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Zaria clash: Reps quiz Buratai behind closed doors

The House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence met behind closed doors with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday over the recent clash between soldiers and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Zaria.

The meeting took place at the National Assembly in Abuja.

Findings showed that members of the committee threw a barrage of questions at Buratai during the meeting, which was not opened to journalists.

However, the Chairman of the committee, an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Zamfara State, Mr. Aminu Sani-Jaji, later informed reporters that members grilled the army chief on what truly happened in Zaria on that fateful day.

Many lives were lost when soldiers engaged members of the group, better known as Shi’ite, in Zaria after the latter reportedly blocked a Federal Highway and tried to prevent Buratai’s motorcade from driving through.

He disclosed that a similar meeting had already been held with the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Mr. Lawal Daura, also in secret.

Sani-Jaji added that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase was next on the line.

He said the meeting with Arase could come up any time before the Christmas festivities or after.

However, as for the leaders of the Shi’ite, he claimed to have made fruitless efforts so far to reach them.

He stated that a delegation of members sent to Zaria in a bid to hear the side of the sect returned to Abuja without making any headway.

Nonetheless, he gave the assurance that everything possible would be done by the committee to hear from the sect.

The House had on Wednesday last week, directed the committee to begin investigations into the clash.

The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, had specifically asked the committee to “unearth the cause of the clash with a view to finding lasting solutions.”

Dogara had further instructed the committee to do a “through job, considering the sensitive situation in the country at the moment.”

He had appealed to Nigerians to remain calm, assuring them that they would be “fully briefed in due course when the committee must have concluded the assignment.”

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