Why we attacked Zakzaky, other Shiite members – Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army on Saturday stated its reason for attacking members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

The Army had on Saturday said the group blocked the road and attempted to kill the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, in Kaduna State.

In a statement on Sunday by its spokesperson, Sani Usman, the Army described the incident as ‘most unfortunate’ but blamed the sect for blocking roads meant for the public.

“Yesterday’s incident involving clashes between detachments of the Nigerian Army, accompanying the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General TY Buratai and followers of Sheikh Ibrahim El Zak-Zaky, suspected to be members of the Shiite Sect in Zaria, leading to loss of lives as a result of the Shiite group members’ blocking roads and not allowing other passers-by to go about their lawful businesses and activities, was most unfortunate,” Mr. Usman, a Colonel, said.

“The Nigerian Constitution guarantees the rights of any group of persons and Sheikh El Zak Zaky’s followers to hold a peaceful march or procession unhindered, but it also guarantees other people’s rights of way on public highways. It is important to note that over the years this group has subjected ordinary citizens using public roads to untold hardship, delays, threats and disruption simply because they insist on using public space irrespective of inconvenience and hardship on other law abiding citizens and motorists.

This cannot be tolerated and must stop!

“As soon as order is restored to the situation in Zaria city and its environs, the police will conduct an enquiry and the public will be informed.

“In the meantime, the public is advised to go about their lawful business and report any suspicious persons or incidents to the police,” the Nigerian Army said.

Mr. Usman did not give details of the various attacks or whether Mr. Zakzaky had been arrested or not.

The Islamic Movement has said its members were unarmed and that soldiers attacked its members in three different parts of Kaduna including Mr. Zakzaky’s home.

The Shiite group said the son and wife of Mr. Zakzaky were among ‘hundreds’ of its members killed by the soldiers.


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  • NoPeaceInOurTime

    I am all in tears for what this country is becoming. We never learn.

  • ibsoken

    It is unfortunate that blocking highways during worship has become the divine right of religious groups. Conflict of this type will continue to occur unless the practice is banned.

    • ejirostephen

      You need to see how rampant blocking of major roads has become in my area on Friday during Jumat prayers. No one kicks against it because nobody wants trouble. I mean, peace need to reign.

  • eclub

    This is unacceptable. International Organizations must step in to charge Buhari with whatever brutal dictators are charged with. It is no coincidence that whatever, or whoever, are his perceived enemies are being dealt with brutal force, put in gulag, etc.

    And he is getting bolder, and more evil by the day.

  • True Nigerian

    I am a Christian from the South East. But the fact that members of this sect are murdered by our army does not make the killings right. Killing people who block the roads during procession is a very disproportionate response to road blockage. How about arresting them? How about using tear gas to disperse the forcefully? How about arresting their leader and obtaining an undertaking not to lead his followers in such disruptive processions? How about obtaining a court order to ban them from such processions?

    What was the army’s justification for killing the three sons of this man last year? Did they also block the roads then? They were not even killed at the roads they supposedly blocked. They were arrested alive. They had no weapons. They made no threats. The army took them into custody and then shot them dead whilst in custody.

    I am a Christian from the South East. But horrific injustice of this nature by our army must be condemned. These killed people are human beings and citizens of Nigeria. The sanctity of life means nothing to the useless and brainless country called Nigeria. That is why this kind of excuse can be considered cogent enough as a reason to kill these men and women simply because their religious activities cause traffic and obstructs public access.

    The Nigerian army is struggling to find justification for the killing of El-Zakzaki’s three sons who were murdered whilst in custody and whilst they posed no threats whatsoever.

    Personally, I believe that the new onslaught against this man is to kill him off, silence him and destroy the strong case which he is pursuing against the Nigerian army at the ICC.

    • moderate Nigerian

      It sound. Strange, absurd, inhuman, barbaric, yet it was a right step in the right direction. Insurgencies always start like this, allow this people they will be worse than Boko haram given their pedigree, dogma, belief, and ethics. Lots of people do not know the terror this group represents, ask gyallesu people (where the. Leader resides). This is somebody that ordered the beating of traffic personnel just because he stopped his motorcade, anytime he moves his so called Hurras (security details) brandish all sorts of weapons (Dane guns, machetes, swords, cutlasses), ask Zariya people. His show of power and authority are so much that he was nicknamed the governor of Zariya. They don’t obey law and order, cos they tagged it as man creation, this amazed me on their double standard ( seeking redress with ICC).
      I felt the army reaction was harsh but I believe this group needs to be tamed otherwise the Boko haram issue will be like a child play.

