‘El-Zakzaky’s Shi’ite to blame for clashes, killings’

The Kaduna State government has blamed the Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) for last December’s clash with soldiers.
The government’s position was contained in a White Paper on the July report of the panel, which probed the December 2015, Zaria clashes.
Presenting the White Paper yesterday, Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s media aide Samuel Aruwan said government made the report public within 10 days, and raised a committee to prepare a draft White Paper.
The paper reads: “This White Paper sets out the views and decisions of the government on all recommendations that have been made by the Judicial Commission of Enquiry. All recommendations that are within the purview of the Kaduna State government can be accepted, noted or rejected. Those pertaining to institutions or tiers of government, not under the direct control of the state, are noted and referred to the appropriate institution for consideration and decision.
“Regarding the clashes in the Gyallesu area of Zaria, where the Nigerian Army mounted a cordon and search operation, the White Paper observed that many civilians were evacuated from Gyallesu, but IMN members rejected the opportunity to vacate the area.
“The Army abided by its Rules of Engagement and Judicial Commission of Enquiry failed to consider the years when activities of the IMN in Gyallesu had threatened peace and security.
“For all intents and purposes, the IMN is an insurgent group and should be treated as such. The number of IMN members congregating in Zaria from across the country that night, with many bearing arms, was such that the Army was in no position to accurately determimages-1ine how armed and organised they were and had to be concerned on what their intention for Zaria was.
“With regards to the findings of the commission on the conduct of the Army, the state noted the recommendation that the soldiers who might have been involved in the unlawful killing of 347 citizens, be brought to trial before a court of competent jurisdiction.
“The state government is assured that the Federal Government will not condone unlawful killing of any citizen, the conduct will be further investigated and culprits will first be subjected to court martial by the federal authorities, followed by civil prosecution by the state government.
“The state accepted the following recommendations, among others:
-the IMN is an unregistered organisation that cannot be sued. Therefore, all IMN members and its leadership are jointly and severally liable for all violations of the law in the last 30 years, and are therefore responsible for the clashes and its consequences.
-members of the IMN owe absolute loyalty to Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky. He, therefore, bears responsibility for all acts of lawlessness committed by the organisation and should be held responsible, fully investigated and prosecuted.
-the evidence before the commission, from the testimonies and memoranda submitted to it by various interest groups and stakeholders, clearly shows that IMN has become a law unto itself, disregarding the authority of the Nigerian state as vested in the police and other security agencies, which many a time lead to confrontations, such as the one of December 12 to 14, 2015, between it and the Army.
“All incidents of violence and aggression by members of the IMN against individuals, groups or communities, which have resulted in bodily harm, destruction of property and deaths, should be fully investigated and culprits brought to book. Where appropriate, compensations should be paid.” Source-The Nation

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