Shi’ite Muslim Leader El-Zakzaky, Wife Alive In Our Custody- Army…Soldiers Have Killed 1,000 Of Our Members, Says Sect
General Officer Commanding (GOC), Headquarters I Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade has explained that the Zaria based leader of Shi’ite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife are in the protective custody of the military.
Members of the Movement clashed with soldiers in the convoy of Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai in Zaria last Saturday, leading to the death of several members of the Shi’ite Movement.
However, addressing the press this evening, the GOC said both Zakzaky and his wife are in safe custody, without disclosing where they are being kept. This was even as the shi’ite Acting Director of Information, Ibrahim Musa alleged in a statement that over 1000 members of the Movement have been killed by the Army.
The Army boss added that the Islamic leader will soon be allowed to speak with his followers to enable them believe that their leader is actually alive. According to him “The shi’ite leader, Zakzaky is safe and in protective custody with his wife in a conducive environment.
“We will allow him to speak with his followers. But as I speak to you, there was jubilation in Zaria as regard to the army’s engagement in the city. As military we had to do what we did to bring sanity because the sect has formed it a habit to mount illegal road blocks and checking motorists as if they are a government within a government”
Meanwhile, the Shiite Movement has alleged that the Nigerian Army has killed over 1,000 of its members in Zaria. The allegation was contained in a press statement issued today in Kaduna and signed by the shi’ite Acting Director of Information, Ibrahim Musa.
“About a thousand of the members of the Movement have been massacred at the moment as counting continues, but the soldiers are now busy evacuating the dead bodies to unknown destination”, the statement declared.
In a related development, the Army authorities has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission over the alleged attacked on the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai and his entourage by members of the Shiite Sect under the leadership of Ibrahim Yaqoub El ZakZakky in Zaria on December 12, 2015.
In the petition with reference no. NA/COAS/G1/52 and dated December 14, 2015 the Army chronicled the events which occurred at about 2;30 pm when the Chief of Army Staff was on his way from Dutse to pay homage on the Emir of Zazzau before proceeding to Depot Nigerian Army passing out parade of 73 Regular Recruit Intake.
The letter which was personally delivered to the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Bem Angwe by the Director of Administration, Major-General Adamu Abubakar stated that on sighting the Chief of Army Staff’s convoy, “heavily armed Sect members numbering over 500 rushed out and barricaded the Zaria Polo/Golf Road in the vicinity of their supposed shrine.”
The letter urged the Commission to take necessary action on the matter. Part of it reads: “On noticing the high profile convoy they quickly used stones, logs, tyres and bonfires to block the road. All entreaties to pacify and administration of warning to the Sect fell on deaf ears. On the contrary they became more emboldened and demanded martyrdom with gun shots and pelting of the convoy with whatever was available to them. This left immediate security personnel of Chief of Army Staff with no choice than take necessary actions in line with NA rules of engagements to clear the attack and extricate the entire convoy.
“Enclosed in the letter was an interim report by the Nigerian Army Corps military Police vide HQ NACMP/G1/300/167 dated December 12, 2015 and signed by Brig, Gen A.T. Hamman.”
The letter explained that the Sect demonstrated absolute defiance to reason, law and order before launching the attack adding that the Chief of Army Staff has instituted an investigation into the incident just as the Shiite Muslims have been contacted nationwide to let them know that the Army is not against them but was forced to respond to the brutal attack by misguided elements among them.
Responding, the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Angwe commended the Nigerian Army for exercising some level of restraints by not taking the laws into their hands but subjecting itself to a democratic process in its quest to unravel the circumstances of the attack.
Angwe noted that the mandate of the Commission is to protect the rights of all Nigerians including the Army, the poor and the vulnerable Nigerians. He assured the Army that the Commission’s probe into the matter will be fair, just to all parties in the interest of justice.