Islamic Movement Accuses Nigerian Army Of Genocide, Says Whereabouts Of Spiritual Leader Unknown
The Islamic movement in Nigeria otherwise known as Shi’ites, have accused the Nigerian government, through the military, of using the purported assassination attempt on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, as an alibi to declare an all-out war on its members.
This is just as the movement said the whereabouts of its spiritual leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, remains unknown, following the siege laid to his residence in Gyallesu, Zaria, in Kaduna State.
In a statement, signed by Ibrahim Musa, editor of the movement’s Al Mizan newspaper, the movement accused the government of being “the contractor” of the killings, calling on well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to intervene and seek redress for the victims and their family members.
While alleging that the killing by the soldiers was so brutal at Zakzaky’s residence that even those injured in the shooting were identified and killed in cold blood, the movement put the number of dead as running “into their hundreds, if not thousands”.
“Following alleged blockade of the route of the Chief of Army Staff by the members of the Movement, the Nigerian Army brutally descended on armless members of the Movement with heavy military weapons killing indiscriminately”, the movement said.
“In the meantime, leading members of the Islamic Movement and other members as well, have been killed by the soldiers including the leader of the Kano Center, Sheikh Muhammad Turi, Dr. Mustapha Sa’eed, Malam Ibrahim Usman and Sister Jummai Gilima.
“Also killed was Sayyid Aliy, the son of the leader of the Movement, Sayyid Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and tens of other members”.
The statement added that “considering the gross violation of fundamental human rights and extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the Nigerian Army, the Islamic Movement hereby condemns these unjustifiable acts”.
Refuting the claim by the Nigerian Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman that members of the movement attempted to assassinate Lt.-Gen. Buratai, the statement described the allegation as a “blatant lie”, insisting that the army came back to launch their attack more than an hour after the army chief’s convoy had passed.
“Clearly, the Nigerian government through its military is now on rampage, in an all-out war with the Islamic movement, its members and structures. The scale of this attack would suggest it was meticulously planned by authorities and now being executed ruthlessly. The alleged attack on COAS Burutai was just an alibi”, it said.