Kaduna Govt Confirms Mass Burial of 347 Shiites Killed In Zaria Clash
Kaduna State Government on Monday announced that no fewer than 347 persons killed during December 2015 clash between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, known as Shiites and the Nigerian Army have been given secret mass burial.
This was confirmed by the Secretary to the Kaduna State Government, SSG, Balarabe Abbas Lawal who appeared before an ongoing sitting of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
According to him, the corpses were given a mass burial on 14th December, along Mando – Zaria road.
Lawal said a total of 191 corpses and another 156 corpses from the Army depot in Zaria and Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, ABUTH, Shika respectively were conveyed to the burial site.
On why the state government demolished the Gyelesu residence of the rleader of the Shiite, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, Hussainiyya centre, Dembo centre, Jushi and two others of Alhaji Aminu Idris and Alhaji Tijjani Mohammed’s houses, he said the structures were demolished purely on grounds of safety standards.
Justifying the demolition further, the SSG said a report from a team of engineers who carried out inspection on the structures, said the buildings were failed structures and the interest and safety of the public warranted demolition.
Also testifying on the burial, the Director General of Interfaith, Engr. Muhammad Namadi Musa who led the burial exercise of the unknown corpses said the burial was carried out at 12 mid night and it lasted up to 5am.
His words, “On 13th December, I received a phone call from the SSG to come to come to Government House after which I was directed to go to Zaria to find out the number of corpses and how they would be buried.
“I moved in company of the state commissioner of Police straight to ABUTH, Zaria to ascertain the number of corpses of which he went, saw and counted 156.
“At the Nigerian Depot, the SSG directed me to meet with Major Ogundare regarding the corpses there. After introducing myself, he refused to let me know the number; but later on, the SSG called me and told me the number.
“He also confirmed the number while they were being buried; as he counted it one after the other as they are laid in one grave.
“We left Nigerian Army Depot with three heavy duty trucks and 60 young officers who escorted them to assist in offloading the corpses. From ABUTH, Zaria, five small trucks carried the 196 corpses. Most corpses were covered with black materials and they included women and children.”