Shi’ite/Army clash; KDSG to set up Judicial Commission of Inquiry, bans procession on highways, public facilities
By; Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir, Kaduna.
Kaduna State Government has said it will institute a judicial commission of inquiry to established to unravel the circumstances; immediate and remote that led to last Saturday’s clash between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly known as Shi’ite and the motorcade of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai leading to loss of lives in Zaria.
In a state-wide broadcast by the state Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-rufai, he said that the composition and terms of reference of the commission of inquiry will be announced within two weeks while assuring the people of the state that the government was committed to securing the state and upholding the rights of every citizen.
In the broadcast, El-rufai provided an update on the Zaria incident and subsequent events which he described as a tragedy. “We have witnessed sad events in Zaria. “There have been tragic consequences and needless loss of lives, and we extend our condolences to the families that have been affected. In this somber moment, the government has directed that steps be taken to address the humanitarian fallouts of the security operations.”
The governor stressed that “everyone has a fundamental right to their faiths and beliefs, but no one has any right to practice their faith in ways that diminish, distress or inconvenience others” and that “henceforth, 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.”
Revealing a bit of security reports in regards to the incident, he highlighted the facts that are known, as well as complaints and allegations that have been made. He explained that Kaduna State is persuaded that the interests of accountability and transparency are best served by a judicial commission of inquiry that will allow all claims to be tested with judicial rigour.
The commission of inquiry is to be set up under the ‘Tribunals of Inquiry Act’. It will examine the immediate and remote causes of the Zaria incident, and assemble a factual and authoritative account that the government can study and act upon.
The governor warned that he will not tolerate any escalation of lawlessness, insisting that “the government continues to invest heavily in security as a foundation for the successful execution of our economic and social agenda to develop Kaduna State.
“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,” he stressed noting that the state has endured too many upheavals in its recent history and asked for a collective stance for peace.
El-rufai reassured citizens that they can go about their normal activities, but he urged vigilance and prompt reporting of any suspicions to the security agents and various leaders.
“Let us all redouble our commitment to sustaining the peace, and to uphold each other in our God-given humanity” he pleaded for peace.