By Abdulmumin Giwa
The Nigerian Army is said to have killed over 1000 people including none followers of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky when it launched a coordinated attack on the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in December last year.
This was disclosed by Sheikh Abdulqadir Yaqoub, the elder brother of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in an interview with the popular Hausa newspaper Almizan.
Sheikh Abdulqadir said “the number of people killed is over one thousand by people’s estimations in fact those killed are over a thousand from what transpired, everybody in Zaria knows that”.
The Sheikh explained that those killed included none members of the Islamic Movement passing by during the killing spree saying, “It was not only the followers of Sheikh Zakzaky that were killed, even innocent passerby were killed in cold blood. There were some bankers passing by that were killed. You know bank workers hardly close early from work. It is said that they too were killed in cold blood. I know a relation of Yariman Zazzau, Munir Jafaru that was just passing by and was shot by the soldiers. There are very many of such cases.”
He condemned the army brutality describing it as lacking civility and un-Islamic, “How can you attack and kill someone just like that? Even if one commits a crime he must be tried and prosecuted by a court of law before he gets killed. In Islam it is even forbidden to kill women during war, it is forbidden to kill women, old people and small children” he said.
He added, “What we know of civility in Islam is that even if someone does something wrong that would attract a death sentence, you don’t just attack him and kill him. He has to be arrested and taken to a court of law and be sentenced to death by the court.”
He further explained, “Islam is well organized and would not allow such brutality and incivility. In Islam you don’t just kill people like that you have to take him to court and get him prosecuted first and if he is sentenced to death then he will be executed accordingly. You cannot just go and kill someone and claim that you killed him because he deserves to be killed. This cannot happen under the Islamic system because the system is well organized.”
On whether he would make a submission to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna state government on the pogrom he expressed lack of confidence in the commission giving his reasons as the negligence by the authorities in implementing the findings of such commissions.
“One thing in this country is that once you are oppressed the best is to leave it to God. Several commissions of inquiry have been formed in the past that have ended up with nothing. They have never been effective. For instance in the past when I was working in Southern Zaria during the Zangon Kataf and Kafanchan crises the same commissions were formed to look into the crises but nothing has been heard of the outcome since then and many people were killed but nothing was done” he said.
Contrary to his half-brother Sheikh Sani Yaqoub who supported what the Army did, Sheikh Abdulqadir said he is most worried and disturbed about what befell Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky saying, “I am most disturbed and worried about the attack.”
He advised the authorities to always adopt the right procedures in whatever actions they take to avoid unwanted destruction of lives, “My call is that whatever happens, an investigation should be made. If a person does something wrong that he deserves to be punished it should be investigated with civility and not just clampdown on people and kill them incessantly” he said.
He condemned those supporting the Army brutality and describing it as a jihad saying it has nothing to do with the Islamic jihad, “Some dumb-minded are claiming that what happened was a jihad, there is indeed a jihad in Islam but it has its rule and regulations. They can’t just go and kill innocent people and you claim that it is jihad. Whatever involves life of a human being is not to be joked with.”
He further warned of the danger of shedding innocent blood explaining that it causes a lot of disaster to humanity saying “Indiscriminate killing of human beings causes a lot of disasters. Whatever his crime, even if he deserves to be killed, he must be convicted of the crime and prosecuted by a court of law and not just be killed at will. If he is able to defend himself that’s all and if not then he gets prosecuted and executed. How can you go and kill people just like that?”
Sheikh Abdulqadir, the eldest brother of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky described Sheikh Zakzaky as an intelligent and a gifted person that is a rare gem “He is a kind of those people described as a gift from God. You can gather thousands of people and will not find his match. He is gifted and most intelligent. He is one of the few people that God has blessed with wisdom. He is also very knowledgeable and understanding when it comes to learning” he said.