Igbo Mandate Congress, IMC had earlier in a press statement condemned the murder of over 90 Shiite Muslims by officers and men of the Nigerian Army, over a traffic incidence in Zaria.
In the unfortunate incidence sons of Sheikh Ibrahim Al Zakzaky were also murdered in a manner that seems unprovoked, bringing probably to six, the number of biological children of the Shiite leader murdered in related incidences within one year. This is a sad year for an old man who ventured to lead his people in a religious adventure.
Igbo Mandate Congress noted that on the 2nd of December, nine protesters belonging to Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were killed while protesting the detention of their factional leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. These protesters including two young girls did not pose any threat to the armed forces to warrant their untimely death.
Since the incidence Igbo Mandate Congress noted that no notable northern group condemned the murder of IPOB nine. Buoyed by the deafening silence of cross sections of Nigeria, the same incidence has been repeated in Zaria with unimaginable casualty.
Igbo Mandate Congress which advocates for Igbo ethnic group of South East Nigeria, believes in the sanctity of human lives, and does not support unnecessary shedding of human blood whether the victim is a Christian, Muslim, pagan or atheist. IMC in accordance with Christian principles does not support any form of corruption or abuse of public trust and funds, and does not shield any thief whether of Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba or Fulani stock.
It is in this vein that IMC believes that the constant blocking of roads by Shiite Muslims in Zaria during their processions causing untold hardship to other road users is condemnable but does not warrant the level of response from the military authorities which led to the death of over 90 persons. Igbo Mandate Congress believes that the military should abide by the rules of engagement and not display anger in matters that concerns civilians..
Igbo Mandate Congress believes that the Shiite Muslims, though in a minority in Nigeria is entitled to peaceful co-existence with the majority of Sunni Muslims. IMC noted that a small group of illiterates who called themselves Wilāyat Gharb Ifrīqīyyah aka Boko Haram had put the entire nation into a state of reckless embezzlement of state funds on security, reckless waste of military and civilian personnel and untold hardship too the Nigerian citizenry. IMC believes that a situation should not arise whereby the Shjiites will seek revenge against the Nigerian State..
Igbo Mandate Congress wants to commiserate with all the hundreds of Shiite Muslims killed, especially at the residence of their leader, and asks God to help the helplpless. Igbo Mandate Congress demands the release of Shiite members arrested and also the release of all associated with IPOB protests in the South Eastern parts of Nigeria.
Igbo Mandate Congress believes that the military authorities have showed renewed gallantry in the efforts to restrict Boko Haram to the forests with appreciable successes. IMC also noted that there is more troop motivation, more welfare and more sophisticated weapons at the behest of the military, all thanks to some levels of transparency in funding from the Nigerian Government and respective Service Chiefs. IMC wish to advise the Military authorities not to tarnish this new found confidence the Nigerian people reposes on them as agents of stability and oneness by descending ruthlessly on unarmed protesters and religious worshipers.
IMC notes that if such incidences as happened in Zaria and Onitsha is not isolated and roundly denounced, a situation whereby soldiers will attack meetings of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, O’odua Peoples Congress, South South Peoples Assembly, Northern Elders Forum or even meetings of Izalla Movement ..
IMC expects President Buhari to apologize to the leader of the Shiite Muslim the manner ex-President Jonathan apologized after the three sons of the Shiite leader were killed. IMC expects the families of those slain to be compensated without delay, and those in detention released.
IMC noted that the murder of over 5,000 persons during ex-President Obasanjo and ex-Governor Peter Obi’s conspiracy of ‘ shoot at sight order’ of 2006 at Onitsha where innocent travelers and traders were tagged members of a separatist movement known as MASSOB and killed was the remote cause of the resurgence of pro-Biafra protest in Nigeria.
The extra-Judicial murder of innocent people on suspicions of belonging to Boko Haram helped drive the families of the aggrieved into the hands of the terrorists, forming a formidable alliance that had cost Nigeria trillions of naira as security funds, not counting wasted civilian and military causalities of over 20,000.
IMC wants the Federal Government handle this Shiite Muslim Crisis and Biafra Separatist crisis with utmost care in order not to breed a conflict worse than Boko Haram.