Zaria Massacre: Buhari breaks silence

Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky
Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

President Muhammadu Buhari has said he would only comment on the Shi’ite killings after receiving reports of investigations from the police and the Kaduna State Government.

Mr. Buhari said this at his first presidential media chat on Wednesday.

He had refused to comment on the Zaria killings which occurred over two weeks ago.

In his first public comment on the clash that reportedly led to over 300 deaths, Mr. Buhari said he was in touch with the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, and that the president of Iran had also called to ask about the crisis.

“I was in touch with the governor of Kaduna state and interestingly the president of Iran talked to me about it.

“I told him we have a system of investigation as a government. This happened in one city out of 36, and the governor visited the scene. As the head of the federal government, I have to wait for official report from the Kaduna State government from their investigations before I comment,” Mr. Buhari said.

But the president momentarily chided the Shi’as for “creating a state within a state”.

“How can any group create a state within a state? I saw a clip in which some dissidents were virtually hitting the chest of Generals,” he said.

He said community members in Zaria had also spoken to the media about their “sufferings” for 20 years at the hands of the Shi’ites.

“I expect the Kaduna State government will bring the report on the inquiry because the crisis happened in its domain. There are all sorts of allegations. So, we just have to wait for the report.

“To be fair to the both sides, we have to wait for the report of the inquiry.”

“In any incident where lives and property were lost there is a standard way of doing things and people would be asked to come and give evidence.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, a Shia Muslim group led by Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, says hundreds, if not thousands, of its members were killed when soldiers stormed its base in Zaria and opened fire on unarmed civilians.

The sect leader Ibrahim ElZakzaky is still at the police custody.

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  • wheingo

    That’s a wise respond. Up PMB! Our president is a wise man indeed.

    • Yemi401

      Hundreds of people were killed because according to Buhari they were hitting the chest of a General, and you think he gave the best answer?

      • Saydo Shan

        While I am not approving if any innocent life was killed, can U tell me anywhere on planet earth that u can hit the chest of a General?

      • wheingo

        You have no idea. This same thing can’t happen in the US that claim to be a more democratic state in the world, how there a civilian confront a nation’s army openly in that manner? man please don’t display your ignorance go and learn more about army’s rule of engagement, do watch the clip please and inquire from the people of Zaria with regards to the group’s activities.

        • Yemi401

          Well, it won’t happen in America because American Generals do not move around in convoys and they don’t just beat up citizens even when they are provoked. By the way, the reason why the Shiites disrespected the General is because they do not trust him as they have previously suffered injustice in the hands of the army.

          • PeterPaul1

            If such lawlessness happen in American, they’d be dealt with by the Cops, who always shoot first and ask questions later.

          • Yemi401

            So because it is allowed in America it should also be allowed in Nigeria. I now see why America and Nigeria are awash with deadly weapons.

          • PeterPaul1

            You said and l quote “it won’t happen in America…” Now you’re backing out? Don’t speak from both sides of the mouth.

          • Yemi401

            I am not backing out I am only replying to your hypothetical comment. By the way, cops in America won’t even use live bullets at crowds they will rather use rubber bullets or taser guns. Cops will not also go after a group of suspects the following day and kill unarmed people

          • Onike24

            Haba? Are you saying that protesters in America do not die? Which America? Those that live in the Uk or Germany where policing is done with such professionalism without a need to draw weapons are not even making comparisons, it is America? That lawless wild country where every week there is a mass shooting, yet nothing is done because of a cabal known as th gun lobby? Amusing!

          • adebayoadetoye

            Are you alien? To know that police kill unarmed citizens in the US? Have you ever seen group of people on the streets with weapons in the US? In the name of religion or given excuse for bringing weapon to the street. Here in the UK if the police stop you and found you carrying weapon do you know .You are in trouble? Not to mention when you are displaying it in public.

