Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, said Friday that two persons died in the skirmishes between Igbo and Hausa traders in the state capital, Jos on Thursday.
The clash was said to have been caused by a disagreement on the appropriateness or otherwise of the violence in Abia, involving soldiers and members of a pro-Biafra separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
While meeting with community and religious leaders at the government house Jos on Friday the Governor confirmed the deaths.
He also said that some persons were injured and are hospitalised. He condoled with the victims.
The Governor charged all community and religious leaders to ensure peaceful coexistence in their respective places of authority.
“Community leaders must ensure peace in their domains, I as a governor, I cannot be everywhere, you must ensure that peace reigns. Let us talk to our youth to avoid taking laws into their hands.”
Lalong admonished residents of the state, irrespective of religion, ethnic and economic status to remain calm; saying government will ensure protection of lives and property.
“Government will handle the situation effectively, nobody is above the law,” he said.
“Our security operatives are up and doing. Anyone found wanting will face the full wrath of the law, that is why we imposed curfew.
“We will ensure maximum security measures in all parts of the state to ensure that no citizen is harmed. As I speak with you, similar meetings are ongoing in all our local government councils.”
The director of publicity of the Jama’atu Nasir Islam, JNI, Plateau State branch, Sani Mudi, appealed to Muslims not to tag the riot in Jos as a religious violence.
“We should know that this is a political problem and government seems to be on top of it. We should therefore avoid giving it any sort of religious coloration,” he said.
Mudi said: “The Jama’atu Nasril Islam Plateau State Chapter wishes to appeal to the Muslim Ummah and the general public in the State to shun acts capable of disrupting our hard earned peace in the state,” the spokesperson said.
“The events of Thursday in Jos which caused panic around some parts of the metropolis, which were clearly in response to the unfortunate events in the South-east, are unacceptable. JNI finds it necessary and of utmost importance to remind us that we in Plateau State had just in the last few years emerged from a decade long ethno religious conflict which left us with unbearable socio-economic and political consequences.”
Calm had since returned to the city. Many residents were seen going about their lawful and daily activities on Friday morning, although some shops were yet to open for business.
The state government had on Thursday night imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on Jos metropolis to stem spread of violence.