Fresh revelations have emerged on how the Islamic Movement in Nigeria popularly known as Shi’ite started the Boko Haram insurgency in the country as far back as 1997.
This revelation, according to The Nation, was made by the Muhammad Idris, the president of the Human Rights on Non-Violent Initiative, a civil society organisation.
The group is throwing its weight behind the Nigerian Army which has come under severe attacks in recent times over alleged violation of human rights in the role played to contain the recent clash with Shi’ite members in Zaria.
But during a visit to the General Officer Commanding 1 Mechanized Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, the group commended the Nigerian Army for its role in the recent clash between the Army and Shi’ite, adding that the military is the only remaining tool to defend democracy, peace and unity of the country.
He said: “Boko Haram started by the Shi’ite group in 1997. The Shi’ite group is the source of Boko Haram if you go back in history, it is documented, some of them fled to Maidiguri, hid somewhere and regrouped where they later became a terror, fighting government and killing both civilians and military, destroying property and raping innocent women.
“I as an indigene of Borno state from the town of Maidiguri can say that, the change we have seen in our area with the coming of the present administration is more than 100 per cent and the Nigerian Army deserves a Diamond medal.
“What happened in Zaria, Kaduna state, is a proven testimony that the military has the adequate intelligence and more information about happenings in the country. Any group who does what the Shi’ite did is not threading the part to peace and progress of this country.
“We as Nigerians, are under one constitution, the Shi’ite group were trying to create violence when they attcked the convoy of the COAS and we appreciate the quick action taken by the Nigerian Army and pray that the group is brought under control because we believe our country is now on focus.
“”We support and throw our weight behind the military authority on any action they decide to take against the Shi’ite or another other group aiming to bridge the peace and unity in the country.
“Before Lieutenant General Tukur Buruti came, Boko Haram were everywhere, if you are a father, you are afraid for your daughter, a husband will see his wife being taken away by members of Boko Haram but has no right to stop them for fear of his life, but with the coming of the present administration, Boko Haram is gradually become past tense and are winning the war against terrorism.”
The host, Major General Oyebade, in his response, opened up on the clash, explaining that he lost a soldier during the incident.
He explained: “My soldier was killed in the attack and many others were injured who are presently receiving treatment in the hospital. During the Cordon and Search operation carried out in the residence of El-Zakzaky and two other strong holds of the Shi’ite, we tried to get in touch with Zakzaky to stop his members from attacking us, but some people who answered my call, refused to let us talk to him.
“We took actions according to the rules of engagement as soldiers were being attacked by the Militant Wing of the sect known as the Hurra’s.
“We know what it means to preserve life because the life of a human being is sacrosanct, but we have paid the supreme price to secure this country.”
Meanwhile, the Islamic group is now alleging that the Nigerian army is using all methods to prevent the group members from talking regarding the killings of Shiites in Zaria, Kaduna state.