Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 13 December 2015 | 4,711 times
The Shi’ite Movement on Saturday night formally reacted to yesterday evening’s allegation by the Nigerian Army that it attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai in its Zaria stronghold earlier during the day.
Spokesman of the Islamic sect Ibrahim Usman said: “What happened was never a clash, but a continuation of act of terrorism by the Nigerian military on the Movement, as was the case in the past.”
He said that at noon, armed soldiers were seen in the precincts of Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah, Zaria, where Shi’ite members were to carry out the hoisting of flag to usher in the new month of Maulud, the birth month of the Holy Prophet of Islam.
Usman said similar activity was previously carried out on the same spot with free traffic flow under the supervision of the Movement’s traffic wardens.
According to him, “When some brothers met the soldiers to understand what the mission of the soldiers was, they took position and opened fire indiscriminately, killed many and took away seven the casualties to an unknown location.
“Based on the foregoing, we believe that the military had pre-planned this and had acted according to their mischievous script. They came with their cameramen, videotaping the whole incidence while it lasted.
“We are however surprised that spokesman of the military, Colonel Kukasheka shamelessly came out in the media and issued a press statement to say that it was an assassination attempt on the Chief of Army Staff on the orders of the Movement’s leader.
“Why was it that there were no casualties on the side of the military, if it were to be an assassination attempt as claimed by Kukasheka?”
Continuing, the Shi’ite Spokesman said: “We are not surprised by this action, as there were reports spread by the same military the night before that the Shi’ites were to avenge their dead by hired thugs on Friday in Gabari, a village in Zaria.
“The same military also spread rumour that the Shi’ites had killed soldiers, all in an attempt to justify today’s dastardly act.
“Kukasheka should know that once bitten twice shy. The 2014 massacre of 34 members of the Islamic Movement, including three of Sheikh Zakzaky’s children by the military; the attempt on Sheikh Zakzaky’s convoy by the same military are still on our minds.
“No governments can flourish successfully with disoriented military, full of trigger-itchy personnel and security operatives trained by CIA and Mossad.
“Until the present government fishes out this cabal in the military and brings the culprits to book, we will made to believe the government is condoning violence and terrorism on innocent citizens.”
Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has appealed for calm and peace in the aftermath of the incident. His spokesman Samuel Aruwan said the governor spoke on phone with Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and later proceeded to Zaria to see things for himself.
“He later met with Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Butatai, in Depot Nigerian Army Zaria immediately after the passing out parade ceremony. The situation is calm and security has been beefed up in Zaria,” Aruwan said in a statement.
•Photo shows Shi’ite Leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
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