Army-Shiites Clash: Rights Group Condemns Killings

Access To Justice on shiite clashA Civil Rights Organisation in Nigeria, Access to Justice, has condemned the alleged killing of members of the Shiite sect in Kaduna State by officials of the Nigerian Army. 

The Director of the group, Mr Joseph Otteh, also called for an independent investigation into the incident that left scores dead and many others injured.

According to him, it is unacceptable for the sect to behave the way they did and for the army to open fire on civilians. “It was an avoidable circumstance,” he said.

The group is asking the government to carry out thorough investigations even as Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria kicked against the composition of an investigative panel of enquiry into the recent clash between their members and soldiers. They said that the panel would be bias.

The groups call for investigation is coming after security was beefed up in Zaria, Kaduna State, following the weekend bloody clash between members of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Zaria.

Shortly after the clash on Saturday, Mr Usman issued a statement debunking the army’s claim that members of the sect attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, while on his way to attend the Passing Out Parade at the 73 Regular Recruit Intake of the Nigerian Army Depot, also in Zaria.

A spokesman of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim Usman, was on Sunday morning shot after soldiers invaded the residence of the group’s leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in Guillesu area of Zaria.

An eyewitness told Channels Television’s correspondent that the soldiers allegedly stormed the area to arrest Sheik Zakzaky and in the process, opened fire on the members who gathered at his residence.

The National Missioner of Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Imam Abdulrahman Ahmad, on Thursday described as “unfortunate” the clashes between the military and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

He said the clash was “avoidable and unnecessary” and also expressed deep concern of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) about the development, which he told Channels Television had taken measures to ensure tensions are doused.

On Thursday the government of Kaduna State banned every procession and rallies to ensure that there would not be further attacks or break down of other.

Human Rights Commission Investigates Army-Shiite Clash

Bem-Angwe-ProfessorThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Nigeria has set up a Special Investigations Panel into the clash between the Army and the Shiite Muslim sect in Zaria last weekend.

This was sequel to the complaints received from the Nigerian Army and concerned citizens on the unfortunate incident which led to the loss of lives and damage of property.

Constituting the panel on Tuesday, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, stressed the need for all the parties in the dispute to sheath their sword, assuring them that the commission would get to the root of the matter.

The military had on Saturday clashed with some members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Zaria, Kaduna State.

A spokesman for the Islamic group, Ibrahim Usman, said the incident occurred at the PZ area in city when a convoy of armed soldiers opened fire on the group while they were hoisting their Sect’s flag to usher in the month of Rabi’ul Awal at Husdainiyyah Baqiyyatullah area of the city. At least three persons were reported dead but the Shiites claimed 500 were killed.

In a statement on Tuesday by a spokesman for the commission, Lambert Oparah, the Executive Secretary pointed out that the country was operating a democracy which demanded that institutions must act within the ambit of the law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“In democracy, the rule of law is supreme and it is important that we continue to remind everyone about the need to respect one another’s right” he said.

He promised that a thorough investigation would be conducted, with a view to coming up with a report that would not only address the current issues but would assist in preventing future occurrence.

The panel made up of top management staff in legal, investigations and monitoring departments is headed by a lawyer, Mr Tony Ojukwu, who is the Director, Monitoring Department of the commission.

Shiite Claims Military Killed At Least 500

Shiite Alleges Military Kills At Least 500Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shiite, have claimed that at least 500 of their colleagues have allegedly been killed by soldiers.

The group blamed the Army authorities for the loss of lives in Zaria, Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria and called on the international community and human rights groups to probe the killings.

The President of the Media Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa, told Channels Television that the soldiers also destroyed the house of their leader, Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky, located in Gyellesu area in Zaria.

Describing the killings as unjustifiable, Musa said the soldiers had cordoned off the area and were laying siege within Zakzaky’s premises.

The Second-in-Command to the group’s leader, Sheik Muhammad Turi and the group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Usman, were said to have been shot by soldiers in front of Zakzaky’s residence on Sunday morning.

The latest development is said to have created apprehension in the ancient city, as most residents have remained indoors for fear of further violence.

Zakzaky’s Second In-Command, Spokesman Killed in Zaria

Zakzaky's Second In-Command, Spokesman Killed in ZariaSheik Muhammad Turi, the second in command to the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky and the group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Usman have been killed by soldiers.

