Zaria killings: El-Rufai sets up judicial panel

Zaria killings: El-Rufai sets up judicial panel

Friday, December 18, 2015 3:21 am

Governor Nasir El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has set up a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the weekend clash between soldiers and members of the Shiite Islamic sect in Zaria.

In a broadcast to the people of the state, the Kaduna governor said the composition and terms of reference of the commission of inquiry will be announced within two weeks.

The governor banned processions, blockage of roads, obstruction of public highways and occupation of public facilities to inconvenience citizens in Kaduna State.

He assured the people that the government was committed to securing the state while upholding the rights of every citizen.

Also yesterday, the police said 10 members of the sect were being probed for their involvement in the attack on a police station in Kaduna.

Saturday’s fracas that led to the death of yet unspecified number of sect members during the clash with soldiers in the convoy of Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai, broke out after the sect’s members blocked the highway as the army chief’s convoy made its way to the Zaria Military School for graduation of the regular recruits of the Nigerian Army Depot.

All efforts by senior officers to persuade them to clear the road for Gen. Buratai’s convoy were rebuffed. Thereafter, a clash broke out, leading to the death of some of the sect members. Sect leader Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife were taken to military custody. Sect members claimed that the leader’s son was among the people killed.

The Senate and the House of Representatives and the National Human Rights Commission have set up ad hoc committees to probe the clash.

El-Rufai said: “We have witnessed sad events in Zaria. There have been tragic consequences and needless loss of lives and we extend our condolences to the families that have been affected.

”In this sombre moment, the government has directed that steps be taken to address the humanitarian fallouts of the security operations.

”Everyone has a fundamental right to their faiths and beliefs, but no one has any right to practise their faith in ways that diminish, distress or inconvenience others.

”Henceforth, no person or group, under any guise will be allowed to block any road, obstruct public highways, occupy public facilities or inconvenience citizens in Kaduna State.

“Anybody that needs to march may do so, but they cannot take over public facilities or disrupt social services and commercial activities in Kaduna State, and any march or procession can be undertaken only with the prior knowledge of, and protection of the police to prevent the breakdown of law and order.”

*Reported by The Nation

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