By Abdulmumin Giwa
The too many crises founded by Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna state have only successfully revealed his level of lack of focus and sense of direction in governance and has displayed his emptiness of intellect and exposed his extreme egocentrism.
What would one expect of a “Mr I know it all” apart from what everyone is practically seeing today? Sorrow, tears, blood, hate, anger and enmity are all he is successful in founding as a Governor.
He took on to himself an outrageous war against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and went to the extent of banning the Movement in the most mischievous manner claiming that the peaceful IMN is an insurgent group without any evidence at all but lie and lies and lies and hearsay.
He produced his own whitepaper and backdated and read it after a Federal High Court in Abuja had to his dismay judged in favor of the IMN he is at war with. Everything he said in his whitepaper contradicted the findings and recommendations of Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) he had earlier set up to inquire into the Zaria pogrom of December 2015.
On the contrary he embraces Izala/Wahabism of which Boko Haram is an offshoot andis in a warm romance with newly found faith. He now stands firmly with those who have records of fighting Christians in the name of Jihad as his brothers and well-wishers and is supporting the killing of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky who had always provided shelter for Christians whenever they are under attack by the so-called Wahhabi elements. The issue of religious crises in Kaduna in particular is clear about the Wahhabi activities in the country.
He so arrogantly stands against the law whenever he has a personal whim or caprice to satisfy. Imaging how he violated the Geneva Convention and even God’s own laws by joining hands with what could best be described as the terror-laden Nigerian Army to mass bury almost one thousand Shiites in the middle of the night after a killing spree in Zaria in December 2015.
None of those buried was fully certified dead nor were his/her relations informed of his/her death nor also were burial rights observed for them but yet El-Rufai is insisting that he did the right thing. Most of those buried were not necessarily dead but only sustained wounds from gunshots meaning that they were buried alive.
It is based on this behavior of violating the law that he has a record of passing a bill into law within 30 minutes. The bill was claimed to have gone through first and second reading and passed into law all within 30 minutes. That even tells the type of people in the assembly who simply rubber-stamp his wishes unchallenged. Who would be surprised when IMN is declared as an unlawful society and they stamp it.
He is so short-sighted in his actions that he does not wait to put one and one together before making public his statements. For instance, with regards to the demolition of IMN properties in Zaria during the pogrom, he claimed that he demolished the IMN property that included the Hussainiyya Baqiyyatullah, Darur Rahma and the residence of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzakky because of environmental hazards they might pose to the public judging by how the Army bombed burned the properties and people alive in them. Before making his statement public he forgot that he had demolished the house housing the tomb of Sheikh Zakzkay’s mother and the Fudiyya Islamic Center that were never attacked by the Army.
He instituted a case of culpable homicide against about 200 IMN members claiming that they killed one soldier during the pogrom in Zaria leaving the government lawyers not knowing how to go about the case as there are no evidences, no proves and nothing to tell apart from inconsistencies in the suit.
He feels so smart but yet is not the least smart but myopic and unintelligent. Just of recent he unwisely organized a state Security Council meeting at Kafanchan Local Government in Kaduna state instead of the Government House at Kaduna metropolis. The venue for the Council meeting was very volatile due to killings following attacks by said Fulanis in Southern Kaduna. In fact a 24-hour curfew was imposed in the region but he arrogantly went there to hold his meeting and was disgraced by naked women and pelted on. He then shamelessly accused the women of insanity.
As if the people of Southern Kaduna are not a part of the state he went on air appealing to the public not to engage in any form of reprisal on what was done to him at Kafanchan as though he was inciting the public into reprisal attacks, because nobody was thinking in that direction except him and probably his Wahhabi brothers that have always been at logger heads with Christians.
He claimed that the attackers and killers in Southern Kaduna were foreigners and that his government had traced them to neighboring countries and has even paid them not to attack Southern Kaduna again. Imagine how insane this is. He later came out again to tell the public that the attackers are from Niger Deltans disguised as Fulanis which prompted the question about who he paid money to in Cameroun earlier on.
His stubbornness even has him in a battle with the three Senators from the state, a section of his political party APC, the Shi’ites, the Tariqa followers who feel threatened by his ways, people of Southern Kaduna, now Niger Deltans some property owners in the state and a host of others. I wonder how it feels being at logger heads with everybody simply because you feel you know it all. This is an act of extreme arrogance.
Definitely it is only an intellectually sick and self-celebrated elite or as he called himself “an accidental civil servant” who his masters describe as “a pathological liar” that can be so reckless in his activities as to be at logger heads with everybody in his state except his unreliable Wahhabi brothers that would discard him when next they get a better pay somewhere.
