OrderPaperToday – President Muhammadu Buhari has been told to speak up on the gruesome murder of members of the Shitte Islamic sect by soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State weekend.

The call was made by the Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the national assembly, Shehu Sani, in a statement on Tuesday.

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“Silence and neutrality to this amounts to nothing but aiding and abetting a clear and undisguised abuse of fundamental human rights,” Sani said while describing the entire episode as shameful and avoidable.

He added that “those who are in support of the Zaria killings are giving a helping hand to arbitrariness and spitting on a fundamental right that may be used against them someday.”

It would be recalled that soldiers shot dead about tens of members of the Shitte sect in Zaria in a bid clear right of passage for and secure the life of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt . Gen. Tukur Buratai whom the Army says was planned to be killed by the sect.

According to Sani, “Nigeria is a democratic state and the professional conduct of the apparatus of the state must be done within the ambit of the law and respect for fundamental rights of the citizenry.

“Nigeria must learn to balance its security exigencies with the need to observe and uphold its constitutional and moral obligation to fundamental human rights of its citizens.

 “Any excuse to circumvent human rights, is a step towards tyranny. Northern Nigeria have in the last seven years been neck deep in violence and soaked in blood. Opening a new front will not augur well for the peace and stability of Nigeria.”

While not absolving the sect of blame in their action of blocking the military convoy, Sen. Sani however said the reaction of the army was “untenable, intolerable and unacceptable and has a serious repercussion to our global image, perception and moral standing.”

“In the light of our recent experiences, it’s in the best security interest of our nation to encourage and support religious groups to operate openly. The Islamic movement and their leader have repeatedly denounced terrorism and insurgency, Zaria killings was an avoidable tragedy.

“The use of force must always be the last resort and not the first resort and must be done within the principles of internationally best practices of the rules of engagement. We have a duty as patriots to support our military to protect and defend our country, but it must be held to account within the permissible line of morality and the law.”



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