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Don’t retaliate’ — MURIC appeals to northerners over Abia killings

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has appealed to northerners not to avenge the killing of some northern traders in Abia state.

Ishaq Akintola, director of MURIC, said the appeal was for peace in Nigeria.

TheCable had reported how several persons were killed by gunmen who attacked the new cattle market in Omumauzor community in Ukwa west LGA of the state.

In a statement on Wednesday, Akintola said nobody has the right to take the life of another, adding that the attack in Abia was intended to provoke northerners into a reprisal.

“About fifteen (15) Northern traders and 150 cows belonging to the victims were killed in Abia State last week,” Akintola said.

“Although we are aware that this is not the first time such dastardly act would occur in South Eastern Nigeria, we strongly appeal to Northerners not to contemplate retaliation. Our main reason for the appeal is the need for peace in the country at this point in time when we are approaching the end of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“MURIC strongly condemns the killings which occurred in Abia last week. Indeed, we condemn all killings and all criminal acts, whether perpetrated by herders, ethnic militia or separatists. Life is sacred and no homo sapien has the right to unlawfully take the life of another.

“We charge Northerners to remain patient and law-abiding. This attack in Abia in particular was intended to provoke the North into counter-killings which may spiral into another orgy of violence culminating in a civil war. The North should not even bite the bait, talk less of swallowing it. The cost is too high.”

Akintola commended northerners for exercising patience.

“The North has held back its anger each time its people are killed, harassed and intimidated by Southerners. Our records show that this has occurred several times particularly in the last seven years without the North attempting to retaliate once. We salute both the Northern youths and elders and urge them to hold on and continue the display of maturity and reticence,” he said.

“We mourn all those who lost their lives as a result of killings around the country and we pray that Allah will give their families the fortitude to bear the losses. We also pray for enduring peace, political stability as well as economic prosperity in our dear country, Nigeria.”

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