Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria have kicked against the composition of an investigative panel of enquiry into the recent clash between their members and soldiers in Zaria, which left scores of their members dead.
The members, in a statement through their spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, expressed lack of confidence in the constituted panel being headed by the Area Police Commander.
The Shiites said that the Area Commander, being of a junior officer when compared to the perpetrators of the attack on their members, might not be fair to all parties, since the matter involveed a high ranking officer of a Lt. General.
They also expressed sadness over the inability of the Interior Minister, LT General Abdulrahaman Dambazau, to visit injured members who were being treated in the Hospital, during his visit to Zaria.
The sect, however, demanded that a high powered investigative panel be constituted, which would be headed by a high ranking officer. They also demanded a leader whose members would cut across human rights organisations and other highly respected elder statesmen.
Part of their statement read: “The Army authorities today evacuated the corpses they deposited at the morgue of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital and buried them in unknown mass graves.
“This is a very unfortunate episode in the massacre of innocent Muslims conducted by the Nigerian Army.
“How can people whose parents and relatives are all known be buried without proper Islamic burial? This is against all known Islamic laws and principles and even the international laws. The Nigerian Army has desecrated our dead.
“We hereby demand the location of the mass burial, and the interrogation of those who ordered the operation”.
Meanwhile, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have called for peace and sustainable governance in Kaduna State.
A statement made available yesterday, signed by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, noted the US government’s deep concern over reports of violent clashes in Zaria, Kaduna State.
He said, “We are dismayed to learn of multiple civilian deaths. It is essential that all sides refrain from actions that further destabilize the situation.”
Referring to Interior Minister, Abdulrahman Dambazau’s trip to Zaria yesterday, the envoy said, “Speaking as a friend of Nigeria, I am sure Minister Dambazau’s trip to Zaria was the first step in the timely, transparent investigation to which I am sure President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration are committed.”
In a separate statement, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, said, ‘’I am further concerned at reports that protests in Kaduna have turned violent.”
He noted that Nigeria’s religious and ethnic diversity adds a great deal to the country’s rich culture.
‘’It is important, therefore, that Nigerians of all faiths are allowed to assemble and worship freely. I call on the security forces to conduct their operations within the rule of law, and for demonstrators to ensure any protests are peaceful and equally act within the law,”he added.