Zaria Killings: NSCIA warns Nigerian govt., military against creating another Boko Haram insurgency

Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky
Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has warned the Nigerian military authorities against plunging the country into another Boko Haram-like insurgency with the repeated attacks on members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

In a statement Sunday, the NSCIA said in a statement by its Secretary General, Is-haq Oloyede, that it was shocked and saddened by the fresh outbreak of deadly violence in Zaria‎.

Several members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria were reportedly killed by troops of the Nigerian Army after a confrontation on Saturday in Zaria.

The Army also reportedly arrested the leader of the movement, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, while it also destroyed his home and the spiritual headquarters of his group.

“While there are claims and counter-claims on what actually precipitated the latest heart-rending incident,‎ the NSCIA‎ urges the authorities to exercise restraint,” Mr. Oloyede said.

He also said the history of the circumstances that engendered the outbreak of militant insurgency in the past, with serious consequences that Nigeria is yet to recover from, should not be allowed to repeat itself.

The Boko Haram sect took up arms against the Nigerian state when its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, was extrajudicially murdered by the Nigeria Police.

“We urge the Federal Government to immediately constitute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to thoroughly unravel the immediate and remote causes of the current mayhem.

“Besides, the Commission should also investigate the past incidents involving the Movement so that justice can be done,” the NSCIA said.

It said the sanctity of human life is inviolable ‎in Islam and painstaking efforts should be made at all times to prevent bloodshed.

“In other words, life is sacred and the fundamental responsibility of government is to guarantee the security of life and property.

“While no group should be allowed to constitute law unto itself or arrogate unconstitutional powers to itself under any guise, the fact still remains that the position of the law is clear when there is any breach.

“Therefore, as order is the first law of heaven, normalcy and restraint should be taken seriously.

“May the Almighty Allah guide our leaders right and gu‎ard us Nigerians against our own indiscretion at all times,” the statement said.

Several persons were killed Saturday afternoon after soldiers opened fire on members of the sect, who they said put up barricades and blocked the road to be used by Army chief, Tukur Buratai.

The Army also reportedly returned to the sect’s enclave, known as Husainiyyah, and the residence of Mr. Zakzaky late in the evening.

A fresh encounter there led to the death of the immediate members of Mr. Zakzaky’s family and others in the house at the time.

Zeenat, the wife of Mr. Zakzaky, and Aliy, his son, were among scores of people killed by the Army during the siege, the group said.

There was a similar confrontation between the group and the military in July 2014.

Members of the sect were on a procession to mark the annual Quds day in Zaria that day when soldiers reportedly shot at them at the popular PZ roundabout in the city.

The crisis started when the soldiers allegedly tried to disperse the sect, which was denouncing Israeli’s attacks on Gaza.

Mr. Zakzaky’s three biological sons, Mahmud, Ahmad and Hamid as well as 32 other members of the Islamic Movement were shot dead.

Mahmud was a student of Almustapha University, Beirut, Ahmad a Chemical Engineering student of Shenyang University, China and Hamid an Aeronautical Engineering student of Xiang University, also in China.

A fourth son of the cleric, Ali, was shot in the leg. He survived.


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  • Hamid

    This is completely un acceptable by the use of force against un armed own citizens rather than on the extremist of Boko Haram, we strongly condemn the event and urge civil society in Nigeria to speak up against this injustice violations of human rights which is badly ruin Nigerian good name in the World.

    • kinsly

      Who told you they were un armed?

    • Christopher Ilogho

      I spoke against the unwarranted mass murder of unarmed Shiites Moslems and many especially Sunni Moslems have been calling for my head. There is no evidence that any of these Shiite faithful carried any weapon and no mention of any harm they caused to any soldier. Many of them were murdered last year while in a peaceful procession and the dead includes the three sons of their leader. El Zazaky instead sued for peace and accepted this fate calmly. Again this year, over 309 members of the sect were again gunned down for merely blocking a street. They were accused of carrying sticks. As if that was not enough, the home of the leader was again raided leading to the death of his wife and son. On top of it all, the griefing man was arrested. These Shiites are human beings and are also fellow Nigerians. Are we not in a democracy? Why are they being maltreated in their own country? Enough is enough. As far as I am concerned, the Shiites are peace loving Moslems.

  • Ahmed Usman

    Is this the son, Ali, who survived the 2014 death who has now been killed?

  • Yoruba Unity Group

    I hope the Yoruba can reason for once and stop flapping like chickens all around.
    Northern Nigeria is certain to witness a huge implosion on sectarian lines very soon.
    There is really nothing binding northern Nigerians together, nothing, not even Islam.
    The Idoma people have nothing in common with the Fulani people – nothing at all.
    A big ethno-religious fight is sure to occur in northern Nigeria that’s so disparate.
    Fulani ethnic group wants to dominate the 200+ ethnic groups in northern Nigeria.
    Except for Hausa tribe – which succumbs to the Fulani, no other ethnic group does.
    Bola Tinubu has now dragged Yoruba Muslims into the middle of this coming conflict.
    All Yoruba people must pause and now retrace their steps from this blunder of alliance.

