By Abdulmumin Giwa
Most of the times the gravity and intensity of certain events cover others that are of less gravity and less intensity than them, not because they did not take place but because the graver and more intense the more talked about.
The Zaria massacre of 12th to 14th December 2015 where over 1000 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IIMN) were brutally murdered by the Nigerian Army and buried in mass graves, in an attempt to wipe out the Movement seen as a threat to imperialism, has in a way over shadowed the Kaduna massacre of !5th December.
Without the Zaria massacre, the Kaduna massacre of 15th December would have been a highly talked about incident judging by the level of brutality and force used as well as the casualty.
Military force was the final resort of achieving the imperialist’s aim of wiping out the IMN and its leadership after several attempts and the Nigerian leaders were ready to serve as imperialist stooges and kill their people and give flimsy excuses. The intention of the imperialists was simply to kill Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, demolish all buildings owned by the IMN, disperse the followership and ban the Movement. The assumption was that after this action the IMN would seize to exist.
On their part in Europe and America, they would control the intensity and gravity of the genocide by keeping the mainstream media away from the human massacre. The Saudis on their part funded the Wahhabi clerics to blackmail the Movement and make an ugly image of it.
Those in whose states the attacks were to take place, especially the state Governors, are to ensure there was no uprising or protest against the mass murder by also using force to suppress it while the Army would ensure they cover up all possible traces to mass murder.
They planned the massacre with the assumption that people would be scared of the intensity of the attack and run away while they would with ease kill the leader, frame him and the followers disperse them and ban the Movement. The entire plan was on this false assumption that woefully failed.
Firstly, they practically killed the revered leader of the movement but he didn’t die and the assumption that for fear of their terror posture the IMN members would disperse also did not work. More so, the blackmailing of the IMN and propaganda by some traditional and religious leaders only exposed the whole thing and turned it into a sectarian attack and genocide perpetrated through impunity by those in power. Instead of ruining the IMN, it was made more popular and stronger than ever before.
In trying to use force to suppress any attempt to cry out after the mass murder of the IMN members in Zaria by the Nigerian government, the Kaduna massacre took place.
A lot of IMN members that were not at the flag hoisting event in Zaria on that fateful day have heard through communicating with relations, friends and loved ones in Zaria how the Nigerian Army was busy butchering them. One would be speaking to his daughter and she would be telling him to pray for them as the soldiers have already killed those close to her and are coming towards her and that would be the last time they would ever speak with one another again.
Barely every member of the IMN in Kaduna had experienced a distress communication with another victim in Zaria. It was indeed a very sad incident. There are even those that could not withstand the pains and they left Kaduna for Zaria never to come back again as they were murdered while trying to sacrifice their lives for their leader.
Those in Kaduna have been staging peaceful protest marches day and night calling for a stop to the killings with men, women and children crying and chanting slogan in the streets. Anywhere they passed by, those whose minds have been infected by Wahhabism mocked at them as they were celebrating having their brothers in authority killing Shi’ites for them. Imagine the mentality of those poisoned hearts that have lost their humanity to Wahhabism.
Also, contacts were made through all possible ways by people of conscience to get the soldiers to stop the murder spree but it was beyond the control of those who called the Presidency, Governors, Politicians, Ministers, Senators, Representatives and other top echelons in the society that sympathize with the IMN to put a stop to the killings. All possible peaceful ways were sorted but all in vein because it was an order from above to finish with the IMN.
The IMN members came out on the streets peacefully protesting in their numbers in Kaduna. To even ensure the plot to suppress any reaction was met to the letter, on the 15th of December 2015 the peaceful protest to stop the Army from killing IMN members in Zaria was attacked along Tudun Nufawa main road.
The IMN members were aware of the plots by the security to frame any protest and give it a bad image either by inducing a mob action and pushing the protesters into burning public property and attacking the public and so the protester remained focused and resolute chanting only relevant slogans and passing only through safe routs.
The IMN members avoided passing through routs that could be used to incriminate them so they avoided passing through Tudun Wada in particular because of the Police station there in order to avoid being framed. Alas, the Police Public Relations Office in Kaduna could not wait to study the situation before they went on radio to lie to the public that the IMN was going to attack the Police station at Tudun Wada a neighboring residential area to Tudun Nufawa where the protest was taking place.
In the middle of the day truck load of heavily armed mobile policemen intercepted the protest shooting at unarmed men, women and children with life rounds. The mobile police killed 15 people in that attack, and injured many. My own ten months old son and his mother were suffocated with teargas. Several others were arrested amongst who was my wife’s younger brother for protesting the Zaria massacre in Kaduna. It was extremely brutal and heartless.
Those arrested are among the 191 now in Kaduna Central Prison being charged to court on cropped up charges all as part of the initial plot against the IMN. While those arrested from Zaria are facing the charges of killing one soldier while they were being massacred, those in Kaduna are charged with disturbing public peace for protesting the massacre. Since then the state government had manipulated the courts and kept them in jail for over nine months now. Some of them with injuries were left to die without treatment in prison. It was really very wicked and inhuman.
The children and women also arrested in Zaria that were later freed in Kaduna were also joined in the court case but were later excluded due to row by the public. The government came out to shamelessly announce that it was not going to prosecute women and children even as there were under aged among those in prison.
On the same day of the attack, a combined team of police and soldiers besieged the Islamic center in Kaduna and the youth were ready to take on them head on but were forced to leave the place because it has not been part of the IMN to engage in violence and they obediently left.
In order to avoid repeating what they in in Zaria where they destroyed copies of the holy Quran and other Islamic books and packed them with the rubbles, all the copies of the Quran and other Islamic scriptures in the Kaduna Center were evacuated.
The good side of the IMN the government and its agents always exploit is its abhorrence of violence and its orderliness. They were always confident that they could come-kill-and-go of the IMN with virtually no casualty on their side.
The attack on the peaceful protest in Kaduna on the 15th of December 2015 was very brutal and a violation of the constitution as well as an act of incivility. It was in attempt to suppress any reactions that would bring failure to the plan of wiping the IMN but the plot still failed. The IMN is even stronger and more popular than it was before the December attack.
It is also in the records that the Kaduna stat government had played very many roles in the Zaria Massacre as though they were part of the plot from the onset. This is among the many crimes of the Governor Nasir El-Rufai on the Shi’ites genocide that history will live to remember.
By Abdulmumin Giwa