Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said on Monday, that the grace of God enabled him to escape the alleged assassination by members of the Shiites Muslim sect.
Buratai said that members of the Shiite group were heavily armed and also attacked him and his convoy while en route Zaria.
Speaking to journalists after attending an interactive meeting called by the Senate Committee on Defence at the National Assembly, the Army Chief said: “You want to know how I escaped? It was by the will of God that I was able to escape from the place.”
Buratai added: “ I think NTA was there and they aired the clip, it was very clear . They were violent and the clip is there.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has revealed that the leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife are ‘safe and sound’, where they are being kept in a secured and protective custody,
General Officer Commanding, GOC, 1 Division of Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, disclosed to journalists on Monday evening, that Zakzaky was in the custody the Army with his wife and some family members.
The GOC said that the sect leader would soon be allowed access to his members.
“On December 12, 2015, myself and the Commissioner of Police were with President Muhammadu Buhari who was in the state for an assignment when I received a distress call that the life of the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai was threatened by some hoodlums who blocked his way on Sokoto road in Zaria city.
“After much persuasions from senior officers on the entourage, the hoodlums who were later identified as Shi’ites members remain adamant and in line with our rules of engagement, we have no option but to clear the road for the COAS and in the course of doing that, the hoodlums started throwing missiles on us; and our men responded which resulted to minimum casualties.
“From there we received information that they have started mobilizing in one of their temples at Husainiyya, the resident of the leader at Gyellesu and on Dambo road. That was on Saturday night, this lead to a long night of battle.
“We have nothing against the Shi’ites because they’re all Nigerians and our duty is also to protect them. But we cannot tolerate them forming a government within a government. I call on all shi’ites members to be law abiding and go about their religious activities without tampering with the freedom of others.”