Shiite Protest: FG, Army Criticised For Bloody Outcome

Shiite Protest: FG, Army Criticised For Bloody Outcome

By Chidozie Ogbonnaya with agencies

The disturbances that started at the weekend by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, popularly called Shiites worsened on Monday afternoon when the group tried to disrupt activities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyanya and Mararaba, Nasarawa state,

Shiite members trooped out in their numbers in protest of the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, were marched with force by security operatives.

The group has now claimed that no fewer than 50 of its members lost their lives during Monday’s clash along the Nyanya-Keffi expressway by officials of the Nigerian Army.

A member of the group, Mohammed Gamara, who spoke with Channels Television in Abuja said that about 200 others were injured.

“So far, I don’t have the exact number of the casualties and the martyrs but if we say they are more than 50, killed by the Nigerian Army, I don’t think I will be exaggerating,” Gamara said.

But an eye witness, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that trouble started when the police tried to stop the protesters from moving deeper in the FCT.

He said that the protesters resisted the “push’’ by the police for them to retreat and that triggered the skirmish.

The source said that some persons lost their lives in the clash but could not state the figure.

Reacting to the ongoing violence, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank, has called on all the international Human rights organisations to note the record of brutal killings, especially that of Shiites people under the current administration, saying President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, must face trial after their stay in office.
Frank said contrary to the constitution provision that security of lives and welfare shall be the responsibility of government, the current All Progressives Congress (APC) administration is encouraging its agents to cause the killing of the citizens.
While condemning soldiers deadly use of force on Shiite supporters during a religious procession in Zuba, near Abuja, Comrade Frank, in a statement on Monday, said under President Buhari the country has seen a sharp rise in the use of brute force by security agents to quail armless demonstrators.
According to him, a country where the value of human lives continues to depreciate on a daily basis can only be referred to as a failed state.
The former APC spokesman said the continuing detention of Shia’s leader,El-Zakzaky despite several Court orders is uncivilised by any leaders in the world.
A political analyst and commentator, Emma Alozie also weighed in on the issue, he however blamed Federal government’s approach to the matter.  In Alozie’s rant on his Facebook page on Monday night, he had this to say:
“I think the massacre of Shiites have continued because the majority Sunnis have supported it. It really defies comprehension that many Sunnis gloat whenever Buhari sets his army on what has now become their favourite pastime; Shiitecide. I don’t really understand much of the doctrinal dichotomies between the Shiites and the Sunnis, but why is it that they’re not considered as Muslims by the Sunnis?

“I am just imagining the Catholics rejoicing whenever the protestants are massacred or the Pentecostals hailing anybody that kills say members of the White garment church. There are clear doctrinal differences in Christianity but the rallying point is the headship of Jesus Christ.

“If the majority Sunnis can shed their sectarian grievances and put on the garb of humanity, raise their voices in vociferous condemnation of Buhari and his murderous army, this nonsense will surely stop.

“No commander in chief worth that title treats his/her unarmed citizens the way Buhari is treating the Shiites.”

AljazirahNigeria recalls that Shiite’s El-Zakzakky was arrested in 2015 after his members confronted the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna state.

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