Muhammadu Buhari during his first presidential media chat has touched upon the issue of the Nigerian army clash with members of the Shiite movement in Zaria on December 12-13.
The president declined to speak on the issue adding that he would only comment on the Shiite killings after receiving reports of investigations from the police and the Kaduna state government.
Buhari said: “I was in touch with the governor of Kaduna state and interestingly the president of Iran talked to me about it.
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“I told him we have a system of investigation as a government. This happened in one state out of 36, and the governor visited the scene. As the head of the federal government, I have to wait for official report from the Kaduna State government from their investigations before I comment.”
“How can any group create a state within a state? I saw a clip in which some dissidents were virtually hitting the chest of Generals,” he continued.
President Buhari added that community members in Zaria had also spoken to the media about their “sufferings” for 20 years at the hands of the Shi’ites.
“I expect the Kaduna State government will bring the report on the inquiry because the crisis happened in its domain. There are all sorts of allegations. So, we just have to wait for the report.
“To be fair to the both sides, we have to wait for the report of the inquiry.”
“In any incident where lives and property were lost there is a standard way of doing things and people would be asked to come and give evidence.”
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The Nigerian army claimed that the Shiites attempted to assassinate the chief of army staff, an accusation the group denied.
However, a Shia Muslim group led by Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, says hundreds, if not thousands, of its members were killed when soldiers stormed its base in Zaria and opened fire on unarmed civilians.
The sect leader El- Zakzaky is reportedly in police custody.