    • Mr. K

      Am a northerner & a devout muslim but i don’t blame the Nigerian Army for what happened. My brother you are in the East, you don’t know how this particular sect create nuisance to other member of the public Muslims & christains alike. They have no respect at all for constituted authorities, they are very reckless & barbaric in their acts & deeds, they have a kind of feeling that they are above everyone including fellow Muslims that do not follow their sect. My brother what are they doing with machetes cutlasses & other very dangerous weapons. The COAS was in Zaria to attend an official assignment which is the passing out of the new recruits in Zaria depot & the COAS decided to pay a homage visit to the emir of Zazzau which is very normal & the route the COAS took was the only route to the Depot & to the emirs palace but they blocked the road & from the venue of there event to the main road is almost 300 feets so why block the road for Godsake? The COAS & his entourage came out of there vehicles & walked up to these people to talk to them politely, I repeat politely to allow there convoy to pass & go to there destination but these people refused & started burning tyres on the road & started pelting the convoy of the COAS with stones & pure water sachets, for what? Atleast using common sense & out of courtesy when the COAS came down & talked to them they should have allowed him to pass because in the first instance it is illegal to even block the road for anything except for security reasons or general repairs or maintenance so what should the security details of the COAS do when there principal is being attacked with weapons including gunfire? To me personally the soldiers had nothing else to do than to protect there principal which they did & they were professional i can tell you else you would have been talking of a thousand deaths. It serves them right to get it into there heads that there are constituted authorities & as long as they remain in Nigeria, they must abide by the constitution of Nigeria. I hope they have now known that nobody is above the authorities & they have learnt there lessons the hard way though. I stand to be corrected anyway. I rest my case.

      • True Nigerian

        Even the army has not mentioned anywhere that these people used gunfire against the army. You are the only one who mentioned that. I’m sorry I don’t consider your story quite convincing. For all that you have said, I still don’t see enough grounds to justify the mindless murder of these people by the army.

      • ejirostephen

        The most sensible comment of all Mr. K. I saw th picture by a resident where the COAS was trying to pacify the leaders to open the road. People shd watch ‘ the rules of engagement by Samuel L jackson’ before drawing conclusion on whether these guys were armed or not. If one I aggrieved, there are better ways of expressing yourself and getting what you want. Bokoharam ve more sophisticated weapons today than the Nigeria army and we are all followin Dasuki’s trial yet no one knows the source of their supply. When a notable character is to be assassinated westernly, a road block constituting nuisance is always the first step. Even if the shiite wanna stage a road block it should not be on the same day the COAS was going for a crucial function of such nature. Moreso, what is their demand. What would you happened if they dint take such an action. Bokoharam have not been defeated and they are still actively functioning in the north. How would they have known the road block is not a kind of stoppage strategy to harm the COAS. Note my words, this same group are capable of blocking the road if it were to be GMB himself.
        People / Groups should seek caution, knowledge and know how best to act to avert trouble.
        If they had carried placard and line the road all through to the venue of the event, expressing their displeasure armed or not would the military have opened fire on anyone???

  • Höly Wähala

    Bologné and watery excuse for mass-murder against international laws. Did the marchers also block their Head Quaters which the Army razed, and the home of their leader, Sheihk Zakzaky? With the raging war against the deadliest terrorist gangsters Boko Haram and the tensions occassioned by the illegal detention of Nnamdi Kanu, the botched Bayelsa State elections that has raised ND-militant antennae… toss-in the standoff between Tompolo and EFCC goons, President Buhari is revving-up tensions that may consume his Govt. and Nigeria in less than 1yr of his visionless leadership. The wanton killing of over 100 Nigerians by the same Nigerian Army accused of war crimes against BH in the North East does not bode well for “changi” democracy, neither does it portray Nigeria in lime lights before the international community. The Sheihk lost his wife, son, medical officer and a prominent Sheik from Kano… plus a prominent women’s leader Hajjia Jummai. Haba! Kai, mallam Buhari… Wallahi, changi is merely a change in the hand that’s holding the batton, nothing change really so far. Buruba!

    • Man_Enough

      So you want the soldiers to leave their general in the hands of those fanatics and go to court. Why are they soldiers?

  • Sufiano

    Very barbaric . It’s this type of high handedness that contributed to the rise of Boko Haram. One hundred unarmed people killed just because they blocked the road in a peaceful protest.

  • amazing2012

    So because of blocking road, you killed his members, his wife, his son? You can’t take them to court ? Throughout your report you did not mention how many soldiers were killed or wounded by the sect members or any weapon found with them.
    Those responsible should be brought to book !
    Now that you demolished his house and arrest him are you bringing to court on what charges ?
    Army has now become investigators of crime and proscutors !!
    It is a shame to those parading themselves as professionals to be shushing human right.
    Idiots they run away from Boko haram but they are busy killing innocent civilians.

  • NoSpinEd

    This was not an appropriate incident for the army to handle in the first place. This was in the juridiction of police as law enforcement agents of the state. They are the ones authorized to arrest and prosecute violators of the law.


    This army nincompoop in his mind has justified the mass extra-judicial murder of unarmed Nigerian civilians with this psychotic explanation ? Buhari’s hands is soaked in innocent blood because these killings are a direct result of his instructions and body language…….to make matters worse,no statements from the presidency and no investigation.

