“President Muhammadu Buhari has assured international and local human rights groups of appropriate response over the report of the judicial inquiry into the clashes between soldiers and members of the Shiite movement in Nigeria, led by Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky,” the Presidency said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mr. Buhari’s spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu, said “the President is studying the details of the report before announcing appropriate response in due course”.
“The President’s commitment to human rights remains unchanged because it is a cardinal component of the democratic order,” he added in a statement sent to TheSimonAtebaNews.
President Buhari had told the nation during the Presidential Media Chat that he was awaiting the outcome of the report of inquiry into the incident before making appropriate response and the Shiites alleged last week that the President had remained silent because he wanted to decimate the movement with the connivance of Saudi Arabia.
“The present administration believes in due process and the rule of law; therefore any response to the report would follow this principle.
“The Federal Government will continue to act in the larger interest of the public to prevent such violent incidents,” the presidency said.
Close to 400 people were shot dead by the army according to the report, although the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, has said that about a thousand people were killed and buried in mass graves.
They have been protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Zakzaky who has been in detention since December.
The army had claimed that the life of General Tukur Buratai, the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, was in danger after the Shiites blocked a road he wanted to take.
But the Shiites countered by saying that it was a pre-planned event. President Buhari and General Buratai are both Sunni Muslims and the Shiites have alleged that Saudi Arabia is fighting a proxy war in Nigeria with Iran, and is trying to ban Zakzaky and his followers.