Posted by News Express | 13 December 2015 | 4,199 times
The Nigerian Army this evening explained why it decided to move against the Islamic Shiite Movement of Nigeria.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said in a statement: “Yesterday’s incident involving clashes between detachments of the Nigerian Army, accompanying the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General TY Buratai and followers of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, suspected to be members of the Shiite Sect in Zaria, leading to loss of lives as a result of the Shiite group members’ blocking roads and not allowing other passers-by to go about their lawful businesses and activities, was most unfortunate.
“The Nigerian Constitution guarantees the rights of any group of persons and Sheikh El Zak Zaky’s followers to hold a peaceful march or procession unhindered, but it also guarantees other people’s rights of way on public highways. It is important to note that over the years this group has subjected ordinary citizens using public roads to untold hardship, delays, threats and disruption simply because they insist on using public space irrespective of inconvenience and hardship on other law abiding citizens and motorists. This cannot be tolerated and must stop!
As soon as order is restored to the situation in Zaria city and its environs, the Police will conduct an enquiry and the public will be informed. In the meantime, the public is advised to go about their lawful business and report any suspicious persons or incidents to the police.”
Col. Usman’s statement came amidst reports that El-Zakzaky’s second in command, Sheikh Muhammad Turi, and and the group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Usman, were among those killed by soldiers during this morning’s invasion of Zakzaky’s residence in the Gyellesu area of Zaria, Kaduna State.
Sheik Zakzaky reportedly escaped before the arrival of the soldiers sent to arrest him, with several of his followers either killed or injured from gunshots when the angry soldiers started shooting sporadically.
Late Sheikh Muhammadu Turi was a former Managing Director of New Nigerian Newspapers, Kaduna, and was regarded as a possible successor to Zakzaky.
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