Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government over the recent killings in Zaria, Kaduna state.
About 20 people are reported to have been killed in the fight between the Shiite Islamic group and the Nigerian Army which started on December 12 and spanned for many hours.
Also killed in the clash were the second-in-command to Zakzaky, Sheik Muhammad Turi, and also the group’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Usman.
The President of the Islamic Council in Nigeria, expressed shock and sadness over the violence between the military and the Islamic group led by Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
In a statement, signed by secretary-general of the NSCIA, Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede, the president reflected that at a time the nation is facing gargantuan crises, the clash between the military and the Shiites is least expected.
The statement read “While there are claims and counter-claims on what actually precipitated the latest heart-rending incident, the NSCIA urges the authorities to exercise restraint. The history of the circumstances that engendered the outbreak of militant insurgency in the past, with cataclysmic consequences that Nigeria is yet to recover from, should not be allowed to repeat itself.
The council further rued the indiscriminate loss of lives resulting from the clash stating that Islam as a religion values the sanctity of the human life.
“The sanctity of human life is inviolable in Islam and painstaking efforts should be made at all times to prevent bloodshed. In other words, life is sacred and the fundamental responsibility of Government is to guarantee the security of life and property.
“While no group should be allowed to constitute law unto itself or arrogate unconstitutional powers to itself under any guise, the fact still remains that the position of law is clear when there is any breach. Therefore, as order is the first law of heaven, normalcy and restraint should be taken seriously.
The statement finished off with a prayer for the nation “may the Almighty Allah guide our leaders right and guard us Nigerians against our own indiscretion at all times.”
The members of the movement have had previous clashes with the military over the years.