El-Zakzaky: National Human Rights Commission urges FG, Shiites to dialogue, says crisis may worsen


The National Human Rights Commission on Thursday called for a dialogue between the Federal Government and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, also known as Shiites, whose recent protest for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, led to a violent clash in which lives were lost.

A statement by the NHRC’s Director, Corporate Affairs and External Linkages, Lambert Oparah, quoted the Executive Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu, as warning that the crisis could degenerate “into monumental human rights and humanitarian crises” if not handled peacefully.

The commission also called for the speedy trial of the couple who are facing a murder charge at the High Court of Kaduna State in Kaduna.

The commission regretted the death of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Federal Capital Territory Command, Usman  Umar, a Channels Television journalist, Precious Owolabi, and the injury sustained by some of the protesters during the Monday’s demonstrations by the Shiites.

While it “condoled with the families of those who lost their loved ones” the commission stated that “that(the) incident calls for serious and urgent action to address the situation”.

“The Executive Secretary reiterated the Commission’s call on  Government and the leaders of the Islamic Movement to consider dialogue as the best option in this conflict,” the statement added.

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