significant way, been curtailed following the intense peace-building efforts of the administration of Governor Simon Lalong.
“However, to be clear, this is not an agriculturalist-on-pastoralist confrontation – but rather a direct, brazen and wickedly motivated attack on members of a community exercising their rights to travel freely and to follow the faith of their choosing.
“With the evident preparedness of their attackers, it is clear this was a well-conceived and prearranged assault on a known target, location and religious persuasion of the travellers not an opportunist ambush.
“These kinds of attacks on our country’s citizens are unacceptable, heinous, and stand in complete contradiction to the teachings of the great religions of our nation.
“The Presidency stands steadfast with both Christians and Muslims at this time in condemnation of this latest attack and expects and insists that justice is swiftly – but fairly – delivered to the perpetrators.”