          • Onike24

            Isn’t it America that a ground jury refused to indict policemen that murdered a 12 year old boy? Abi there are two Americas? America is the most gung Ho backward country masquerading as a first world country. Nonsense! America where, a policeman stops you and you make an unwise body movement , you may very well end up dead? Depending of course on the State you are unlucky enough to be pulled over! Please!

          • Richard

            Mr. Yemi, if you actually lives in America , you will be truthful to yourself that no citizen wold dare obstruct the public road without police permit. You should realize that every action has consequences. It could be positive or negative. The major problem in Nigeria is the fact that some people believe they are above the law which you will agree with me that it is the opposite in America. You dare not touch a police officer in America without consequence. We should ask ourselves, what religious gathering would tolerate participants openly displaying cutlasses and sticks. These objects are definitely weapons. If you encounter any law enforcement officials in America carrying such weapons , can you imaging what would happen. While I would not support unnecessary killings, we should not dignify indiscipline and disregard for the law.

          • adebayoadetoye

            Thank you brother, for enlighten the fools. We have seen many cases of police killing in the US. Civilians without weapon! Nigeria army will go to war without adequate funds, Nigeria army will be court mashred and sentence to death , even though their budget allocations are diverted to private pockets. It’s the same Nigeria army that will be blocked on the road, because some one or group of people think they have freedom of speech, or religion. With illegal weapons with them. Are Nigeria army not human beings? Are Nigeria army not Nigeria citizens that they warranty such treatment?

          • Isaac

            It’s like you don’t even know all these had happened in America already. You remember the Guyana and Waco incidents. How did America handle them? You can’t run a state within a state and expect any responsible government to fold it’s arms simply because the are supported by Iran in the name of a religion.

          • Afolabi

            You are simply suffering from serious head injury

          • Yemi401

            You don’t have to decent to the level of using abusive words when you are losing the argument.

      • PeterPaul1

        Let me see you hit the chest of ordinary Police man and see if you’ll live to tell the story. A group cannot create a parallel govt. with the State or Fed. govt. just because they’re receiving the backings of the govt. of Iran. According to most people in Zaria, these people have been a terror to them for many years. They refused to obey any authority in Nigeria except their leader. Nobody can do that even in Iran and walk away alive. I am happy such lawlessness have been checked by our military.

        • Yemi401

          Well, if you are happy to be living in a country where people are brutally killed because they disobeyed the government, then good luck to you. However, one thing you should remember is that once you allow an injustice against your enemy, one day that injustice will be meted on you and no one will rescue you.

          • PeterPaul1

            You sound like someone who likes to criticize govt. without good reason. From all your comments, you’ve not condemn the lawlessness of this sect, neither have you criticize Iran for running a parallel govt. here. It’s unbelievable.

          • Yemi401

            So if a group of people are lawless, the next thing is to send soldiers to go and kill them while unarmed? If we have evidence that Iran is running a parallel government in Nigeria, why can’t we get the UN involved? I thought Buhari was in Iran few weeks ago, why didn’t he discuss the issue with the Iranians?

          • Focus

            Why dont you avail yourself of the clip of the confrontation between the armed Shiites and the Generals? That should be the basis of your comments. They went overboard in their disobedience and yes they were armed.

          • Afolabi

            U are just criticising blindly, how I wish u witness the excesses of those animals one day. My cousin served in that community and they faced a lot of intimidations from those animals you are blindly defending. They are another boko haram in the making.

          • Yemi401

            So you believe killing them is the right thing to do.

      • Dominic Jaja

        Buhari’s response may not be what you expected. But be honest to yourself, how would you react to a lawless sect that waylaid and threatened the life of the Chief of Army Staff of Federal republic of Nigeria? It is unfortunate but the problem with our past leadership is it’s weakness in enforcing law and order. That is why we got here in the first place.

