Zaria Massacre: NSCIA summons expanded emergency meeting, over 200 top Muslim leaders to attend

Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad Abubakar

The leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has summoned an emergency “expanded general purpose meeting ” over last week’s massacre of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

The NSCIA is the highest Islamic body in Nigeria, under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar.

A source at the NSCIA told PREMIUM TIMES that about 200 top Muslim leaders were invited for the meeting called to review the massacre.

The invitees have already started arriving Abuja, this newspaper learnt.

“The meeting will hold at 4pm today at the National Mosque,” the source said.

Another source said those attending Wednesday’s meeting include all elected officials of the NSCIA as well as all past leaders of the body.

“Others are leaders of all Islamic organisations in Nigeria, top Muslim leaders, clerics, scholars and traditional rulers,” our source said.

He also said all former governors, ministers, Inspectors General of Police, all former Chiefs of Army Staff, Chiefs of Air Staff, Chiefs of Naval Staff and Chiefs of Defence Staff who are Muslims have also been invited for the meeting.

“Those serving in the present administration are however, excluded,” he said.

A top official of the NSCIA, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to disclose the meeting to the media, said the NSCIA called the meeting because it was “shocked by the silence of both the government and the human rights community over the massacre”.

“Where is our humanity, how can a people be so massacred and we all remain silent as if it is normal,” he said. “Today it is the Shiite, tomorrow, it could be me or you,” he said.

Efforts to reach the Secretary General of the NSCIA, Is-haq Oloyode, were unsuccessful. Those close to him said he was on his way to Abuja from his Ilorin base.

The NSCIA official, who spoke to this newspaper, said the meeting would likely set up a panel to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident.

“We might also look at how to engage the government over this ugly incident,” he said.

The NSCIA had earlier issued a statement warning 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.

The statement, signed by Mr. Oloyede, 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.

NSCIA also urged 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 had said.

The embattled sect is claiming that 800 of its members were murdered when troops of the Nigerian Army descended on the movement’s Husainiyyah base and the home of its leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, in Zaria.

Trouble began for the group when they reportedly barricaded a road that was to be used by the Chief of Army Staff on his way to the palace of the Emir of Zazzau and the Nigerian Army Depot to review a passing-out parade.

The Army said all entreaties to the Shiite members to open the road and allow the COAS pass failed.

The Army also said those who blocked the road began to attack the COAS convoy and that soldiers had no option than to “defend themselves”.

The initial incident occurred on Saturday afternoon.

However, the army reportedly returned late in the evening and the Shiites said hundreds of their members in the second attack.

The Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital said it has at least 60 bodies from the clash in its mortuary.

The Hussainiyyah base of the group was destroyed as well as the home of the Shiites leader, Mr. Zakzaky.

The Army also said it has in “protective custody” Mr. Zakzaky and his wife.

Mr. Zakzaky is believed shot during the attack and is said to be receiving treatment at a military facility.


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  • justice uloko

    Those Shiites are terrorist. Nobody should their actions. The nigeria army did the right thing

  • Wale Adegoke

    Jonathan was stoned and his body guards injured in both Bauchi,Taraba and Katsina during the 2015 electioneering campaigns yet no live ammunition was fired. In this sad episode involving the Chief of Army Staff there is glaring disproportionate use of forces, crude tactics, heavy handed approach and weapons of death against the defenceless Islamic set members. The sect is very tolerance with others as it is record they always conduct themselves in peaceful manner and never attacked Christians or Muslims in any part of Nigeria. Sadly, there is conspiracy of silence on the part of the ruling junta.

    • CovertNigerian

      Until I see more evidence, I am not certain that this group is always peaceful. However, I strongly suspect that at least on this occasion the reaction from the army may have been disproportionate.

    • Nwa_Africa

      Go and watch them in Youtube and you will come back to tell us all that they are indeed peaceful……………………

    • Emmanuel Maluba

      Those machete wielding guys are truly peaceful, tolerant and law abiding! Tell me which religion encourages this kind of behaviour. You really need to watch the video and see what the supposed defenceless people were doing.

  • Ashibogu

    Now the truth is out! Christians have been killed in thousands yet no one called any meeting. Una see una sef! Why is it that Muslims are causing trouble everywhere around the globe. The hate Muslims inculcated in their wards is bearing deadly fruits today. Thank God a Muslim is the Head of State so I wonder how dey wan talk the matter. I beg make I go see Sambo whether anything remain for me. Christmas na next week and I never buy my He Goat for ukodo and rice.