It is with this same ‘focuslessness’ that he is eying to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari as President even as Nigeria is moving from bad to worse on a daily basis. Hmmm nawa wooo, what an epitome of ‘focuslessness’.
Senator Shehu Sani: “You see, I am not a member of the Islamic Movement but, there is something, I am a human rights activist and a leftist revolutionary. But, what ever belief you share, there is a lot you can never run away from; what ever belief you share you cannot run away from the influence, prestige and condor of Malam Ibraheem Zakzaky. I’ve always said it that as an activist who has been involved in activism for a very long time, each time I feel depressed and I feel weakened and I feel as if demoralized, as a human being, in the sense that all what we have been struggling for, for a new society, for a change in our society has not been able to materialize; each time I have this emotional depression I take it upon my self to visit Malam Zakzaky and by the time I see him I have a lot of strength. Because he is such a person that is full of energy and he is such a person that is a model for consistency and resolve. I so much admire him more than any other person you can ever see in this country. There is no Islamic scholar with a popular broad achievement and with a very strong support from his own followers in the whole of this country if not the whole of this West African sub-region like Malam Ibraheem Zakzaky. If Umaru Musa Yar’adua today wants to gather a crowd and address them, what will happen is that he governors will have to be involved, the minister will be involved and then there will be people to rent crowds and people to attend and listen to the speech and be paid. But the spiritual significance of Malam as far as his ability to hold on to his belief and the movement which he has led right from late 70s to date is unbelievable. He is such a man that symbolizes principle and struggle and change. He is a strong advocate of revolutionary change in the society. People who will admire Malam are far beyond people who are even members of the Islamic Movement because the very fact remains that today he still remains a reference point. He is somebody you can die for and he is somebody you can defend at any time because you know he is not going to sell you over. He is somebody whose life epitomizes what he believes in and he is somebody who has for all this period and the persecution he has undergone that which I have seen, has never bulged even for an ounce. I become highly impressed as an activist that all the prisons I have been taken to as a prisoner, each time I am there I hear that Malam Zakzaky was also there at a certain time and in the years gone by. I can say it very well that Malam Zakzaky is not a leader of Islamic Movement but he is a leader of any person who believes in the change of a society, who believes in the fight against injustice, tyranny and repression. He is a leader whom if every Nigerian recognizes and knew very well, he can also die for him. There is nothing required from a leader… first of all he is someone who is not going to betray you and he. has already displayed that. In all these years we have seen the rise and fall of Islamic clerics and how most of them will come out like a wave and suddenly they will fizzle out but he has remained firm and consistent. He is a Dutch fighter and he is a model for every kind of struggle not only that of the Islamic Movement.”
19th December 2016
Following the emergency SEC Meeting called by the acting Chairman Zhiroh Jatau, Kaduna State Council of Nigerian Union of Journalists, after various deliberations by SEC members in attendance, having noticed the division even among the EXCOs and having failed to call for a congress to resolve the crises bedeviling the union as provided by the NUJ constitution article 5D Sub-section 7, members of the SEC passed a vote of no confidence on the EXCO.
In view of this development the EXCOS ceased to be in existence and in their place Austine Anyebe of NTA chapel is unanimously assigned to head the interim committee with Bello Hamza of Al-Mizan chapel as the secretary.
The SEC members are hereby calling on all NUJ members to remain calm and very soon a congress will be called to ratify the decision and forge ahead.
Zonal Secretary NUJ Zone A
National Secretary NUJ
All Chapels NUJ Kaduna state Council
Commissioner of Police Kaduna state Command
Director SSS Kaduna State
Present at the SEC meeting
Dauda Idris Doka
John Femi Adi
Bello Hamza Al-Mizan Chapel
Mr Muhammad Ibrahim Bungus KSMC
Usama Adam Sulaiman Liberty Radio/TV
Mahmoud Sani KSMC
Musa Aliyu Gombe Nagarta Radio
Mahmud Idris Liberty Radio/TV
Girani Muhammad Federal Information
Abdulmumin Giwa Al-Mizan Chapel
Sulaiman Abdullahi NTA
Abdul Aziz Ahmad Kadir
By Abdulmumin Giwa
Just of recent the news about statements credited to Malam Sanusi Abdulkadir, representative of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in Kano, that he made a War declaration on the Nigerian government to revenge the Zaria massacre, has gone viral in the media.
