HomeNewsNEWSZaria clash: We doubt if Zakzaky is alive – Shiites spokesman
Zaria clash: We doubt if Zakzaky is alive – Shiites spokesman
Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky
The new spokesman for the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, also known as the Shi’ites, Malam Ibrahim Musa, has called on the Federal Government to ensure that nothing happens to their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
He also expressed doubt whether Zakzaky is still alive while also denying that the machetes held by some of the group’s members in the video that was released by the Nigerian Army were those seized from “some combatants” during skirmishes at Gabari, on the outskirt of Zaria.
Musa said: “When you cut off the head, you will leave the body with problems. If something bad happens to our Sheikh, it will inevitably lead to something else. We know that he has been shot four times but we want them to release him to us so that we can give him the necessary medical attention.”
He said the machetes were seized last week Friday, a day before the faceoff between the Shi’ites and the soldiers.
Musa said besides, there was nothing wrong in carrying a machete because it “is a domestic appliance.”
He said, “What happened was that a day before the Saturday incident, there were skirmishes in one village called Gabari, which is on the outskirts of Zaria. Four people were killed during the fracas and our people disarmed some of the combatants there. Those are the machetes that you saw one or two of our members holding in the video. But can you compare that with somebody with a gun? A machete is not a weapon as such. Everyone has it in his home; even myself.
“In fact, a machete is a domestic appliance. Okay, supposing we had machetes, what of the person who had guns? Who is going to kill who? The one with machete or the one with gun? The soldiers are just trying to create something out of nothing. What happened on Saturday was avoidable but it happened because it was a pre-planned operation in order to use it to get contracts from America and Wahabi foreign alliances to exterminate Shiites.”
“They should remain steadfast until all our demands are met. And to the general public, we believe that they have known us in the last 40 years. We have never killed anybody. We don’t carry arms. Anybody who tells them that we are going to burn police stations is not referring to us. It is just a way of giving a dog a bad name so as to hang it. We are peace-loving Nigerians. Ours is a peaceful movement and we will keep following that path until Allah gives us succour. And we pray it will come soon Insha Allah (God willing).”
Meanwhile, there are strong indications that a judicial Commission of Enquiry into last Saturday’s clash between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army in Kaduna State, has been inaugurated.
It was gathered from sources yesterday that the commission is saddled with the responsibility of probing the immediate and remote causes of the clash, which attracted both local and international attention.One of the sources, who pleaded anonymity, due to the sensitive nature of the issue, said the Army had made its “presentation.”
He said: “All I can say is that the Nigerian Army has made presentation to the Judicial Commission of Enquiry, and that is all I can say.”
There had been conflicting reports on the incident that has generated heated debate in the last few days.
While the Army accused the Shiite Group of attempting to harm the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant- General Tukur Buratai, the Islamic Movement has insisted that the alleged attack was otherwise avoidable.
In an earlier statement credited to the Acting Director, Army Public Relations (DAPR), Colonel Sani Usman, the Army had explained that: “The sect numbering hundreds (allegedly) carrying danger-ous weapons barricaded the roads with bonfires, heavy stones and tyres.”
It added that they allegedly “refused all entreaties to disperse and then (allegedly) started firing and pelting the convoy with dangerous objects.”
Consequently, the Army said: “The troops responsible for the safety and security of the Chief of Army Staff on hearing explosion and firing were left with no choice than to defend him and the convoy at all cost as well as open up the barricaded road for law abiding citizens.
“This is in line with the Nigerian Army Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct,” the Army had said. However, the acting spokesman for the Islamic group, Mr. Ibrahim Musa, had presented a different account of what transpired, during a session on Channels Television last Thursday.“Last year the soldiers (allegedly) opened fire on the Muslim brothers while they were doing a Quds Day rally. So with this in mind the brothers told them that it is not proper for them to be stationed just opposite the Hussainiyya and they asked them to move back,” he said.