    • CovertNigerian

      Following your logic how do you explain the fact that there has apparently never been a meeting called to discuss the many more thousands of Muslims killed by BH? And when you refer to the killing of thousands of Christians, has there ever been an allegation of the Nigerian Army targeting and killing a large number of Christians?
      You are comparing apples to oranges and somehow managing to convince yourself that your argument is sound. The fact is that the allegations in this case are unlike anything that has happened in the North recently and to that end it is not entirely unreasonable that the reaction will be different. That said, perhaps it’s time every death of a Nigerian, regardless of religion of ethnicity, be met with the kind of urgency this incident has generated.

      • ed

        Why is it okay for the same armed forces to kill 9 Igbo’s in Onisha just over a week ago. Nigerian Muslim or Christian didn’t ask any question then. Our indifference is paying dividend.
        Granted the number of Muslim murdered in Zaria is mind bugling.
        The point is the insanity of the rule of engagement by Nigerian armed forces against unarmed civilians. Why using deadly force against protesters in the first place.
        President Buhari failure to address the world on this issue is giving credibility to those who claim the man is a confusionist.
        President need to get the courage to address the nation or resign. The world is waiting for some explanation.

        • CovertNigerian

          First of all, no one has suggested that it is okay to kill people in Onitsha or have you heard anyone argue otherwise?
          The circumstances here are very different. A religious group was attacked and a mosque destroyed so it is completely appropriate that an umbrella group representing adherents of that religion meet to discuss.
          I agree with you, that the army and government have been shown their usual incompetence in their handling of the protest and the fallout. I don’t know about this ‘confusionist’ talk and while it is probably appropriate that some folks lose their jobs, and our president should speak out publicly I don’t think this is an incident the president should resign over, at least not yet – calm down.

          • ed

            A President that seems incapable to address pressing issue of cold blooded murder of hundred of Nigerian, by the armed forces under his command?. President of any caring people would’ve been on top of the situation.
            We allow our selves to be abuse and thank the rulers for the insults.
            Only in Nigeria can such recklessness be the order of the day.
            I’m sorry you’ve got it wrong.

          • CovertNigerian

            You make an excellent point – I think he should have addressed this issue publicly and offered the Nigerian public an explanation and scapegoats. However, I’m just not as eager as you to call for resignation just yet. There are cabinet members or senior army officers that are more appropriate candidates for resignation at this time.

          • ed

            Yes. We can all agree on that point. Resignation call were meant to force the President to do his duties. Communication on a timely bases is very important part of governance.

    • Swagger

      You guys should learn to call black, black; and white, white. I am a Christian from south south, but we must strongly condemn injustice regardless of who is involved. The army behaved irresponsibly and the least I expect from Buhari is to ask Tukur Buratai to step down immediately. That is how a country can go forward.

      Recall when Victor Malu, as COAS in 1999 led troops to level Odi on the instructions of Obasanjo. Maku saw nothing wrong with that until soldiers did same to Zaki Ibiam in his home Benue state. By the time Zaki Ibiam unfolded, he was out of the army and was busy screaming “injustice and massacre”. Let’s condemn what is wrong and ask Buhari to behave by condemning this attack and punishing those culpable. Never forget this same madness happened last year under Jonathan, and no one was punished. A murderous army has no place in a democracy and will certainly attack others if not sanctioned now.

      • Nwa_Africa

        You guys are something else………………..Why are you supporting terrorists that blocked a major road from other road users? Just go to Zaria and go and give them a huge because they are peaceful……………………….

        • CovertNigerian

          On what basis are you calling them terrorists? That label is used a little too recklessly. From the clip I saw, though they were rowdy and confrontational, their roadblock appeared to be largely peaceful. Of course I don’t know what happened later and whether there were some among them with guns but neither do you.
          As Nigerians, we must have the right to protest peacefully in our own country. Until I see evidence to the contrary, it is my view that though the Nigerian Army may have been provoked, their response was disproportionate and heavy handed. You’re welcome to disagree.

