The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has called for caution on the part of the Nigerian military authorities, saying the repeated attacks on members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria was capable of plunging the country into another Boko Haram-like insurgency.
In a statement yesterday, the NSCIA said that it was shocked and saddened by the fresh outbreak of deadly violence in Zaria.
Soldiers attached to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai on Saturday opened fire on members of the Shi’ite sect in Zaria following their refusal to allow his convoy to pass through the road in front of the spiritual headquarters.
The Army has also confirmed the arrest of the leader of the movement, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, while it also destroyed his home and the spiritual headquarters of his group.
“While there are claims and counter-claims on what actually precipitated the latest heart-rending incident, the NSCIA urges the authorities to exercise restraint”, a statement by its Secretary General, Is-haq Oloyede, said.
He also said the history of the circumstances that engendered the outbreak of militant insurgency in the past, with serious consequences that Nigeria is yet to recover from, should not be allowed to repeat itself.
The Boko Haram sect took up arms against the Nigerian state when its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, was extra-judicially killed by the Nigeria Police in 2009.
“We urge the Federal Government to immediately constitute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to thoroughly unravel the immediate and remote causes of the current mayhem.
“Besides, the Commission should also investigate the past incidents involving the Movement so that justice can be done”, the NSCIA said.
Mr. Oloyede stressed that 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 the law is clear when there is any breach.
“Therefore, as order is the first law of heaven, normalcy and restraint should be taken seriously.
“May the Almighty Allah guide our leaders right and guard us Nigerians against our own indiscretion at all times”, the statement said.