US slams Buhari, el-Rufa’i over massacre of over 300 Shiites in new report

By Bature Dan-Inni, Abuja

The United States has slammed the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government and the Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufa’i for not taking action against any military official that killed over 300 Shiites in 2015.

A report document obtained by the Sunday Punch on Sutarday, highlighted the high rate of human rights abuse perpetrated by security agents against journalists, rights groups and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

The US observations are contained in the 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Nigeria released by the US Department of State on Wednesday.

In the report, the US stated that, “Buhari’s government had not taken action against any of the military officials that killed over 300 Shiites in 2015.”

On Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, the US explained that, “He had set up a panel of inquiry on the matter and the panel had also called for the proscription of the IMN which was done. However, the aspect of the report that indicted military officers had not been implemented.

The report adds, “As of September (2019) there were no reports of the Federal Government further investigating or holding individuals accountable for the 2015 killing and subsequent mass burial of members of a Shia political organisation, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, and other civilians by Nigerian Army forces in Zaria, Kaduna State.

“A 2016 report by the government of Kaduna State included acceptance of the commission’s recommendation to investigate and prosecute allegations of excessive and disproportionate use of force by the Nigerian Army. As of September, there was no indication that authorities had held any members of the NA accountable for the events in Zaria,” the report said.

Recalled that, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat have been in detention since 2015 despite a federal high court judgement that ordered for his immediate released as well as paid him compensation for damages done to him.

However, both the Buhari-led federal government and the el-Rufa’i-led Kaduna state government have refused to implement the court order and instead, instituted another charge against him (el-Zakzaky).

Only last month, the federal high court sitting in Kaduna acquainted and discharged over 200 followers of Sheikh el-Zakzaky who were arrested during the 2015 Zaria massacre.