Saudi Involvement Conceivable in Nigeria Crackdown: Commentator
Story Code : 816243
Massoud Shadjareah, the head of the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, made the remark on The Debate program on Tuesday.
“The fact of the matter is that the Nigerian government is out of control. One of the explanations is that it has been paid handsomely by Saudi Arabia, as Saudi Arabia has paid the previous head of the Malaysian government and indeed [former Sudanese president] Omar al-Bashir was heavily paid [by the Saudis],” he said.
“So it’s fitting, sort of, norm of the Saudis to actually bribe people. And when you look at and listen to what articulation has come from the Saudi [Crown] Prince [Mohammad bin Salman] that ‘We’ve got control of Nigeria, and we’ve got rid of our opponents,’ then you see that everything fits,” Shadjareh said.
The comments came after Nigerian security forces deployed live ammunition and tear gas against Muslim mourners marking the anniversary of the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (PBUH), across the African country. The government-sanctioned violence killed at least 12 people and wounded many others.
The mourners were followers of Sheikh Zakzaky, who leads the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
Since 2015, Abuja has been cracking down on the movement.
Abayomi Azikiwe, another commentator on The Debate, said the crackdown was horrific, “particularly on this very important holy day.”
He blamed the Abuja government for the situation, saying it was poorly serving Nigerians.
“Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is not a strong leader from the standpoint that... his foreign policy as well as domestic policy are very inconsistent. They do not serve the interests of the Nigerian people,” Azikiwe said.