The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately constitute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the ongoing outbreak of violence between the Nigerian army and the Shi’ite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, led by Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Abubakar in a statement, signed by Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede, said at a time Nigeria is facing serious problems, the least expected is a conflict between the military and Shi’ites.
The statement reads in part, “While there are claims and counter-claims on what actually precipitated the latest heart-rending incident, the NSCIA urges the authorities to exercise restraint. The history of the circumstances that engendered the outbreak of militant insurgency in the past, with cataclysmic consequences that Nigeria is yet to recover from, should not be allowed to repeat itself.
“We urge 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 clash which started on December 12 was reported to have claimed the lives of over 20 people.
It was reported that Sheik Muhammad Turi, the second-in-command to Zakzaky, and the group’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Usman, were reportedly killed by soldiers on Sunday.
This is not the first time that the movement led by its leader, Zakzaky had been involved in a clash. Last year, some members of the movement including the sons of Zakzaky lost their lives during a clash with the military.
The statement reads further: “The sanctity of human life is inviolable in Islam and painstaking efforts should be made at all times to prevent bloodshed. In other words, life is sacred and the fundamental responsibility of Government is to guarantee the security of life and property.
“While no group should be allowed to constitute law unto itself or arrogate unconstitutional powers to itself under any guise, the fact still remains that the position of law is clear when there is any breach. Therefore, as order is the first law of heaven, normalcy and restraint should be taken seriously.
“May the Almighty Allah guide our leaders right and guard us Nigerians against our own indiscretion at all times.”