Igbo traders in Kaduna closed unusually early on Friday amidst fears of a reprisal over the reported attack on Hausa community in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, on Thursday, TheCable can report.
Two deaths were recorded in Jos, Plateau state, on Thursday in what was thought to be a reprisal over the Port Harcourt incident.
Meanwhile, the umbrella body for northern Muslims, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), under the leadership of the sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has cautioned Muslims against any form of revenge.
There is currently tension across northern states following reports of the killing of Hausa residents in Port Harcourt by suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Nnamdi Kanu.
Shops belonging to Igbo traders along the commercial nerve centre of the city — Ahmadu Bello Way — were closed on Friday.
Those who opened closed early and returned home.
The JNI, in the statement signed by the secretary general, Khalid Abubakar, on behalf of the sultan, said all Jummat Mosque imams had been advised to use the Friday prayers to pray for peace and unity in the country.
The imams were also charged to implore their congregation not to react to the Port Harcourt killings.
“What happened in the South East is unfortunate but we are calling on people to keep their heads and avoid reprisals anywhere in the country and especially in the north,” he said in the statement shared with TheCable.
“JNI as the umbrella organisation of all Muslims want everyone to remain calm as we are reaching out to government which we believe are doing their best to keep the peace.
“Nigerians should take lessons from what is happening around us, especially in other African countries there is no reason for anybody to feel that he is more superior or more Nigerian than the others.
“Youths should allow reason to prevail as government tries to do what is best to bring us out of the the present predicament.
“Jummat Mosque Imams are urged to preach peace as a way to douse the tension in the country.
“The media should also report issues that will bring about peace, thank God government is looking at the issue of hate speech because wars emanate from hate speech. Government should use the law of the land to bring anyone found wanting to book.”
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