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Ngeria: fears over fresh religious crisis

Religious tension is rising in Northern Nigeria again following the upsurge of Text messages threatening fresh religious uprising

Military spokesperson, Brig General Donald Oji confirmed that some youths were dispersed by firing gun shots into the air in the Northern town of Jos, when they protested the killing of a colleague by unknown persons while the dead body and another injured person were taken to the Air Force Hospital in the city.

Similar text messages in the past were followed by wanton killings by such groups and more than 500 persons have been killed since the beginning of this year in violence between Christians and Muslims in Jos.

According to the police, the texts appear to be from fundamentalist Islamist groups which kill at random including members of their own religion who fail to reason alongside their teachings.

Security has been tightened around Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State where the sect called Boko Haram had killed several people prompting a crackdown by the police which brought the number of casualty to 700.

However, another text message received by PTI talked of food poisoning by ethnic Hausas.

“Do not buy drink, apples or roasted meat from Hausa hawkers. They have considered in a meeting to poison drinks and to start killing at churches,” it read.

The borders have also been tightened along countries that share boundaries with Nigeria such as Niger, Chad and Cameroon to avoid members of any fundamental Islam group crossing to cause violence or those from other countries entering.

In Jos, the military said a man was arrested with a “locally made revolver pistol and ammunitions” in Sabon Layi area during the curfew period.

A young man was found slaughtered near Bauchi Park, along Bauchi in the same city while a newspaper vendor mysteriously disappeared in Angle-D area, the military said, adding the vendors dresses were later found by his colleagues.

The Boko Haram sect says it denounced Western education and kills at random.

Mohammed Yussuf, the sect’s leader, was killed in mysterious circumstances during their last onslaught last July entangling the police in accusations of extra-judicial killing.

The police said he was killed while trying to escape arrest, while his members claimed he was killed in detention.

Nigeria is home to more than 150 million people distributed evenly between Muslims and Christians. The north is predominantly Muslim while the south is made up of more Christians.