The Jos protesters said the nine men are not guilty of the crime leveled against them.
Dozens of women dressed in black, Thursday, staged a peaceful demonstration condemning the arrest of nine suspects apprehended by the Special Taskforce, STF, on Jos crisis in connection with the killing of two people.
The two people were killed on Tuesday in Du, Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State by gunmen.
The angry women carrying leaves also called for the immediate release of the suspects.
The spokesperson of the women, Chungdung Musa, said the suspects were innocent of the alleged crime leveled against them.
The STF had on Tuesday announced the arrest of the nine suspects after a shoot-out with security operatives. The STF spokesperson, Salisu Mustapha, also said though he was aware of an earlier shoot-out, he was aware that two people died in the incident.
Ms. Musa, the women’s spokesperson said that the arrested persons were rather protecting the community from external attacks.
Addressing news men at the protest scene, the counselor representing Du A Ward of Jos South Local Government, Rosslyn Dung, queried the rationale behind the arrest of nine suspects.
The local representative appealed to the Plateau State Government to ensure immediate release of the arrested persons, pointing out that the action of the STF was worsening the already tense situation.
She, however, said the council has taken steps to release the culprits.
Ms. Dung said the arrested persons were protecting the community from external attacks, not terrorizing the community as alleged by the security agents who arrested the suspect with arms and ammunition.
She said the arrested persons are vigilante members and needed to have such arms for self defense.
The lawmaker used the forum to appeal to the protesting women to be peaceful.
She called on government at various levels to ensure adequate security, not just in the area, but generally in the state.
The protesting women had earlier demanded the withdrawal of security operatives in the area, particularly soldiers. They said the soldiers have become a security threat to the community if they cannot protect lives and property of the citizens.
The women called on government to ensure that security personnel posted to the area are people of integrity, and personnel that can be trusted.
A visit to the community, Thursday, indicated that the community was in a morning mood.
he victims of the attacks have since been buried according to local rites.
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