El-Rufai begins peace talks

The army engaged the Shiites in a gun battle after the group allegedly attempted to assassinate Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai on December 12, 2015.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has taken steps to ensure that peace reigns in the state following recent clashes between the Nigerian Army and Shiite Muslims in Zaria.

The army engaged the Shiites in a gun battle after the group allegedly attempted to assassinate Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai on December 12, 2015.

According to El-Rufai’s spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, the governor has visited Zaria and also spoken to Shiite leader, Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky.

“Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has appealed for calm and peace,” Mr. Aruwan said.

“The governor has spoke on phone with Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky and later proceeded to Zaria to see things for himself. He later met with Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Butatai in Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria, immediately after the passing-out parade ceremony.

“The situation is calm and security has been beefed up in Zaria,” Aruwan added.

Troops surrounded Zakzaky's home on Saturday and the resulting gunfight is said to have led to the deaths of Zakzaky’s wife and son and also the group’s Second-in-Command, Sheik Muhammad Turi.

Zakzaky himself has reportedly been arrested by the army while the group’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa said that 500 members were killed. Musa also denied that the Shiiteshad attempted to murder Buratai.

Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar has warned the army to tread with caution so as to avoid an escalation of the situation.

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