Chief Of Army Staff Escapes Assassination

Governor Wike
Governor Wike

Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Ataff, escaped an attempt on his life in Zaria, Kaduna State yesterday, according to the army. In a tweet on the handle of the army, the military blamed the attack on the Shi’ia sect. “Shiites attempt to assassinate the chief of army staff in Zaria,” the tweet read
But Rabe Abubakar, defence spokesman, said there was no any attempt on the life of Buratai. He told newsmen that although there was an inter-religious crisis in Zaria earlier in the day, normalcy had returned to the city after the intervention of security personnel. “There was a religious crisis which was handled by the military, with the combined effort of the police,” he said.
“There was no attempt on anybody’s life; there was no security breach involving the chief of army staff or anyone for that matter. “The situation in Zaria is calm now. There was just a crisis between the Shi’ia sect and other religious groups.” However, Sani Usman, spokesman of the army, insisted that there was an attempt on Buratai’s life, alleging that the attack was carried out on the orders of Ibrahim Alzak-zaky, leader of the sect.
“The Shiia sect on the orders of their leader, Ibrahim Alzak-zaky today afternoon in Zaria attacked the convoy of the chief of army staff while on his way to pay homage on the Emir of Zazzau and attend the passing out parade of 73 regular recruits intake of depot Nigerian army, Zaria,” he said in a statement.
“The sect numbering hundreds carrying dangerous weapons, barricaded the roads with bonfires, heavy stones and tyres. They refused all entreaties to disperse and then started firing and pelting the convoy with dangerous objects.
“The barricade was obviously a deliberate attempt to assassinate the chief of army staff and members of his entourage while on a legitimate official assignment as special guest of honour at the passing out parade which has earlier been widely publicised.
“The troops responsible for the safety and security of the chief of army staff on hearing explosion and firing were left with no choice than to defend him and the convoy at all cost as well as open up the barricaded road for law abiding citizens. “This is in line with the Nigerian army rules of engagement and code of conduct. This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated from any individual or groups and should not be allowed to repeat itself.
“The chief of army escaped unhurt and continued with his duties.” But the movement faulted Usman’s claim, describing it as “the lie of the decade”. Shi’ia said its members were allegedly attacked by soldiers during a ceremony meant to celebrate the new month and birth of Prophet Muhammad. He said an unspecified number of persons were killed in the attack.
“The claim that the COAS narrowly escaped assassination as a result of attack from Muslim brothers and Sisters of the Islamic Movement is a blatant lie,” read a statement signed on behalf of the group by one Isak K.
“The claim raises series of questions in the mind of right thinking people. “Members of the movement who were unarmed were gathered for a ceremony at their Husainiyyah base, to change the flag on the dome of the building to herald the beginning of the month of Rabiul/Auwal- the birth month of the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad.
“Any excuse given by the military as reason for besieging Hussainiyyah and firing for hours, leading to the death of yet to be specified number of people, is considered a lie of the decade.”