Wednesday, December 16, 2015 5:38 pm
Senator Ahmed Lawan has been named as the chairman of a Senate ad hoc committee to probe the killings of members of the Shiite Islamic Movement, by Nigeria’s soldiers.
The killings which spanned two days, was immediately provoked by the blockade of Samaru Road in Zaria, by Shiite Muslims on Saturday.
The Shittes refused to leave the road when a convoy of the Chief of army staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai wanted to pass through.
Lawan, a former leadership contestant of the senate, emerged the choice of his colleagues, after a closed door session.
Senate President Bukola Saraki announced Lawan ( APC Yobe North) as the chairman.
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, Sen. 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, Sen. 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 Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Wednesday also directed two standing committees to investigate the clash between Shi’ite sect and the military in Zaria, Kaduna state on Saturday.
This is contained in a statement signed by the house’s Spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas, in Abuja.
Dogara directed the committees to meet the top echelon of the military to unearth the cause of the clash and find lasting solution to it.
He charged the committees to do a thorough job considering the sensitive nature of the matter and the security situation in the country currently.
He urged Nigerians to be calm and law-abiding, and assured that the house would always be alive to its responsibility.
The National Human Rights Commission has also set up a panel to probe the killings.