        • ubong

          I respect Buhari and wish him well in his fight against corruption and whatever is stagnating the country for years after IBB and his cowboys toppled their (Buhari/late Idiagbon) regime and systematically laid the foundation for our great country to become a known cesspit of looters, scammers and most recently a country where public officers and elected representatives do not see anything dishonourable in their disdainful act of governance. However, I want President Buhari to lead the country within the constitution by making sure our law is supreme. If he is in doubt of the competency or fairness of our court to act within international ethics of the profession, he is at the helm of the nation and must do something about the endemic corruption among our law officers, as no country develop or grow where pronouncement by Judges are seen as toothless noise making that can be flagrantly ignored or flouted. No civilized democracies grow or develop without citizen obeying court judgement or decision. In civilized democracies, no body, prime minister or president or institution of government disobey court order without being reprimanded severely by the Judge. Obeying court order is never a sign of weakness in a society where rule of law is supreme. Obeying court order will rather send a strong signal to every citizen that our president want to make sure rule of law is supreme and not the lawlessness and rule of impunity we had/have among our elected representatives. Buhari is never weak, Nigerian voted Buhari, as a person based purely on his personal integrity of honesty, selfless and highly disciplined person. The fact that he choose to work with those that would have been behind bar, if it was during his military regime, should not made him deviate from his selfless and highly disciplined and honourable qualities.

      • Mcleomat

        With ur alias I want to believe u ar yoruba, in yoruba land u know the meaning of someone hitting at ur chest? in case u don’t know, if someone hits ur chest, that person is asking u for a fight. What the member of the Nigerian Army did was just a response to the shite’s call.

    • Damilola

      All hail the Nigeria god!!! Buhari is a wise man indeed. I’m sure u meant the irony

  • peacemonger

    Hitting the chest of a general? Really? Is Buhari serious? His pronouncements on Dasuki and Kanu, and the Shi’a killings, are at best regrettable. Can’t believe a Nigerian president would say those things in 21st century. Not to worry, Buhari is building his own case.

    • Du Covenant

      It was metaphorically speaking…they challenged the General!. As for the other 2 what did you want him to say?. To praise them for what they have done?.

      • eclub

        A citizen and a general who is ranked higher in our constitution?

  • I wish this president would have acted presidential with unequivocal condemnation of Nigerian lives that were lost. These are Nigerians for goodness sake. Ahhhh!

    • Dominic Jaja

      These are Nigerians no doubt and I agree the military response may be high-handed but to be honest this sect’s lawlessness is equally an embarrassment to any lawful society.

    • Yusuf

      he embarrassed himself at last. and his response will hunt him for the rest of his political life

    • Afolabi

      How I wish u reside in that community and witness the excesses of those animals.

  • Skillz

    Had it been a Christian president am sure they would have tried to spin it to say a Christian president is killing Muslims; but since they can’t say that cause all the government characters involved are Muslims they now try to hide behind human rights abuse. “As you make your bed you lie on it” these Shi’a Muslims have been asking for trouble for a long time it’s a surprise they didn’t find it sooner

  • Yusuf

    i have been waiting for this question to come up, it set him off balance immediately it came until the end of the chat. an honest person hates lies, and it annoys him more when it comes from his own mouth

  • kayode Olufade

    The comment about a nation within a nation speaks volumes. And it will be better for everyone who is intrested in this to get a better understanding of the shiite and their ways. They do not believe they are cit7zens of the country as they do not regard the constitutionmof the nation. There are videos on youtube with military/paramilitary processions this sect carries out, enough to make any nation focus on their activities. That they have been left to blossom for so long is lost on me. In all, I believe the situation could’ve been handled more maturely. And regarding the response from the president, it is okay and fair to all parties, even if one of the parties doesn’t recognise yiur consritutional rights to use roads and livemin harmony, I just believe the president shiuld’ve addressed this sooner

  • Damilola

    Why haven’t we seen the clips sir? What investigation are you waiting for after you’ve decided they’re criminals already?

  • NinjaK

    I dont understand this Buhari sef!
    Do you need to see results of investigations b4 you express regrets at 300 deaths of your citizens???!