Monday, April 11, 2016 9:09 pm
Spokesman of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, whose members are known as Shiites said the revelation today by Alhaji Lawal Balarabe Abbas, Secretary of Kaduna State Government of a secret mass burial of 347 members killed by Nigerian soldiers has clearly vindicated its position.
But Ibrahim Musa said Abbas’s testimony may just be a tip of the ice berg as the movement still has over 600 members unaccounted for.
“Today’s revelations point to the fact that a massacre was carried out by the Nigerian Army on defenceless Nigerians in Zaria from 12-14 December, 2015, which they sought to conceal. The perpetrators must be brought to book. ..We sincerely hope this will be the beginning of more revelations about the fate of the remaining missing persons, now numbering over six hundred”, said Musa.
Abbas told Judicial commission of inquiry sitting in Kaduna that 347 members of the Islamic Movement were given mass burial in the aftermath of the Zaria massacre of 12th to 14th of December 2015.
“This is a clear confirmation of what the movement had earlier made public about its members having been buried in mass graves”, Musa said in a statement.
The figure of the buried, he said, tallied with the earliest figure given by the Human Rights Watch, HRW that no fewer than 300 members of the Movement might have been killed in the pogrom, HRW accused the Nigerian Army of using excessive force on unarmed civilians.
“The SSG also established that the secret burial took place based on a court order received by the state government, and that he was earlier in attendance at a meeting with the Governor and some senators, where they deliberated on what to do with the huge numbers of dead bodies of IMN members.
“This was also collaborated by the Director General, religious affairs, Namadi Musa.
“He told the Commission that he went to ABUTH, where he counted 156 corpses, and the army depot, where he counted 191 other corpses, in the presence of one Major Ogundare and buried them at midnight at Mando, Kaduna.
“We remain resolute, and will continue to follow peaceful means in our call for the unconditional release of our revered leader his Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and other brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement under illegal detention,” Musa added.