Iranian president phones Buhari over killing of Shia muslims

Iranian president phones Buhari over killing of Shia muslims

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 6:13 am

The Shia Muslims in peaceful procession on Tuesday

The Shia Muslims in peaceful procession on Tuesday

Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, has  made a phone call to President Muhammadu Buhari over the army’s clash with Shi’ite members and the detained  Shi’ite leader, Ibrahim el Zakzaky, BBC Hausa Service reported.

Iranian media reported that Rouhani had called Buhari to promptly act on the issue and “not allow a small matter degenerate into a bigger one.”

Rouhani also sought explanation on the whereabouts of Shi’ite leader, Malam Ibrahim el Zakzaky, following reports of his detention by the Nigerian Army.

It added that the Iranian president equally urged his Nigerian counterpart to launch a thorough investigation into the incidence that led to the death of some members of the group.

Nigeria’s charge d’affaires was told by the foreign ministry in Tehran late Monday that Iran “demands the Nigerian government immediately shed light on the incidents, treat the injured and compensate for damages”, IRNA said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also called for “immediate and serious action to prevent violence” against Shiites, in a telephone call to his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama.

Dozens of people demonstrated Tuesday outside Nigeria’s embassy in Tehran to protest against “the massacre of Shiites”, while around 100 students rallied at a university campus, local media reported.

In the meantime, Nigeria’s  Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazau was in Kaduna and Zaria on Tuesday   on a fact-finding mission over the clash between the Shia Muslims and the Nigerian military.

The minister on arriving Kaduna, held a closed-door meeting with Governor Nasir El-Rufai with other top security chiefs in the state. The meeting lasted for about an hour before the minister, accompanied by trucks of policemen, set out for Zaria. Dambazau who responded briefly to questions from newsmen confirmed he was in Kaduna because of the clash, to find out the situation of things..

“I came to Kaduna to see the situation of things and I decided to see the Chief Security Officer of the state. I’m on my way to Zaria to see the situation of things”, he said.

In Zaria, the minister urged Nigerians to conduct themselves in such a manner that peace would reign in the country.

Leading a delegation that comprises the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, and other top security officers to the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, Dambazau said they were in Zaria for an on the spot assessment of the situation.

He said at this crucial time of Nigeria’s development, the country needs peace more than ever before. He added that without peace, the change Nigerians require cannot be achieved.

Before leaving Zaria, Danbazau visited Gyellesu quarters where Sheikh Zakzaky’s house is located and their centre, Hussainiyya on Sokoto Road.

The fact-finding visit by Dambazau also coincided with peaceful protests by Shia Muslims in Kaduna and Kano.

At least three persons were said to have been killed in Kaduna when police tried to disperse the  procession.



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