Residents of Kongo Rosha area of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State on Friday demolished suspected criminal hideouts following a clash on Tuesday that almost led to the burning down of a church in the area.
The residents who are Christians and Muslims said their action was aimed at averting religious crisis in the area.
The clash on Tuesday between two groups of hoodlums would have led to inter-religious violence but for the prompt intervention of the police.
Our reporter gathered that the members of the two groups engaged in sale of narcotics but their clash took a religious colouration.
According to the residents, the demolished hideouts were buildings abandoned after being burnt during a violent crisis in 2001 but were converted by the hoodlums.
Community leaders held a meeting on Monday at about 8: p.m. and agreed to demolish the buildings to free the area of the hoodlums.
Police personnel were also present during the demolition to ensure security.
”The reason why we resolved to demolish the dilapidated buildings is that hoodlums used them as their hideout to cause tension and religious crisis,” Dang Choji, a resident, told PREMIUM TIMES.
“They stab and kill one another. So if the buildings are demolished, the security people would have a clear view of what is happening.
“What the hoodlums want is to instigate crisis between Christians and Muslims and seize the opportunity to loot people’s properties. The hoodlums are not residents of this area. They come from different places within Jos,” Mr Choji said.
Another resident who identified himself as Safiyanu also said the demolition was necessary for the security of the community
“The Christians and Muslims of the area are not fighting. The problem that happened on Tuesday was just the handiwork of criminal elements who come from different places to cause problem,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported on Wednesday how the police foiled the attempt to burn a church following a clash between the two groups of hoodlums.