Army/Shi’ite Clash: Senate Adhoc Committee visits Kaduna, meet El-Rufai, GOC behind closed doors
By; Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir, Kaduna.
The Senate Adhoc Committee set up to investigate the Shi’ite/Army clash in Zaria, today visited Kaduna and held a closed door meeting with the state Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division of the Nigerian, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, the Commissioner of Police, Usman Shehu and the Director of State Security Services (DSS).
Led by the Chairman, Senate committee on Defense, Senator Ahmad Lawal, the committee said it was in Kaduna to get first hand information from the security chiefs and would also be in Zaria to do same to unravel the crisis in Zaria between the Nigeria Army and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shi’ite) group on 12 December, 2015.
Senator Lawal said in an interview with Journalists shortly after meeting with El-Rufai in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna that they would also visit Gyelesu community cum the resident of the leaders of the movement and the Husseiniya Shrine of the Shi’ite where the incident occurred.
Asked if their visit would include a public hearing in Zaria to hear directly from those who witnessed the incident first hand and the victims, Lawal said their mandate does not include that due to the fact that it is a very sensitive security issue.
“Our Mandate does not include public hearing in Zaria. Actually, this is a very sensitive issue that we believe we can do better if we hold our fact finding in close sessions. This is because most of the issues are very sensitive security issues and we believe we shouldn’t play to the gallery” he said.
He revealed that two to three weeks ago the committee had a session with the Islamic Movement Group and it was well represented by a good number of high ranking people from the sect.
“So the session we had wasn’t a conclusive hearing, because we still believe they have other issues that they believe we need to hear and we will give them that opportunity at a later time” he assured.
Other members of the committee include Senators Bayero Nafada, Jerry Husseini, Jonah Jang, David Umaru among others.
It would be recalled that Governor El-Rufai has set up a Commission of Inquiry with a mandate to submit its final report in six weeks after its first public sitting with several terms of inquiry.
These include; “to determine the immediate causes of the clashes, examine the historical circumstances and contributory factors of the clashes and to ascertain the number of persons killed, wounded or missing during the clashes” among others.
The commission of inquiry is expected to identify the actions of persons, institutions, federal and state actors, and determine whether such actions were necessary, appropriate and sufficient in the circumstances in which they occurred.