Shiite/Army: Buhari explains FG’s position
President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed insinuation in some quarters that the Federal Government was biased in the handling of the recent clash between members of the Shiite Islamic sect and the Nigerian Army in Zaria.
The president stated this in Abuja on Wednesday while fielding questions from journalists at the maiden edition of his parley with the media also known as the `Presidential Media Chat.’
He said it was untrue that the Federal Government had been silent over the incident, adding that the perceived silence was to allow the relevant authorities conclude their investigations.
According to Buhari, regardless of whoever is involved in such an incident, there is a standard way of conducting investigation that must be followed before conclusions are made.
“Certainly I know something about the incident; I ought to do something about it and in fact I must do something about it.
“When it happened I was in touch with the governor of Kaduna State; interestingly the President of Iran spoke to me about it but I told him that as a government we have a system.
“I told him that if anything happens in one of the states, the governor has to physically visit the area and we have a system of investigation.
“But as the head of the Federal Government, I have to wait for official report before I can come out to make a statement; so I am allowing the Army and the Kaduna State government to come up with their reports.
“I expect a report from a judicial commission of inquiry by the Kaduna State government because it happened in Kaduna in one of the cities,’’ he said.
Buhari frowned at the flagrant disobedience of law and order by members of the Shiite sect, especially for causing untold hardship to members of the public during their processions.
He said that complaints about the group’s activities which infringed on the rights residents of Zaria and other towns showed that many persons were tired of their actions.
According to the president, for over 20 years the group’s activities has constituted public nuisance especially when they occupy highways and block movement in the name of professing their faith.
Buhari declared that no responsible government would watch a group cause public disorder, adding that the military had the responsibility of addressing such abnormalities in the society.
He said that the military would be the last to watch breakdown of law and order because they suffer the most whenever issues degenerate.
He urged the public to always obey laid down rules and regulations and show respect for constituted authority.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Shiite Islamic sect in Zaria generated a lot of controversy both within and outside Nigeria.