    • justice uloko

      Which planet did you come from nonentity? For your mind, you can writes and say nonsense against PMB? Let thunder fire that your hatred.

      • eclub

        Your Buhari did the same thing before in the 1980’s, and he was arrested, and stopped, nothing happened to those who emasculated him; and I predict the same thing will happen again. The people are not going to sit there and watch this guy do things like this.

    • taiwo


      • Factsay

        May same military visit u with same treatment


        “Mumu” is better than a slave who has no say.

    • Man_Enough

      The soldiers involved are trained and programmed to defend their commander even to the point of losing their own lives. You don’t mess with such people. The shaites should create camps for their parades instead of showing off their religeousness to humans. The God they are serving is everywher.


        …But they are also programmed to abandon their weapons and run when armed boko-haram comes knocking !!

        There is no provision for mass extra-judicial murder in the constitution.

  • Factsay

    Genocide trial waiting for Mumumadu and Gen. Brutal

  • growthengine

    General Buhari is in charge. No cause for alarm. All disgruntled elements will be crushed. Don’t be disgruntled to stay alive.

    • Factsay

      U that call for evil are u immuned?

      • growthengine

        General Buharam and General Burantashi are crushing disgruntled elements, what’s your problem, are you disgruntled, just relax and watch the movie.

  • KennBest

    You get what you want in life. You block the right of way of army chief and endanger his life, then you invite death to your household. Army don’t use teargas, they use bullets and bullets are designed to kill. Get it?

    • Factsay

      U reason like zoo animal.


      Brainless “logic” of the zoo !!

  • favourtalk

    They still belive it is GEJ that is nigeria president that takes all forms of nonsense, how on earth will they attack the COAS, they must be smoking cheap weed. Nigeria is not for fun and serious war is going on with the deadly bokoharam. No time to play and PMB means business

    • Factsay

      Until he destroys ur own family members and ur eyes go open

  • david

    If GEJ had treated Boko haram the same way… Northern Nigeria will not be in the mess it is today

    • Factsay

      U will live to say opposite of what u just said

  • front man

    Thats wat dey deserve Good job

  • onime

    We MUST all be ready to live in peace. Nobody should hold the FG or Army to ransom. Simple. All these “human right” rantings are all trash!

  • woman leader

    No cause for alarm d right man is in charge. PMB.

  • Joefrey P Nanjul

    This kind of situation is kind of a complicated and tactical one, caution should be the watch word by the government of the day. we still remember clearly what brought about the mirage that today has become the biggest security challenge of this nation. For me let FG jump in quickly with dialogue, so that the issue can be resolved peacefully. kaduna has been peaceful lately and that cannot be sacrificed.

  • Mephistoheles

    We as a people have had enough of this Shiite!

  • Adamu

    “The Nigerian Constitution guarantees the rights of any group of persons and Sheikh El Zak Zaky’s followers to hold a peaceful march or procession unhindered”. luk at Nigeria aiding terrorist, how can terrorism be conquered, right from the day bad luck overthrown gud luck Nigeria has been build on an evil foundation

  • Job watch

    Tell it to the Marines. Stop telling us stories, enough of your nonsense excuses. We know the truth already. How could the military shoot at unarmed civilians when they’re just exercising their constitutional right. This is the same way you shot at unarmed Pro biafrans. In a civilized world, the Chief of Army Staff should have turned back or look for alternative way. Whenever any American Police shoots at unarmed black teenager, Nigerians are always among the first to condemn such dastardly act but if a worst incidence occurs in Nigeria it would be looked at from the religious or tribal point of view. People will start making comments based on sentiment and not based on reality as it is obtainable internationally. Bad thing is Bad even if your brothers are not involved. Let me expose the real truth behind the killing, It’s a deliberate extermination; Sheikh Ibrahim El Zak-Zaky belongs to the Shiite sect and most of his followers are non Fulanis, the Sunni majority wanted to cut down the growth of the Shiite movement in the Northern Nigeria, So the Usman Danfodio Jihadists who are largely Fulanis and whose the Chief of Army Staff and Buhari himself belong wanted the Shiite dead by all means possible. If not the killing of Sheikh Ibrahim El Zak-Zaky followers wouldn’t have continued the next day and by the way his wife and son were brutally murdered shows it’s a deliberate killing supported by Mr President himself. Meanwhile, the Army Chief wouldn’t have ordered the killing of unarmed civilians if Buhari didn’t give him a go ahead order. America, her friends and Amnesty international would not condemn this act because they are friends to Sunnis and dislike the Shiites , Hezbollah and Alawites. However, Nigeria will boil next year because Iran will not take it easy with Buhari’s government for committing an act of this nature.

  • Sparzo

    Wow, the Nigerian army, shoots a religious procession of Nigerians for blocking the road because the army has a right to use the road?
    Couldn’t they be arrested for the crime opf blocking the road?