On Friday, November 28, I walked listening to two songs on the radio. The first was a Christmas song:
O my Lord, you sent your Son to save us
O my Lord, so that sin will not enslave us
O my Lord, so that love once more may reign
The second song was by a popular African musician. The lyrics of the song emphasized the need for all African people to allow peace to reign. It goes like this:
African people, allow peace to reign
Whoever you are, give peace a chance
Whatever you say, allow peace to reign
In your home, give peace a chance
Whatever you do, allow peace to reign
African leaders, allow peace to reign
African youth, allow peace to reign
African religious groups, allow peace to reign
African adults, children, women, and men give peace a chance
Whatever you learn, allow peace to reign
Whatever you think, give peace a chance.
The songs stressed justice, love, and peace on a morning when Jos, the capital of Plateau State, Nigeria, was awakened by gunshots.
Jos elections were held Thursday, November 27. Election observers announced on the radio that the election was generally peaceful. Plateau State is generally acknowledged to be a state dominated by Christians. However, the Muslim community in one of the local government areas, Jos North, claimed to be the majority. They complained of the late arrival of election materials to their polling sites. Given the late arrival, they suspected the election results, though not yet announced at the time, to not be in their favor. The community complained of being politically sidelined by the non-Muslims in the state.
Muslim youth, enraged by that assumption, went on a rampage at 1 a.m. on Friday. They burned old automobile tires on the streets and main roads; set churches, schools, ...