Senate constitutes ad-hoc committee to investigate Shi’ite, military crisis

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The Senate on Wednesday constituted an ad-hoc committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the clash between members of the Shi’ite sect and Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.
This was the outcome of about one hour closed-door session by the senate when it resumed plenary to deliberate on the crisis.
President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said it had become expedient to find solution and forestall further escalation of the crisis.
“The senate in a closed-session exhaustively discussed the incidence involving the Nigerian Army and the Islamic Movement Group known as the Shiite Group and all subsequent events.
“Accordingly, the Senate has unanimously resolved to investigate the incident and an ad hoc committee has been mandated to investigate.
“The committee will comprise Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the Committee on Defence, Intelligence and National Security, Judiciary and Human Rights, Army, Police, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs.
“The ad hoc committee is to be headed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC Yobe North),” he said.
He gave the committee whose members were drawn from seven standing committees four weeks to report back to the senate.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, spokesman of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi (APC Niger North), urged all parties and every Nigerian to remain calm.
He said that senate’s decision to wade into the matter was in a bid to ensure that peace was maintained in all parts of the country.
“The Senate deeply and sincerely regrets the loss of lives and properties by all affected parties and the general public.
“The senate is seriously concerned and committed to ensuring that peace reigns in our dear country and will act in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at all times,” he said.
The military clashed with members of the Shi’ite sect in Zaria, on Saturday and in Kaduna on Tuesday, during which some causalities were recorded.
A statement by the army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, alleged that the group, led by Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, had attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The clash occurred during an argument between the group and soldiers during attempt to remove roadblocks mounted by the group on the Sabon Gari-Samaru road.
This was when Buratai’s convoy was passing to attend the passing-out of 72 Regular Recruits at the Army Depot, Zaria.

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