Sheik Turi and Usman were said to have been shot by soldiers in front of Zakzaky’s residence in Gyellesu area, in Zaria on Sunday morning.

A senior member of the Shiite Sect confirmed the killing of the two senior members of the movement to Channels Television’s correspondent.

He said that both Sheik Turi and Usman were shot by soldiers when they stormed Zakzaky’s house to arrest him.

But unfortunately, while the Islamic cleric was said to have escaped before the arrival of the soldiers, the two men were unlucky.

He said that many of their members sustained various degree of injuries from gunshots when the angry soldiers started shooting sporadically when they could not arrest Sheik Zakzaky.

He said the soldiers are still laying siege at Sheik Zakzaky’s residence and have prevented anyone from either going in or coming out of the building.

He, however, called on the Army authorities and the Kaduna State Government to direct the soldiers to vacate the place for the sake of peace.

Late Sheik Muhammadu Turi was a former Managing Director of New Nigerian Newspaper in Kaduna State, and was seen as possible successor to Zakzaky.

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, told Channels Television’s correspondent that the situation is under control.

Mr Shehu said that more Policemen have been deployed to Zaria to maintain law and order.

The Commissioner of Police also confirmed that Soldiers are still laying siege at the residence of Sheik Zakzaky.

Sheik Zakzaky is said to be on the run after he escaped arrest by soldiers who stormed his residence on Saturday evening.

The latest development is said to have created apprehension in the ancient city as most residents have remained indoors for fear of further violence.

On June 24, 2014, three sons of the leader of the Shiite sect, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky were killed following a bloody clash between his members and soldiers in the same city.

Shiite Spokesman Shot During Raid Of Sheikh Zakzaky’s Residence

Shitte Clash: Spokesman Shot DeadA spokesman of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim Usman, was on Sunday morning shot after soldiers invaded the residence of the group’s leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in Guillesu area of Zaria.

An eyewitness told Channels Television’s correspondent that the soldiers allegedly stormed the area to arrest Sheik Zakzaky and in the process, opened fire on the members who gathered at his residence.

The incident happened after security was beefed up in Zaria, Kaduna State, following a bloody clash between members of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Zaria which left three people dead and several others wounded on Saturday.

Shortly after the clash on Saturday, Mr Usman issued a statement debunking the army’s claim that members of the sect attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, while on his way to attend the Passing Out Parade at the 73 Regular Recruit Intake of the Nigerian Army Depot, also in Zaria.

The Army said that it considered this a deliberate attempt to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff and members of his entourage and was left with no option than to “defend him and the convoy at all cost as well as open up the barricaded road for law abiding citizens” as this was in line with the Nigerian Army Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct.

Sheik Zakzaky is said to be on the run after he escaped arrest by soldiers who stormed his residence on Saturday evening.

The latest development is said to have created apprehension in the ancient city as most residents have remained indoors for fear of further violence.

On June 24, 2014, three sons of the leader of the Shiite sect, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky were killed following a bloody clash between his members and soldiers in the same city.

 

Muslim Clerics Say Religion Should Be Priority During National Dialogue

Muslim clerics have called on the government to foster frank and unbiased discussions at the proposed national conference to put an end to the lingering security crisis in the nation.

The clerics who declared their support for the conference maintained that the issue of religious tolerance should be given utmost priority to resolve the growing conflicts and terrorist attacks that have claimed thousands of lives across the country.

Although the main theme of the Sallah celebration is ‘share and be thankful,’ many challenges bedeviling the nation as a result of religious intolerance have continued to take centre-stage.

During a visit to some places of worship, the Muslim clerics and faithful agreed that rival ethnic and religious commuinities have been responsible for hundreds of thousands of killings across the federation. Hence, the proposed sovereign national conference is the right step to tackling the problem.

Chief Imam of the Ansarul Islam mosque, Ibrahim Usman, as well as Muslim faithful, Demola Abdusallam, made this known to our correspondent, Gloria Ume Ezeoke.

However, a cleric (Chairman, Ansarul Islam, Moshood Oyeleke) and faithful (Mohammed Yusuf) questioned the sincerity of the nation’s leadership, positing that if all is well, we would not need a natoinal conference.