    • omoodua

      @Yoruba Unity,

      Femi Fani-Kayode wrote yesterday in VANGUARD that BOLA TINUBU feels duped.

      He wrote that Bola Tinubu is saying he’s been used as a foot-mat by Hausa/Fulani people.

      But is that not obituary after burial? It was not a bad thing to remove Goodluck Jonathan.

      But it’s quite a daft thing to replace him with an un-educated bigot like Muhammadu Buhari.

      Tinubu should have had common sense weren’t he angling for himself as a Vice President.

      • Ben

        Go and find job!

  • Cleartruth

    Too bad for the military. The killings of innocent civilians must be investigated and those behind it prosecuted. ICC must take up these cases of killings. I’m pained.

  • Ogbunigwe

    Change tinz!!

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    Iran Warns Nigeria Govt Over Crackdown On Shiites.

    The Iranian government has called on Nigerian authorities to respect Shiites people, religious figures and sites. The Islamist State made this remark following last Saturday’s violent clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Muslim sect, Shiite, in Zaria, Kaduna State.

    “Nigeria is now dealing with problems arising from extremism and Takfiri terrorism and we hope that in these conditions preservation of calm and national unity in battling terrorism is prioritized while rash and unconstructive measures are avoided,” IRNA quoted Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaber-Ansari as saying on Sunday.

    Jaber-Ansari expressed sorrow over the recent bloody clashes, which broke out between Muslim worshipers and government troops, Weekend.

    Nigerian forces raided the home of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and arrested him after reportedly killing several of those protecting him including one of the group’s senior leaders, its spokesman, son and wife.

    Since El-Zakzaky was arrested by the Nigerian troops, his fate has remained unknown.

    However, since Saturday’s violent clash, there has been war of words between the Nigerian Army and the sect, over who instigated the clash that led to the dead of members of the movement.

  • Burning spear

    LET BIAFRANS GO – DR JUNAID MOHAMMED.

    **they need Nigeria more than Nigeria needs them.
    Dr Junaid Mohammed, convener of the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, has called on Nigerians to allow Igbos to go, if they want to, saying that they need Nigeria more than Nigeria needs them.
    Speaking in an explosive interview with Sunday Sun, the Kano-based Russian-trained medical doctor turned politician, who described the Igbos as persons who could not be trusted with power and certain key positions in the country, however, said: “…I insist they should be heard and be allowed to secede, provided they are peaceful.” Excerpts:

    Looking at the dimension the agitation for the sovereign State of Biafra has taken, should Nigerians and Nigeria allow the Igbos go or not?
    Yes.
    My understanding is that in every society, people will have to be persuaded, to see the benefit of living together. But where that fails, I think people should be allowed to go their separate ways in peace. Now, this question should have been answered earlier, before the independence or even immediately after the Igbo coup of 1966.

    Directly, through their own actions, they organised a tribal coup in which political, business and even traditional leaders of other tribes, other than their own tribe were eliminated, leaving their own leaders intact. That shows who they are. However, I am one of those who believe that Nigeria is a very impor¬tant project not only for Nigerians, but to the entire black race. So it will be a disaster if black people cannot live together in peace. There was a consensus within the generality of Nigerians that Nigeria has to be saved, Nigeria has to be preserved and in doing so you have to use minimum violence. It has to be used through persuasion for those people who don’t understand the essence of our being together.

  • Halimat Ahmed

    Let this coward soldiers exercise their military might on boko haram but not against un-armed civilian.
    The secretary has said the ultimate truth. The fg should allow the lesson of how bh came into existence
    to guide them in all uprising

    • Rajab Tanimu

      Do you got any idea on what happened? If you don’t then please go get one because implicitly the Shi’ites were at fault.

  • kinsly

    Once it is confirmed they had weapons then they must perish. Anyone who takes up arms against the state MUST be eliminated.

  • international games

    IRAN & NIGERIA ISLAMIC COUNCIL SHOULD SHUT THE HELL UP! WHEN BUHARI WAS KILLING PEACEFUL BIAFRAN AGITATORS, WHAT DID THEY SAY? I AM FROM MIDDLE BELT, BUT I SUPPORT BIAFRA AUTONOMY 100% IF IT THE ONLY OPTION IS TO KILL THEM BECAUSE THEY EXPRESS THEIR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND RIGHT TO SELF DETERMINATION. NIGERIANS SHOULD NOT ASSUME THAT IT IS ONLY NIGERIAN MILITARY OPERATING IN NIGERIA. THE COUNTRY IS SO CENTRALIZED THAT ABUJA HAS NO CLUE WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN THESE PLACES. THEY ARE JUST ACTING AS THOUGH THEY DO.
    BUT I STILL PRAY FOR THE SOULS OF THE INNOCENT SHIITE MEN AND WOMEN KILLED BY THESE TRIGGER HAPPY UNKNOWN SOLDIERS. ESPECIALLY THEIR LEADER’S WIFE. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON THEIR SOULS.

  • Anonymous

    These northerners are so sentimental. Since they killed one of their own. They’ve tagged the nigerian army as fools. But tell me, who would shoot at someone who is unarmed? 9ja is full of heartless religious fanatics.