The Plateau State chapter of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), has berated Governor Caleb Mutfwang’s administration for refusing to include the names of Muslims as beneficiaries of the N500 million donated by the wife of the president, Oluremi Tinubu, to victims of the crisis in the state.
The wife of the president had on September 12 given N500 million to the state government to be disbursed to the victims of the crisis recently experienced in six local government areas of Mangu, Barikin Ladi, Riyom, Bokkos, Jos South and Bassa.
The JNI had soon after the release of the names of beneficiaries accused the state of excluding Muslims in the list submitted to the office of the first lady, explaining that following the release of the names, the group had written a letter to the government for the review of the list but claimed nothing had been done.
In a press briefing held at the Jos Central Mosque on Saturday, the secretary of the group, Dr Salim Musa Umar, said, despite calling for the review of the list, the government went ahead with the disbursement without including their members who were affected by the crisis.
He said “The Plateau State branch of the JNI had written a letter to His Excellency Barrister Caleb Mutwang, dated September 13th, 2023 complaining about the lopsided compilation of the list of 500 families being victims of the crisis in Riyom, Barikin Ladi, Bokkos, Mangu, Jos South and Bassa local government areas in the recent past.
“In the said letter, the JNI noted with sadness that the JNI as a critical stakeholder in the peace processes in the state was not invited. We also note that the JNI had no input in the list of 500 victims of the crisis despite the fact that we have hundreds of Muslims killed, maimed or displaced as a result of those series of crises.
“To our dismay, there was no word from the state government apart from an unfortunate rebuttal of our clear and obvious complaint issued by the Plateau State Commissioner for Information. While waiting for redressing the imbalance and ensuring that justice is done by including Muslim victims of the crisis that are found in all the local government areas to which the donation was intended for, the state government closed it ears to our genuine concern and it started the distribution of the assistance to the victims in Mangu Local Government Area with no single Muslim included.
“The JNI under our watch has a moral responsibility to speak on behalf of the Muslim Ummah, and we will not hesitate to review all engagements with this government should these discriminatory tendencies continue. We are citizens deserving all rights and privileges as provided in the constitution.
“No society thrives and prospers on injustice and treatment of some citizens as second class. We ask for quick amends and we will not rest on our oars until justice is given to Muslims in the state proportionate to our numerical strength. We pray the Plateau State government will make amends,” the group added.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Musa Ashoms, said “We don’t want to engage anybody as if there is any problem. The JNI is a partner in progress. We are in the same state with them. We have access to them. We should not continue talking about one thing for months.”