Last December, the Nigerian army slaughtered hundreds of Shi’ites (including women and little kids), arrested hundreds more (including the leader) and kept them in detention without charging to court, destroyed buildings and property, tried to cover up by making the first noise and buried the bodies in mass graves. Yet without a sense of irony, the Army is advising a non-governmental organisation – Amnesty International – to “search its conscience” because it released a report highlighting the atrocities.
The Amnesty International report entitled: ‘Unearthing the truth: Unlawful killings and mass cover-up in Zaria’ detailed how the Army murdered the members of the Islamic Sect of Nigeria, and then tried to cover up the slaughter. Speaking to scores of eye witnesses and using satelitte images, the group confirmed what a Kaduna state government official had already admitted to – that more than 350 Shi’ites were murdered in cold blood.
But the army has described Amnesty’s investigation as “hasty”, calling on the body to let the panels probing the incident run their course without interference.
“The NGO should understand that Nigeria is a sovereign nation and it should be respected,” an army spokesman said in a statement.
“Already, a judicial inquiry is in place in addition to investigation by the National Human Rights Commission. The NGO’s hasty report – if true – is against the principles of the Amnesty International itself as it is preemptive and judgemental.
“They must allow the judicial commission of inquiry and all other relevant agencies to complete and submit their reports before jumping to conclusion.
“Let the NGO search its conscience please.”
If there’s any organisation that should be searching its conscience right now, it’s the Army which continues to be unrepentant despite its disregard for human life.