Leaders of Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria have listed five conditions for possible truce and presented a some demands to the federal government.
Leadership reports that the main condition was the immediate release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Briefing journalists in Abuja, Abdulmumin Giwa, the group’s media forum secretary, and Abdulrahman Abubakar, the leader of the movement in Yola, insisted that the killing of Shi’ites by Nigerian army in Zaria, Kaduna state, was unprovoked.
The group’s leaders said that they had incurred human and material losses as a result of the clamp down on them by the soldiers.
“We want the army to hand over our leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky, to us immediately for medical care. We ask the military to release all our arrested members. We ask for the army to stop molestation of our members; all corpses of our brothers and sisters killed by the army should be released for proper Islamic burial. We want full compensation for the lives lost as well as our properties destroyed, and we want a full-scale investigation and prosecution of culprits involved in the killing of our members,”they said.
Giwa lamented that since the Saturday incident, members of their sect have continued to suffer more deaths.
According to him, on Tuesday, December 15, men of the Nigerian Police Mobile Force attacked their members and killed four.
“We had no premeditated plan to attack the chief of army staff as claimed by the army.
“On that fateful day when we were getting set to celebrate the Maulud of our holy Prophet at the Husseiniyya prayer ground, the Nigerian army came and stationed a detachment of soldiers there and the military presence created tension amongst our members. Even when the COAS came to pass, there was no incident at all. But two hours later, soldiers came back and began to open fire on our members. More than 300 people were killed there,”he said.
According to him, later in the night, the army went to Gellesu residence of leader and opened fire on our members, including our leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky, and three of his children. More deaths were recorded there; in fact the death toll was four times more than what was recorded at Husseiniyya. He said that most of the dead bodies were evacuated by the army and taken to unknown places.
The two spokesmen revealed that El-Zakzaky had called some of the members shortly before soldiers arrested him. He told them that he had sustained bullet injuries in his eyes and in his right shoulder.
“He informed his only surviving son that he was bleeding profusely and that the corpses of his three sons: Hamad (18), Ali (16) and Humeid (13) were lying dead in front of him at the time the soldiers were shooting into his home,”Abubakar said.
Denying the allegation that the Shiite members were armed during the clash with soldiers, Giwa stressed that their group had been known as one of the most peaceful religious bodies in the country.
“We have never been associated with any form of violence in many years of our existence. In fact, we have been rated as the highest donor to the blood bank in Nigeria,”he noted.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate is set to commence investigation into the recent killings of Shiites in Zaria. The investigation panel has senators drawn from the ad-hoc committees on Defence, Judiciary and National Security and Intelligence to unravel circumstances behind the incidence.
source : abna24