•Soldiers not part of governor’s convoy- Army
The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has claimed that soldiers attached to the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai shot four Shiites mourning their members who were killed in previous encounter with the security forces.
But the Nigerian Army has denied the allegations as false, saying that soldiers were neither involved in the shooting nor part of El-Rufai’s entourage.
The President of IMN Media Forum, Mr. Ibrahim Musa, in a statement on Wednesday, said “a combined team of soldiers and police on the orders of Governor El-Rufa’i again opened fire on Muslims of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria this morning 25/7/2018 in Zaria, while peacefully mourning the tragic killings of 34 people during the 2014 International Quds Day by the military under the Jonathan’s administration, injuring four persons with gunshots”.
Musa said that a couple of minutes after the start of the program, the combined security operatives in about 10 vehicles laid siege on the venue, the Darur Rahma cemetery, where the victims of the 2014 military attack were laid to rest, in the outskirts of Zaria city, along Zaria to Jos highway.
He claimed that apart from the four people who suffered gunshots as a result of the indiscriminate shootings by the security agents, several others escaped with minor injuries, while some were arrested.
He stated: “The Islamic Movement condemn this unnecessary show of force by Governor Elrufa’i, believing that this soldiers and police should have been better deployed along Abuja – Kaduna and Birnin Gwari – Kaduna highways, where the menace of armed robbers and kidnappers has become rampant due to shortage of the security forces.
“We believe there is no point in killing innocent citizens that do not carry arms simply because of their religious disposition. The fact that this 2014 Quds day massacre commemoration has been going on peacefully for the past four years is enough a pointer to the undesirability of today’s attack on unarmed faithful of the Islamic Movement.”
To this end, the IMN appealed to Nigerians and people of Kaduna state in particular to call Governor Elrufa’i to order.
Musa warned that it has become dangerous trend the way El-Rufai has allegedly turned the IMN members as soft targets for the heavily armed trigger happy personnel under his control. Enough of this bloodshed.
“Was he not among the mourners that besieged the now demolished residence of our Leader Sheikh Zakzaky in the aftermath of the military attack in 2014 remonstrating with the Sheikh over the killings,” he asked.
Musa placed blame of the attack squarely on the Kaduna state Governo, urging the general public and the international community to hold him “responsible for this latest attack, for it is on record that he boasted at a public function recently in Rigasa Kaduna that he has stopped the religious activities of the Islamic Movement in Kaduna state using brute force at his disposal, forcing us to relocate to Abuja.”
Responding to the allegation, the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Texas Chukwu, wondered why the IMN should be linking soldiers with the purported incidence when according to him none of their personnel is part of the Governor’s convoy.
“Does the shooting involve soldiers?Soldiers were not involved because doesn’t follow Governor’s convoy,” Chukwu stated, dismissing the claims.
He said he has been “in Kaduna since morning, soldiers were not involved”.