          • e_orpheus

            While not holding brief for the army, these are people trained to shoot and kill, they aren’t in the business of keeping the peace. They do have rules of engagement and given the current leadership of the army I would rather believe that they operated within those rules. You are welcome to disagree.
            You have an already volatile situation in kaduna and the north east, the convoy of a top ranking general is impeded by a “rowdy and confrontational..’largely’ non-violent” group alleged to be armed with sticks and stones. It only requires someone to accidentally stomp on a water sachet inflated with air and reflex will see you pulling the trigger in that direction. Let the COAS who’s their boss investigate and again I want to believe whoever was wreckless on that occasion will be punished accordingly. If the same happened in Ibadan or Calabar, it could possibly have been a different story.
            Again, you’re welcome to disagree.

      • wode

        Making sense…

      • Awolo

        What if the military was working on instruction from above, considering of course that two muslim fundamentalist interests are at stake here – The Sunni (which Buhari belongs), and The Shiite their arch-enemy? Think about this and try to ponder a little why the government has not been able to make any statement supporting or condemning the military action in Kaduna.

    • Bidemi Lukman

      No one called a meeting? You could be right. Those that supposed to call the meeting are the one fuelling and benefitting from the killing. If not, how would there be money meant for military equipment would to be shared and send to South Africa using the jet of one of those that supposed to call the meeting.

      • Factsay

        And who called the present meeting?
        You are just a religious bigot.

        You wouldnt report Buhari and military to ICC? Or is not genocide again?

        Hypocrites

  • Bunduma Mohammed

    The Sultan should not overheat the system because he knew what El Zazzaky was doing in Zaria and should have known that what happen is inevitable because El Zazzaky is not running another government in Nigeria. As leader of Muslims if he could not do anything when El Zazzaky was doing what he likes blocking roads at will then why this useless reaction. yes life is scarred but those who cause trouble should be singled out for blame.

  • Bunduma Mohammed

    The Sultan should not overheat the system because he knew what El Zazzaky was doing in Zaria and should have known that what happen is inevitable because El Zazzaky is not running another government in Nigeria. As leader of Muslims if he could not do anything when El Zazzaky was doing what he likes blocking roads at will then why this useless reaction. yes life is scarred but those who cause trouble should be singled out for blame.

    • wode

      So, you think doing nothing, in the part of the NSCIA to ensure that peace reign, while the Government remain silent is the best option? The Shiite might have gone to the extreme in their attitude to the Military in Zaria, however the issue surrounding the subsequent attack of their base in Kaduna which lead to a number of death can’t just be left unattended to. It would be a timed-bomb waiting to explode if not properly addressed and everything put to rest as soon as possible. The NSCIA’s approach could be termed as a proactive one if you ask me.

  • Artful ºDodger

    This government is doing the right thing. No one is above the law. Boko Haram took root because Jonathan ¨Mr. FORTUNATO¨ could not be decisive. There is a new sheriff in town now so whether you are baby factory product displaying stupidity, Militant in the SS trying to be a moron or another rag head possessed by the devil trying to be Abubakar Al Baghadi. The Nigeria military is equal to the task of taking you on. This has nothing to do with the presidency or Buhari, it is about protecting the law and territorial integrity of Nigeria and that is the responsibility of the military. So shiítes shut the fk up!

    • ed

      Let them take on Boko Haram and finish them first. The Zaria Shi’ite Muslim were reportedly unarmed. Nigeria Armed forces should end Boko Haram by December to be credible.
      Let the police deal with unarmed civilians. If and when the Zaria group start arming themselves , that’s the time we can call in the armed forces.

      • Daniel Ikwuagwu

        Its sad that people were killed- but did you just say they were unarmed? By the way, have you ever tried blocking the way of an armed policeman on patrol before? Whoever sent those people to hold off the armed and on-edge soldiers knew what he was doing and what would come out of it. It is like sending some sheepish flock of sheep to the slaughter. It’s a real cause for concern.

      • Man_Enough

        Go take another look at the different video footages. The shites were armed. The matchet they were weilding did not fall from heaven.

  • FreeNigeria

    It’s the animal nature of Nigerians today. First, the Shiite’s took it upon themselves to lord over the common people and harassed the wrong person. Then, the soldiers who are equally untamed animals in the wild went on killing spree. Tmo, USA won’t sell them arms and they’ll start crying foul. Animals

