‘We have no apology’ for Zaria massacre – Army

The Nigerian Army has said it has no apology for its recent clash with members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Shi’ite sect.

The position of the army was disclosed by the General Officer Commanding, (GOC) 1 Mechanized Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade while addressing journalists in Kaduna on Wednesday.

He stated that the Army cannot fold its arms and watch any group or sect threaten the peace and stability of the country.

“They are like any other sect in the land, but as long as they obey the law of the land no problem, but if any group chooses to challenge the authority of the land, it means they do not value the sanctity of life and the constitution of Nigeria.”

Oyebade expressed that the military has no issue with the sect, pointing out that even some military personnel are Shiites by religious calling adding that they respected and obeyed constituted authority.

“Army has paid heavily with the blood of its officers and men to protect this country, and so we have no apology any group, either Shiites Islamic sect, Christian sect, even pagan sect that is threatening the peace of the country.

“We don’t have any issue with the Shiites or any sect at all in the land as long as they obey the law of the land. But if any group tends to challenge the constituted authority of the land, it means that such group does not respect the constitution of the land.

“Even in the military, we have Shiites members, but there is no issue with them because they are law abiding citizens.

“But we have issues with those who creates a State within a State, and our rules of engagement are very clear, that is, when there is threat to a constituted authority, it must be arrested before it goes full blown.

“We know the business of violence but we apply it professionally if the peace of the land is being threatened, so we are appealing to Nigerians who are bent on causing violence stay off,” he said.

He further stated that an attempt on the Chief of the nation’s Army is akin to an attempt on a sitting president.

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