TVC N. Ekiti state governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC), Amnesty International and other world bodies to investigate the murder of members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shi’ite Muslim group in Zaria, Kaduna state and Kano State, as well as the ongoing killings in the Southern Kaduna.
The governor described the detention since last year December, of the leader of the Shi’ite sect, Ibrahim Zakzaky, and some of his members as inhuman, clear contravention of his fundamental human rights, and an affront on the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, saying; “all well-meaning Nigerians must prevail on the federal government to release Ibrahim Zakzaky without further delay.”
Reacting to the latest onslaught of the Shi’ite Muslims in Kano State, which reportedly led to the death of over 10 people, Governor Fayose, who spoke through his Special Assistant on public communications and new media, Lere Olayinka, said; “murder of over 300 Nigerians, who are members of the IMN in one day and their burial in mass graves, as well as continuous murder of the Shi’ite sect should attract the attention of the ICC.”
The governor said he was worried that firearms, which should only be used as a last resort, are now being used to prevent Nigerians from expressing their religious faith, adding that; “Under international human rights law governing the use of firearms during policing operations, the intentional use of lethal force is only permitted when strictly unavoidable, to protect life.”
He described the detention of Ibrahim Zakzaky, since last year December as unjustifiable, saying; “In a month time, it will be exactly one year since Ibrahim Zakzaky was arrested and detained without trial. This is unacceptable in a democratic society where there should be strict adherence to the rule of law.” Governor Fayose also express worries over the persistent killings in the Southern Kaduna where four communities were invaded and over 30 persons, including pregnant women and children killed this week alone. Regrettably, federal government has kept mute.
“Democracy guarantees freedom of religion, movement, association, opinions and thoughts. It is however worrisome that inspite of these inalienable rights, members of the Shi’ite Muslim sect are still being persecuted and alienated. “Therefore, the ICC, Amnesty International and other relevant international organisations must intervene in the killings of the Shi’ite Muslim group with the aim of bringing those found culpable to justice, thereby putting a permanent stop to the inhuman acts,” the governor said.