  • frank chuka obianke

    Those who live by the sword die by the sword. Why should a sect attempt to kill Nigeria’s COAS? The COAS is the one spearheading the fight against Islamic terrorism in the North and this attempt on his life shows clearly that those behind Boko Haram do not want the war against them won and see the COAS as their greatest enemy. Or, how else does one explain the assassination attempt on Buratai’s life? I had secondary education in Kaduna and was displaced from the city during the Sharia Crisis of year 2000. Thousands of Christians and Southerners were massacred in that Crisis by radical Islamists bent on entrenching Sharia in the state. More so, thousands of people, especially Christians and Southerners have been massacred in various cities of Northern Nigeria, by radical and lawless Islamic sects. Tne youth corpers of southern origin and thousands of other Southerners were massacred by Buhari’s supporters in the North were he lost the 2011 presidential election to GEJ. What were the reactions of the Sultans in the past and northern political and Islamic leaders? Did they call any meetings? Fulani herdsmen are on rampage in Plateau, the Middle Belt and other states of Nigeria, slaughtering innocent farmers and villagers and razing down communities, in the name of grazing land/rights? Why has the Sultan not called for meetings over murderous and atrocious activities of his kinsmen? We know those sympathizing with the cause of radical Islam in Nigeria. We know the trouble makers in Nigeria. The evil that men do lives with them!!!

  • Curseless

    I strongly believe that the Shiite and the Army encounter have to be looked into, but I’m puzzled by the deafening silence by Muslim leadership in the north when the Boko Haram terrorists were killing people in thousands, burning churches and mosques in the last few years.

    • share Idea

      Imagine what would have been said if any person from 5% states is holding any security post in the country.

      The army killed several people in SS immediately Buhari was sworn-in under the guise that they were chasing pirates – nobody talked to condemn it, they killed harmless Biafran protesters, again, dead silence from vocal cabals of the past, now they have grown to be killing tens of Nigerians under the pretext that army chief was attacked.

      GEJ was stoned in the North during campaign and not even a single person was arrested contrast with situation the country is in now that the president no longer to talk to the citizens even in the face of brutal murder of citizens by securitymen. Nigeria we hail thee

  • Ebaah Odibo

    NSCIA was “shocked by the silence of both the government and the human rights community over the massacre”. Please, recall NSCIA was in a macabre silence when Boko Haram and other Islamic sects killed innocent people. Prophet Isa ( the Biblical Jesus) in one of his eternal teachings said that he carries the sword perishes by the sword. Islam and Muslims live and preach by the sword all over the world. Please expect the sword on you all over the world too! Chief of Army Staff is a Muslim. The present security chiefs are mostly Muslims. The Chief Security Officer of the Nation, PMB himself is a Muslim who defended Boko Haram in the past! Our forefathers said that when a Chief’s goat enters the Chief farm and eats the Chief’s yam; no problem. If a commoner’s goat did that, then wahala! If Ihejirika or another southerner were still the COAS, then there will have been problem.

    • Man_Enough

      I am shocked that these leaders have been around all these years while the shites were molesting peace loving civilians and maintained aiding and abeting silence.

  • PeterPaul1

    This is just an extension of the Sunni and Shiite rivalry. Unfortunately, these sects are backed by countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran etc. It’s the backings they receive from these countries that emboldens them to confront our govt. I watched the video of the incidence in Zaria and l must commend the officers and men of NA for displaying unusual patience in the face of such insane provocation and attack (when you start throwing objects at people who were trying to talk with you, that’s an attack).

  • International Games

    BLACK MEN WANTING TO BE MORE ARAB THAN THE ARABS, AND MORE PERSIAN THAN THE PERSIANS IS WHAT HAS BROUGHT THIS NONSENSE TO AFRICA.

  • eclub

    The ugly thing is that these same people went on Hajj to Saudi Arabia, led by Sanusi Lamido, and they were treated like slaves, given a remote route far away from normal Arabs, who apparently consider them a nuisance, which resulted in hundreds of them dying in a stampede, or possibly killed by design, or sacrifice, yet no investigation by Nigeria or Saudi. It’s sad.

    • International games

      eclub you are very observant. At least the Blacks who go to Oyibo land know that they are in a foreign land. They maintain their African culture. These ones bring Arab and Persian culture here and kill themselves and others over it. Pathetic! Can;t Allah allow you to be an African the way he made you, and still worship him? Must you speak Arabic or dress like a Shiite before he will accept your worship? These people cannot think.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Everybody seems to be concerned about the medieval brutality and massacre unleashed on the Nigerian Shiites on the orders of COAS Buratai and his boss Buhari. The only loud silence is on the part of the Sunni led Nigerian government,this is a clear indication of it’s tacit support for the sustained killings of the out-numbered,unarmed and under-represented Shiites.