Perused full content of Gov El-Rufai’s state telecast on Army/Shiite conflict, list wrongdoings of Shiite gathering

Kaduna state governor, Nasir ElRufai addressed a state broadcast on the
Army/Shiite group clash on Saturday December 12th that left 60 people
dead. He listed the areas in which his government feels the Muslim group
had erred over time. Read the full text of the address below…

Dear People of Kaduna State, We have witnessed sad events in Zaria and a part of Kaduna metropolis over the last few days. As your Governor, it is my duty to address you on
the incidents, and explain the events that preceded the tragedy of last
weekend. We shall also outline how we intend to prevent a recurrence.
you are aware, military operations have taken place in Zaria between
Saturday, 12 December and Monday, 14 December 2015. There have been
tragic consequences and needless loss of lives, and we extend our
condolences to the families that have been affected. In this sombre
moment, we have also directed that steps be taken to address the
humanitarian fallouts of the operations. The State Government is
carrying out after action review of the theatre of operations with a
view to compensating those whose vehicles, real property and other
assets were damaged as a result.
Kaduna State Government has been informed that on Saturday, 12 December
2015, the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai,
reported an ambush and attempted assassination at a roadblock mounted
by members of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky’s Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
Clashes broke out as soldiers mounted operations to repel the attack,
remove the obstruction to a major public highway, and to contain and
arrest the perpetrators. When the security agencies sent reports of the
clash to me a little after 3pm
on that day, I initiated steps that I thought could calm the situation.
I called Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky on the phone to get his side of the
story, and thereafter visited Zaria for on-the-spot briefing and
assessment and visited the Chief of Army Staff.
army and the police have since addressed the press on the security
operations and the aftermath. We have also seen video clips aired on
national television and online to show the extent to which the Nigerian
Army tried to reason with the persons that were intent on obstructing a
public highway without any justification. The avoidable weekend tragedy
in Zaria has a background based on information available to the Kaduna
State Government.
What the Kaduna State Government has learnt
Based on reports from government organs and security agencies, we have learnt the following:

There had been tension in parts of Zaria since Thursday, 10 December
2015, when members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria were alleged to
have attacked Gabari, a community on the outskirts of Zaria, in
continuation of a dispute over a mosque. Like the previous attack, this
second assault on Gabari also took three lives. The alleged bone of
contention was that the El-Zakzaky movement wanted to take over a mosque
they did not build in Gabari. The mosque had been sealed by the
authorities following the collapse of the arrangements that had enabled
various sects to amicably share its usage.

In the last two weeks, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has also
illegally occupied federal roads. Over a period of four days, they took
over one side of the federal expressway between Kaduna and Zaria, and
the roads to Kano and Katsina. They entered schools along these routes,
using them as rest and recreation points without notice or permission or
any concern about the disruption of academic activities.

The Husainiyah building, the headquarters of the Islamic Movement of
Nigeria, was put up without statutory title to the land, and in outright
defiance of a stop-work notice issued by KASUPDA in 2010. When KASUPDA
followed up with a demolition notice in the same year, the then
authorities chose to look the other way, and allowed the sect to
complete a building that had neither title nor planning approval, and
which the appropriate agency had determined was in violation of planning
and development regulations.

The successful completion of this illegal building on a major road
subsequently led to a pattern of inconveniences being inflicted on
members of the general public. There were various reports and complaints
that the sect was harassing members of the public, and inflicting
hardship on commuters. At their headquarters and in other areas where
Zakzaky’s movement had structures, they had tried to forcibly acquire
the property of their neighbours; this is apart from subjecting
residents to an illegal curfew.

Government also received reports that the Islamic Movement of Nigeria
acted like a parallel state, with total disdain for the formal
structures of the Nigerian government and little regard for the rights
of non-members. Whenever community, traditional or political leaders
invite the sect to dispute resolution meetings, they often declined the
invitations. In addition, members of the movement are alleged to openly
carry and use offensive weapons.

Following the Zaria incident, Shiite members of the Islamic Movement of
Nigeria have tried to upset the peace in parts of Kaduna. The security
forces have responded firmly to the situation in the Tudun Wada area of
Kaduna Metropolis. Violent actions by sect members on Tuesday, 15 December 2016, included the use of Molotov cocktails and petrol bombs against the security forces.
Judicial Commission of Inquiry to be established
the security operations in Zaria are wound-down, the Kaduna State
Government is persuaded that it is vital, for reasons of accountability
and transparency, that a factual and authoritative account of the events
be painstakingly assembled. The Kaduna State Government has therefore
decided that under the powers conferred on me by the Tribunals of
Inquiry Act, a Judicial Commission of Inquiry will be established to
examine the remote and immediate causes of the Zaria incident. This
inquiry will be open and will enable all allegations and claims to be
tested with judicial rigour. The government will act promptly on the
conclusions of the inquiry, and forward recommendations requiring action
by the Federal Government to Mr. President. Details of the composition
and terms of reference of the judicial commission of inquiry would be
made public within the next two weeks.
Commitment to security and constitutional rights
the meantime, Government reiterates that it cannot permit an escalation
of lawlessness. Therefore, civil security patrols, supported by the
military when necessary, will continue to enable the state to maintain
order, reassure residents and keep the peace. Our government continues
to invest heavily in security as a foundation for the successful
execution of our economic and social agenda to develop Kaduna State.
citizens, Kaduna State has witnessed too many upheavals in its recent
history. These tragedies have taken too many lives, maimed people,
destroyed communities and hurt development. We all should jointly say no
to actions that divide people, reject conduct that ignores or violates
the legal and constitutional rights of others and oppose practices that
contest the prerogatives of state institutions to safeguard and protect
every citizen.
has a fundamental right to their faiths and beliefs, but no one has any
right to practise their faith in ways that diminish, distress or
inconvenience others. And no one can be allowed to justify unlawful and
anti-social behaviour on the grounds of religion. Only conduct that
conforms to the Constitution and the laws of the country is valid, and
it is the duty of the state to vigorously enforce that. No responsible
leader or institution should teach their followers differently.
no person or group, under any guise will be allowed to block any road,
obstruct public highways, occupy public facilities or inconvenience
citizens in Kaduna State. Anybody that needs to march may do so, but
they cannot take over public facilities or disrupt social services and
commercial activities in Kaduna State, and any march or procession can
be undertaken only with the prior knowledge of, and protection of the
police to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
Government wishes to assure every resident of Kaduna State that it is
committed to fostering harmony, maintaining law and order and keeping
the peace. Our Constitution rightly protects the freedom of worship, as
well as the right to liberty, security and the pursuit of happiness.
Everyone is entitled to these rights equally. We swore to uphold the
Constitution, and our commitment to these values is unwavering. We will
similarly protect these rights evenly.
urge all citizens to be vigilant as they go about their normal
activities, and to report any suspicions or concerns to the appropriate
authorities. Let us all redouble our commitment to sustaining the peace,
and to uphold each other in our God-given humanity.
the crisis raged, the Kaduna State Government visited Zaria, and issued
appeals for calm and peace. We have taken our time to make this formal
broadcast due to the imperative to gather as much information as
possible amidst the welter of conflicting claims, the urgency of
restoring peace and the need to consult with the federal authorities.

God bless Kaduna State
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
May the souls of the departed find peace
May the Almighty God Restore and Preserve Peace throughout our state and country, AmenDeclaimer: Opinion expressed in comments are those of the comment writers alone and does not reflect or represent Koko Level’s.