Shiites deadlier than B’Haram, Sharia council scribe tells probe panel
As the commission of inquiry probing the clash between soldiers and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (Shiites) continues to receive memorandum from the pubic, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Mallam Nafiu Baba-Ahmed, has said that the group poses greater danger to Nigeria than the Boko Haram insurgents.
Baba-Ahmed stated this while testifying before the judicial commission of inquiry set up by the Kaduna State government to investigate the December 2015 clash between soldiers of the Nigerian Army and the Shiites in Zaria.
According to the SCSN scribe, failure by the government to deal decisively with the alleged excesses of the Islamic group may put the country in danger in the future.
While testifying on the activities of the group, Baba-Ahmed also disclosed that the late leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, had some relationship with the Shiites before setting up his own group, adding that both Mohammed and the Shiite leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, had similar extremist believes about their respective doctrines, which, according to him, are contrary to Islamic principles.
He further alleged that the Shiites recently started adopting Boko Haram’s strategy of intimidation and elimination of Ulamas who were opposed to their doctrines, saying that many Islamic scholars have refrained from testifying before the commission because of fear.
Mallam Baba-Ahmed, while urging the government to learn from its experience with Boko Haram by dealing decisively with the Shiites, stressed: “Failure to act will spell catastrophe for Nigeria.”
The SCSN scribe also emphasised the need for members of the public to be involved in checking the activities of the Shiites, pointing out that government decisions are usually dictated by “political expediency” which may not always reflect the best interest of the people.
He attributed the alleged disregard to constituted authorities by the Shiites to the policy of “appeasement and complicity” adopted towards them by successive administrations in Kaduna with the exception of Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) administration who, according to Baba-Ahmed did not condone their activities.
Also in his testimony, Prof. Isa Mohammed Maishanu of Usman Danfodio University Sokoto (UDUS) said the group is associated with violence.
According to him, the series of violent clashes between the Shiites and the Muslim population in Sokoto State was as a result of the group’s penchant for provoking the people.