The Nigerian military authorities are sticking to their story that Shiite elements who blocked a road in Zaria, Kaduna State attempted to kill their chief, Lt. General Tukur Buratai.
As proof that they stood by their story,the military authorities today submitted a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the issue.
According to Col. Sanu Usman, there was an assassination attempt on Buratai along Sokoto road in Zaria, Kaduna State on Saturday, December 12, 2015 by members of the Shiite sect.
Usman said the two-page petition to the Nigerian rights agency was submitted today by the Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Abubakar.
According to the petition, military personnel on the entourage of the Chief of Army Staff responded to gunshots fired at their convoy by members of the sect in order to provide a safe corridor for the Army Chief and his convoy.
“The Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, who received the petition on behalf of the commission promised to investigate the alleged attack in order to prevent a recurrence,”Usman reported.
In an earlier statement, Usman described the fatal shooting incident as “most unfortunate”.
“Saturday’s incident involving clashes between detachments of the Nigerian Army, accompanying the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General TY Buratai and followers of Sheikh Ibrahim El Zak-Zaky, suspected to be members of the Shiite Sect in Zaria, leading to loss of lives as a result of the Shiite group members blocking roads and not allowing other passers-by to go about their lawful businesses and activities, was most unfortunate.
“The Nigerian Constitution guarantees the rights of any group of persons and Sheikh El Zak Zaky’s followers to hold a peaceful march or procession unhindered, but it also guarantees other people’s rights of way on public highways. It is important to note that over the years this group has subjected ordinary citizens using public roads to untold hardship, delays, threats and disruption simply because they insist on using public space irrespective of inconvenience and hardship on other law abiding citizens and motorists. This cannot be tolerated and must stop!
“As soon as order is restored to the situation in Zaria city and its environs, the Police will conduct an enquiry and the public will be informed. In the meantime, the public is advised to go about their lawful business and report any suspicious persons or incidents to the police.”
The two statements today did not disclose the number of casualties, with the dead said to be in scores. The military also did not react to accusations that its men carried away the bodies of those killed, making a headcount difficult.