Who is afraid of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky?

Since the unfortunate massacre of innocent unarmed members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria IMN by the Nigerian government and its Army in Zaria on the 12th – 14th of December 2015, the government had faced condemnations from various part of the world.

Several rallies and protest marches have been staged within and outside Nigeria to which the Nigerian government had kept deaf ears. These rallies and protests were even staged in front of some Nigerian Embassies abroad chanting “Free Zakzaky!” but the government never headed.

The brutal crimes against humanity committed by the government and its Army left over 750 members of the IMN missing with hundreds of women turned into widows and hundred other children turned into orphans.

Amongst the missing are those killed and buried in mass graves, using heavy weapons like Armored Personnel Carriers APCs, Rocket Propelled Grenades RPGs and machine guns on unarmed civilians as well as those burnt alive in the residence of the revered leader of the Movement His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and other places.

Others were abducted and kept in illegal detention across the country while the government is busy blackmailing the IMN using the media in order to justify its brutality through campaigns of calumny against the leader and the Movement and the Movement.

They have sponsored write-ups and advertorials and documentaries on TV networks containing lies as well as clowns who staged rallies at the Iranian Embassy in condemning the Ambassador for his crime of reminding the Nigeria government of its responsibility of protecting human rights and obeying its own constitution and in Lagos with the intention of linking the peaceful Movement to terrorism.

Since his abduction, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was kept incommunicado without allowing his lawyers or relations and followers to visit him and most of all violating his constitutional right of not being kept in custody for more than 48 hours without being charged to a court of law.

The illegal abduction and detention without trial of the revered leader of the Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky looks more like a sinister plan of using impunity to eradicate the IMN which they see as a different religious group with theirs.

In yet another mischief, the government established a Judicial Commission of Inquiry, JQI to look into the Army attack on Shi’ites in Zaria in which persons who have called for the massacre of the Shi’ites were made members of the Commission.

No independent rights groups were involved with the commission nor any representation of the Movement was considered and the government turned deaf ears to calls condemning this imbalance.

The revered leader who was abducted by the Nigerian Army was declared to have been handed over to the Nigerian police by the commanding officer that led the massacre where all attempts to reach him by his lawyers failed. It was later said that he is not with the police.

It is clear that it was not their intention that the revered leader survived the attack with gunshots and was not killed as what they preferred was for him to have been killed in the operation. They are now left with looking for ways to clear their mess and emerge with some dignity in the eyes of morally responsible persons.

The IMN was invited to present memos before the JQI and was represented by its lawyers who could not say anything in the absence of the leader who is the sole custodian of the Movement and its documents.

The irony of the whole matter is that the Army attacked the Hussainiyya Islamic Center, then the residence of the Sheikh Inraheem Zakzaky and then the Darur Rahma where they mercilessly murdered innocent people. In the process of the attack they killed and maimed and also abducted members of the Movement including Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky all of whom have become first hand witnesses to the attack.

All of those abducted are still with the government in detention facilities including the leader of the Movement.

The IMN had declared that it would only attend the commission when the leader is released and in fact he should be the one to lead the Movement to the commission being the principal witness on who the entire attack was centered. But the government doesn’t want it that way. What it wants is for it to keep the principal witnesses out of the entire process and rely on third-party witnesses to indict the leader in his absence.

They want the commission to establish that the revered leader was running a government in a government and also suggest that the Movement be banned not minding the indiscriminate killing perpetrated by the trigger-happy zombies. As a result of this they don’t want the presence of the leader before the commission.

The hypocrisy goes beyond this because a leading member of the Movement, Sheikh Yaqoub Yahya has exposed the plans of the government of bringing some people before the commission to pose as members of the Movement carrying dangerous weapons. Those people will claim that they were armed by Sheikh Zakzaky for an anonymous attack but have repented and are laying down their arms.

The government will then take up from there and grant them amnesty and mischievously call on other members of the Movement to lay down their arms while they use that to indict and molest the leader of the Movement who is known to have led the unarmed Movement peacefully for over 38 years without engaging in any form of violence.

In fact he had been victim of attacks at various times during one of which three of his biological sons were killed in an attack perpetrated by the Nigerian Army to which he remained calm and called for endurance and steadfastness among his followers telling them never to allow themselves to be intimidated into violence.

From the looks of things, the commission is actually not set up to inquire into the incident but to indict the Movement. They have mentioned that the leader of the Movement is now under the custody of the Department for State Security DSS.

It is known to all that the commission has the powers to demand for Sheikh Zakzaky to appear before it or summon the DSS to produce him before the commission, but is not taking that step. Instead, the commission has for the third time adjourned its sittings on the guise of waiting for the lawyers of the IMN to meet with Sheikh Zakzaky.

If they are honest and not hypocritical, the government has all the witnesses with it in its detention that can provide all the evidences required to inquire into the incident including His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. if they are honest they should bring them before the commission to listen to their accounts just as the Army commander that led the killing spree is present before the commission.

With these forms of lacuna the government and it commission are displaying, it is only succeeding in further embarrassing itself. The commission is gradually failing to serve the hypocritical purpose for which it is established, that is to indict IMN, and is faced with looking for ways to do its dirty job without allowing Sheikh Zakzaky a say.

Maybe the government needs to be advised to look elsewhere for sources of indicting the IMN as the commission is faced with the battle of choosing between bringing Sheikh Zakzaky before it and making a submission without any input from the IMN, both of which are not in the government’s favor.

On the alternative, the government should announce to the world its charges against Sheikh Zakzaky and charge him before a public court to prove it. Why is the government afraid of doing the right thing? Is it that the right thing would implicate it of crime against humanity? Who then is afraid of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky? FREE ZAKZAKY!12801131_520005031505407_6678404033669974174_n

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