July 30, 2014
The President of Civil Rights Congress (CRC), Comrade Shehu Sani, has warned President Goodluck Jonathan not to joke with the killing of innocent Shiite members in Zaria, Kaduna State, by soldiers.
In a statement, Sani called on the Federal Government to set up an investigation committee to look into the killings, noting that the security agencies are cultivating another crisis despite the country being unable to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency.
Referring to the members of the Sheikh El Zakzaki-led Islamic movement in Zaria who were killed in the incident, Sani said, “We have learnt that members of the movement were fired at while on their yearly peaceful procession, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, which as a result also led to the death of two children of Sheikh El zakzaki,” unreservedly condemning the shootings.
“The killings are cruel, inhuman, barbaric and a dangerous act with wider security implications for the peace and stability of our country. Its most unfortunate and sad that our security forces have not learnt their lessons on the grievous implications of cold blood killings of religious leaders or their faithfuls. While the nation is still battling with the insurgency in the north east, which was triggered by the extra judicial killing of Mohammed Yusuf in 2009, a new front is deliberately and mischievously ignited by the Nigerian soldiers.”
He described the tragic incident in Zaria as a clear testimony that Nigeria’s security forces are a part of the problem. The unprovoked attack and killing of the members of the movement is a reprehensible and abominable act capable of triggering a wider bloodletting and endless conflict. The impunity and brigandage by our security forces undermines the peace and stability of our country and by extension the authority and credibility of the Government.”
He stressed that security forces established, recognized and funded by constitutional guarantees must operate within the ambit of the laws and democratic tenets, but observed that Nigerians live in fear of both the insurgents and the military.
In that regard, Sani stated that security institutions must conform to and respect the fundamental rights of Nigerians as guaranteed by the constitution, and called on President Jonathan to take charge and accept responsibility for the situation on the ground as the buck stops on his table.
“A systematic policy and strategy of gross rights violations by security forces in the guise or excuse of fighting terrorism is unacceptable,” the statement said.
“Shooting peaceful protesters is tantamount to encouraging armed rebellion. Killing peaceful protesters is the most potent justification for violent causes. Our exigent need to end insurgency in the north east must not be at the price of the life and liberties of other innocent Nigerians. The Federal Government must investigate the killings of the members of the Islamic movement and bring to book all those who perpetrated this despicable and callous act.”