The Nigerian army has said there owe no apology to the Shiites over clash with the military in Zaria .This stance was made known by the General Officer Commanding, (GOC) 1 Mechanized Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade.
Addressing newsmen at the headquarters of 1 Division in Kaduna on Wednesday, the GOC said that, the Army cannot fold its arms and watch any group or sect threaten the peace and stability of the country.
He also reiterated the Army has no issue with the Shi’ites, saying ‘
“We make no apologies to any group that threatens the peace and security of the land and will not hesitate to put such group in check.
“Nigeria Army has no issue with the Shi’ite group which is like any other group in the land. But if any group chose not to obey the law of the land or challenge the authority, it means that that group does not value the sanctity of life and integrity of the land.”
He added that the clashes between the sect and the army was avoidable. He, however, said that,
“We have issues with those who create state within the state. Our rule of engagement is to address any threat before it becomes a full blown challenge, and any group that chose to be violent in nature must be dealth with squarely.”Army has paid heavily with the blood of its officers and men to protect this country, and so we have no apology any group, either Shiites Islamic sect, Christian sect, even pagan sect that is threatening the peace of the country.
“Even in the military, we have Shiites members, but there is no issue with them because they are law abiding citizens.
“We know the business of violence but we apply it professionally if the peace of the land is being threatened, so we are appealing to Nigerians who are bent on causing violence stay off,” he said.
On the whereabouts of the sect leader, the GOC said,
“El-Zakzaky is safe, secured and undergoing sound medical care as other detainees have been handed over to the appropriate security agency of government, no detainee is presently with the military”