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Monday, June 17, 2024

Shi’ite outrage as Gov El-Rufai demolishes 6 structures in Kaduna

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The demolition of six structures belonging to the Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement, commonly known as Shi’ites, in Kaduna by Governor Nasir El-Rufai has sparked outrage among the group’s leaders. The Shi’ite leaders condemned the action as provocative, accusing El-Rufai of pushing the movement to its limits. The demolition, carried out by the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA), has further strained the already tense relationship between the government and the Islamic Movement.

Following a leaked memo from KASUPDA seeking approval for the demolition of structures, including those belonging to the Islamic Movement, tensions escalated. The demolition took place in several locations across Kaduna, resulting in the destruction of schools, a hospital, and a private residence. Engineer Yunusa Lawal, one of the group’s leaders, expressed deep concern, labeling the demolitions illegal and vindictive. The group was not provided any notice or explanation for the demolitions, raising questions about the remaining 42 structures that may face a similar fate.

The government’s justification for the demolitions centers around the ban imposed on the Islamic Movement. However, the Shi’ite leaders vehemently argue that they are a religious community and cannot be banned. Lawal emphasized that the group is comprised of law-abiding citizens who deserve respect and protection. They called on the government and conscientious individuals to intervene and halt further demolitions, fearing that continued actions could lead to escalated tensions and potential bloodshed.

A History of Strained Relations: The demolition of structures adds to the longstanding grievances between the government and the Islamic Movement. Lawal highlighted the numerous instances of violence against their members since 2015, with killings occurring in Kaduna, Abuja, Kano, Sokoto, and other parts of the country. The Shi’ite leaders assert that they have reached their limit and stress the urgent need for resolution to prevent further deterioration of the situation.

The recent demolitions of Shi’ite structures in Kaduna by Governor Nasir El-Rufai have intensified tensions between the government and the Islamic Movement. The leaders of the movement denounce the demolitions as provocative and illegal, accusing the government of pushing them to the brink. They urge the intervention of the government and individuals of conscience to halt further demolitions and seek a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. With the situation becoming increasingly volatile, urgent measures are needed to prevent further bloodshed and restore stability in Kaduna.

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