Plateau: Forum Codemns Conversion of Mosque into Market in Mangu

The Mangu Concern Muslim Consultative Forum (MCMCF) has condemned the conversion of Bungha Dawo Juma’at mosque in Mangu local government of Plateau State into market place.

A statement issued by the forum’s Chairman Mahmood Jaafar, explained that the mosque was destroyed and turned into a market allegedly by the Dawo District authorities, using Mwaghavul Christian Militias to actualise the plan.

“The desecration of Bungha Dawo Juma’at Mosque burned and converted into a market by Dawo district, is an egregious violation of religious freedom and respect. This act of aggression and disrespect cannot be tolerated.

“This action not only violates the sanctity of religious spaces but also disrupts the peaceful coexistence of the Muslim communities in the area. Such actions only sow division and must be condemned unequivocally,” the statement partly read.

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The MCMCF, representing the aggrieved Muslim community condemned the act, emphasizing that such actions not only violate the sanctity of religious spaces but also threaten the delicate fabric of peaceful coexistence in the area.

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For them, this is more than just a physical assault—it’s an affront to their identity and a disruption of communal harmony.

The Forum urged the government and relevant authorities to intervene immediately to restore the mosque to its original state and prosecute those accountable for the act.

“The Forum urge the government and all relevant authorities to take immediate action to address this issue. The mosque premises should be restored to its original state, and measures must be implemented to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.”

Google Earth of Bungha Dawo Juma’at mosque in Mangu

According to MCMCF, churches in Muslim-dominated communities in the areas were safeguarded from similar acts of vandalism, with residents taking proactive measures to protect places of worship.

“Going by the tragic incident that happened, all the churches at Muslim dominated areas were protected from thieves and vandals with reference to what happened at Gangaran Kwata church that the vandals caught were handed over to security personnel.”

MCMCF stressed the necessity of religious freedom and called for its preservation to ensure lasting peace, adding that swift and decisive action is imperative to prevent further escalation of tensions in the area.

“We believe that swift and decisive action is necessary to resolve this matter and prevent any escalation of tensions. We therefore need much more than hope. We need swift, concrete and resolute actions.”

A source in Mangu told WikkiTimes that about ten people were killed during the January crisis resulting in the burning of Bungha Dawo mosque. He said six mosques including the Dawo mosque, an Islamiyya school, and two churches were also burnt during the crisis – showing that the Christians were also not spared.

Bungha mosque after being burnt

For years, Mangu local government mostly escaped the ethno-religious violence that often erupted in north central Plateau state.

Hitherto, Mangu Muslims and Christians were living on the same street, shopping and trading in the same market. But in late January, the harmonious coexistence enjoyed for centuries began to fade away. Mosques and churches, as well as residential houses destroyed and many asked why the religious harmony was shattered.

This happened less than a month after the Christmas Eve attacks in communities in neighbouring Bokkos and Barkin Ladi local governments that reportedly left almost 200 people dead.


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