The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as the Shiites, on Tuesday condemned the killing of scores of Muslim worshippers in Tudun Biri Village, Kaduna State by the Nigerian army.
The IMN said perpetrators of the act should be identified, investigated and prosecuted.
The sect said this in a statement by Sheikh Sidi Munir Mainasara Sokoto, on behalf of the Islamic group under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Ya’qoub El-Zakzaky.
The statement read: “A report reaching us revealed that more than 150 Muslim worshippers were massacred by the Nigerian Army in Tudun Biri Village, Kaduna State. The attack took place on Sunday, December 3, 2023, using a military drone.
“A reliable source from the village confirmed that the purpose of the gathering was to celebrate Maulud; thus, hundreds of Muslims faithful within and nearby the village gathered within the vicinity of the village to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). Unfortunately, the Army strike befell the Maulud gathering.
“According to eyewitnesses, the strike happened several times. The first strike happened around 11:00 p.m., and people rushed to provide first aid. After 30 minutes from the first strike, the second strike hit the village.
“Maulud, the birthday celebration of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), is a very important ritual in Islam that connects Muslims with the love and teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). Due to its importance, Muslims do spend a couple of months celebrating the birthday. In September 2023, the federal government and numerous state governments in Nigeria declared Maulud public holiday. This became compulsory for all individuals and corporate organisations operating in Muslim communities to be aware of this important festive period. Consequently, the Army attack on Muslim worshippers in Tudun Biri is unacceptable and condemnable.
“Numerous national dailies report that the Nigerian Army has taken responsibility for the Tudun Biri massacre that left hundreds of Muslim worshippers killed at Tudun Biri village in Kaduna State. The army said the attack was a mistake. It is on record that this type of massacre, referred to as a mistake, took place several times in this decade alone, especially in the North-East and Northwest. To refer to this atrocity as a mistake is unacceptable. The Nigerian Army should be held responsible for this massacre.
“Nigerian security forces have repeatedly killed civilians in settlements, camps, villages, and cities. In 2014, a Nigerian military aircraft dropped a bomb on Daglun village in Borno State, killing 20 civilians. In 2015, more than 1,000 disciples of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky were massacred in Zaria by the Nigerian Army. In 2017, 76 people were killed by the Nigerian Air Force strike on a refugee camp in Rann Camp in Borno State. In 2022, 64 people were reportedly killed by the Nigerian military’s airstrike in Mutumji Community, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State. These are unacceptable and condemnable atrocities, and a deafening silence on these atrocities will result in the reoccurrence of another massacre.
“In view of the foregoing, the Islamic Movement, under the leadership of His Eminence, Sheikh Ibraheem Ya’qoub El-Zakzaky (H), condemned the Tudun Biri Massacre and demanded the following:
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“1) All people of conscience should come out publicly to condemn these atrocities and demand justice for the people of Tudun Biri.
“2) The perpetrators of this massacre should be identified, investigated, and prosecuted.
“3) An investigation should be conducted to ascertain what happened, the number of people killed or injured, and the losses incurred by the people of Tudun Biri as a result of this massacre.
“4) The Nigerian Army, Kaduna State Government, and the Federal Government of Nigeria should pay compensation to the families of victims of the Tudun Biri massacre.”