Nigerian authorities launch commission to look into tensions between the Army and Shi'ites members
By Mohammad Ibrahim
Abuja, Jan 30: The Nigerian Authorities on Friday inaugurated a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the crisis between the Nigerian Army and members of Islamic Movement known as Shi'ites which occurred on 12-14 December 2015 in ancient city of Zaria Kaduna State North West part of the country.
Hundreds of Shi'ites members were killed by the soldiers when the shit'ites blocked the convoy of the country's chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Yusuf Tukur Buratai from passing in front of their shrine in Zaria.
The soldiers mercilessly shot at the Shi'ites despite pleas to stop from the group. According to reports, the soldiers then proceeded to the residence of the shi'ites leaders Shaikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaki and arrested him, his wife before demolishing the house located at Gellesu.
Three of his sons were also murdered on that day making six the total of his children killed by the soldiers in two years.
The Solders at different fora have denied using excessive force on the shi'ites which made the government to set up judicial of inquiry to ascertain the actual cause of the crisis.
While, inaugurating 13 members of the committee led by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba as Chairman, Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai said his administration was determined to know the immediate causes of the Clashes.
The Oslo Times
He also tasked them to investigate the alleged influence of Foreign and domestic actors or their influence or instigation, that may have contributed to the incident or may lead to such incidents in future and make recommendations thereto.
Also part of their terms of reference are to ascertain the number of persons killed, wounded or missing during the Clashes.
To identify actions and omissions of relevant persons, traditional and religious institutions, Federal and State actors and emergency response agencies before, during and after the Clashes.
But the Shi'ites in a statement signed by their spokesperson Ibrahim Musa rejected the commission describing it as a commission of indictment.
Their reasons for rejecting include that Some identified members of the Commission have vested interests against the Movement in particular and the Shi’a in general. Thus, by Law, they are automatically disqualified from participating or serving in the Commission.
That the State Government has demonstrated bias and made pre-matured conclusions against the Movement even before setting up the Commission.
That the Nigerian Army, ably represented in the Commission too, has vested interests with the level of serious and grievous allegations of massacre, illegal detention, rape, arson and willful destruction of properties against it.
That the Movement is not represented in the membership of the Commission.
The commission has six weeks to complite its assignment.