Friday, 18 December 2015

The Zaria Clash : A Call for Caution

Like many other Nigerians, the news of the unfortunate clash between the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai and the Shiite Islamic movement which claimed lives of Shiite followers came to me as a rude shock and a clash that ought to have been avoided at this critical time in the history of our nation.

Putting into consideration our fragile security system which has been on continuous threat in the past few years by another Islamic movement, the Boko Haram dreaded group, it will not be out of place to call for truce between the parties involved in this recent clash in order to avert another uprising of insurgency from the Northern part of the nation which has been the bedrock of terrorists attacks.

It would be recalled that the Boko Haram insurgency which has now gotten out of hands started smaller than this. In the case of Boko Haram only the leader was unlawfully killed by security operatives and his followers have continued to unleash mayhem on the entire nation over this death.

The parties involved in the Saris clash have continued to trade blames since the incident happened. The Army accused the Shiite followers of attempt to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, while the Islamic movement on their own part claimed the soldiers simply decided to attack “defenseless people”.

A statement by the Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, said Shite members barricaded the road Mr. Buratai’s motorcade was passing to pay homage on the Emir of Zazzau, and also attend a review parade by 73 Regular Recruit Intake at the Nigerian Army Depot in Zaria.

“The sect numbering hundreds carrying dangerous weapons, barricaded the roads with bonfires, heavy stones and tyres,” he said.

Whose story should we believe?

If truly the sects were armed as the soldiers claimed, then all men of goodwill must rise up to condemn in its entirety this act by the Shiite followers. It is totally condemnable for members of a religious organization to be armed and also unleash attack on the COAS or any citizen.

Does that imply that I am supporting the soldiers for killing the citizens they are supposed to protect? Of course No! But there's a need for us to let citizens understand that the nation will not condole unlawful acts which poses a threat to the security of the nation.

A close observer claimed that any time Shi'ite  members have their program, "they proudly and arrogantly block the road and couse inconveniences to the passersby."

There is a need for government to put a regulation to religious organizations and their use of public facilities in order to guide against any inconvenience their activities might have on other members of the society and to also forestall future occurrence of unfortunate clash that might escalate into violence.
We cannot afford any form of insurgency again in this nation.

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