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Jos Blast: Sultan, Oritsejafor Demand White Paper from FG

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Apparently disturbed by the wave of violent killing in Jos, Plateau State capital, prominent religious leaders have added their voices to crave for normalcy, even as renewed attempts to bomb parts of   the cosmopolitan city has been foiled. Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor have demanded the urgent release of the white paper by the Federal Government on the persisting   ethno-religious crisis in Northern Nigeria.  

  At a joint press conference in Lagos, the religious leaders articulated the need for appropriate sanctions and punishment for those indicted in the report to serve as a deterrent to others who are poised to causing mayhem to the society.  

  The duo who spoke under the auspices of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), expressed sadness at the huge loss of innocent lives and property to religious crisis since 2008, adding that the unending crisis in the area was political, though, with religious colouration.  

  Abubakar said, 'It is political, with religious colouration because it involves christians and muslims', while Oritsejafor noted that 'What has happened in Jos is political, with a strong dose of religion'.  

  The CAN president added that 'politicians know the weaknesses of the gullible and what part of the country to use, hence, the reason why mayhems and religious riots are more pronounced in a certain part of the country than the other.'  

  They however called on their followers to ensure peace and harmony which is synonymous with Islam and Christianity and urged them to eschew any form of violence, not only in Plateau State but also in other parts of the country.  

  Meanwhile, the Special Task Force (STF) says it has successfully foiled renewed attempts by religious insurgents to detonate substances suspected to be bombs and dynamites in parts of the city.  

  Spokesman to the STF, Captain Charles Ekocha said: 'Two of the suspects, Yusuf Sabiu and Samaila Garga, were arrested at Dogon-Karfe area of Jos city while trying to ignite a dynamite to bomb the area.  

  On the planned fresh attacks, he said, 'We also encountered some other people who were assembling explosive devices at Nasarawa area near St. Micheal. They fled on sighting our men and we could not arrest them.'  

'The substances we saw them assembling are materials used to make explosives. if our men did not come across them, they would have used them to make another explosive.'  

  He appealed to the public to 'help us with valuable information that will lead us to arrest those causing mayhem in this state. The people doing these things are living among the people. If they are not ready to expose them, how then can we succeed in restoring the peace?'