The Kaduna State government said it would establish a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the recent clash between the Nigerian Army and the Shi’ite Islamic movement in Zaria, Kaduna State.
This was contained in a statement issued by Samuel Arwan, Special Assistant to Governor Nasiru el-Rufai and made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Friday.
The statement said that the composition and terms of reference of the commission would be announced within two weeks.
It quoted el-Rufai as saying that government was committed to securing the state and upholding the rights of every citizen.
According to the statement, the governor, who gave update on the clash in an address to the people of the state, also described the incident as a tragedy.
“We have witnessed sad events in Zaria. There have been tragic consequences and needless loss of lives and we extend our condolences to the families that have been affected.
“In this sombre moment, the government has directed that steps be taken to address the humanitarian fallouts of the security operations.
“Everyone has a fundamental right to his faiths and beliefs, but no one has any right to practice his faith in ways that diminish, distress or inconvenience others.
“Henceforth, no person or group, under any guise, will be allowed to block any road, obstruct public highways, occupy public facilities or inconvenience citizens in Kaduna State,” the governor said.
The statement said any group of persons that needed to march may do so, but warned against taking over public facilities or disrupting social services and commercial activities in the state.
“Any march or procession can only be undertaken with the prior knowledge of, and protection of the police to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
“The state government is persuaded by the interests of accountability and transparency which are best served by a judicial commission of inquiry that will allow all claims to be tested with judicial rigour.
“The commission of inquiry is to be set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act to examine the immediate and remote causes of the Zaria incident and assemble a factual and authoritative account that the government can study and act upon.
“The Kaduna State government will continue to invest heavily in security as a foundation for the successful execution of our economic and social agenda to develop Kaduna State.
“We all should jointly say no to actions that divide people, reject conduct that ignores or violates the legal and constitutional rights of others and oppose practices that contest the prerogatives of state institutions to safeguard and protect every citizen.
“Let us all redouble our commitment to sustaining the peace, and to uphold each other in our God-given humanity,” the statement said.