About 347 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) killed by security forces were given mass burial last year, in the aftermath of the Zaria massacre between 12 and 14 December 2015, the movement said in a statement on Monday, disclosing that over 600 of its members were still missing.
IMN said the “recent revelations of secret mass burial of 347 members killed by Nigerian army at the Kaduna Judicial commission of inquiry currently sitting in Kaduna by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) has clearly vindicated ” its position.
“In his submission, the Kaduna SSG, Alhaji Lawal Balarabe Abbas, who represented the Kaduna state government at the JCI, confirmed that 347 members of the Islamic Movement were given mass burial in the aftermath of the Zaria massacre of 12th to 14th of December 2015.
“This is a clear confirmation of what the movement had earlier made public about its members having been buried in mass graves,” Shiites said in a statement by spokesman Ibrahim Musa.
Mr. Musa added:
“The SSG also established that the secret burial took place based on a court order received by the state government, and that he was earlier in attendance at a meeting with the Governor and some senators, where they deliberated on what to do with the huge numbers of dead bodies of IMN members.
“This was also collaborated by the Director General, religious affairs, Namadi Musa. He told the Commission that he went to ABUTH, where he counted 156 corpses, and to army depot, where he counted 191 other corpses, in the presence of one Major Ogundare and buried them at midnight at Mando, Kaduna.
“This also tally with the earliest figure given by the Human Rights Watch, HRW that not less than 300 members of the Movement might have been killed in the pogrom, which it accused the Nigerian Army of using excessive force on unarmed civilians.
“We sincerely hope this will be the beginning of more revelations about the fate of the remaining missing persons, now numbering over six hundred.
“Today’s revelations point to the fact that a massacre was carried out by the Nigerian Army on defenseless Nigerians in Zaria from 12-14 December, 2015, which they sought to conceal. The perpetrators must be brought to book.
“We remain resolute, and will continue to follow peaceful means in our call for the unconditional release of our revered leader his Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and other brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement under illegal detention”.
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