As a result of this, even people that have never commented on the mass murder of unarmed men, women and children in December 2015 by the Nigerian Army in Zaria have had course to vomit all sorts of trash.
It is stated that the security are already studying the statements which he made in Hausa and have already been translated to English to help put across the mischief.
Parts of the translations stated that we will never forget and we will never forgive the massacre of our brothers by the Army and that we are going to revenge. He was also said to have mentioned that the government comes to kill our members at will simply because we are not armed.
The security agents working hand-in-hand with some Wahhabi elements took the speech beyond its scope claiming that the IMN had declared war and the next thing was that the security are studying the speech.
Firstly, the position of the IMN is now clear to everyone around the world that it is a peaceful Movement that does not carry arms and does not have any plan of doing so. It is a Movement that is calling for fairness and justice to all irrespective of their region, religion and race. It does not engage in any form of violence even as it has been victim of several violent attacks by government and self-appointed rivals.
Even when the security plotted a mischief a few months ago as a means of justifying the massacre of IMN members by attributing violence to it, the IMN stated categorically that it does not issue threat or ultimatum nor does it engage in any form of violence.
It is this same Movement that is left with the burden of having to live with the sadness of losing loved ones which had turned hundreds of women into widows and hundreds of other children into orphans, in fact tens of such orphans were born after the Nigerian army had murdered their parents in cold-blood during Zaria massacre.
What is even worse is that about one thousand IMN members were incessantly killed and buried in mass graves without the knowledge and consent of their relations and loved ones all in violation of international, state and religious laws.
The same IMN members are left with the torture inherent in the treatment meted on the leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, whose additional three biological sons were murdered by the Army, his wife shot severally in the womb, his elder sister, nephew and some followers burned alive and his residence and other IMN properties demolished. The leader of the IMN was also killed but did not die and is left with one non-functional eye and a heavily shattered left arm.
The same leader of the IMN and his wife were kept in illegal detention by the perpetrators of the Zaria killings disallowing them access to medical treatment or meeting with their lawyers.
The same members of the IMN were severally provoked and attacked at will by the government killing them, demolishing their residences and shops and arbitrarily arresting them and jailing them on fabricated charges.
It is this same IMN that is banned by the Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai and declared as an insurgent group just to satisfy his own personal whims and caprices not because it has violated any law.
With all these mischievous provocations, suppression, oppression and violation of fundamental rights of the IMN members, the movement never resorted to any form of violence despite the lawlessness exhibited by the Nigerian government against innocent unarmed citizens.
The IMN simply exhibited the extent of maturity and unequalled sense of reasoning and remained steadfast on the path of peace and tranquility and sorted for redress in the courts of law.
Now that the IMN leader that is lawlessly detained and maltreated in a manner only similar to terrorism by the Nigerian government has gotten the court to issue an order for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, the security is at it again engaging in another mischief.
They now want to use the speech of Malam Sanusi as alibi to convince the public that IMN is an insurgent group thereby justifying their crimes against humanity.
So what if Malam Sanusi said we will never forgive and will never forget what happened to us. The heart of the man that could forgive and forget the inhumanity meted on the IMN by the APC/Wahhabi regime in Nigeria must be bigger than the universe. What do you want us to forget? Is it the families that were completely wiped out or those murdered children that have left behind their mothers as widows? Is it our close friends and associates that you want us to simply forget the happy times we spent together? It is only the one guilty of crimes against humanity that would wish all these inhumanities to be forgotten or swept under the carpet.
Nothing will ever make the IMN members forget how Buhari, El-Rufai, Buratai and their accomplices mischievously killed our people and dumped them in mass graves with many probably still alive. Definitely nobody can forget these crimes against humanity. They have already been written in the black books of history which will definitely form the curriculum of education of future history students.
Now the bombshell he was said to have made “we will revenge” is simply the explosion of anger caused by the extent of provocation in Malam Sanusi. Because he can on his own self do nothing as he is guided by the principles of the IMN part of which is remaining steadfast and focused even in the most turbulent form of provocation as one observes restraint from engaging in any form of violence.
I know of several individuals that cannot stand the simple mention of the names of the perpetrators of the Zaria massacre without showering the curse of Almighty God on them due to the torment in which they have been placed.
Imagine the feelings of a young graduate whose loving husband was shot by Nigerian army in her presence just ten months after their wedding; Imagine the feelings of a lady whose 4 or 5 or 6 or even 7 sons were killed by the Nigerian army in Zaria; Imagine the feelings of the young lady raped by a soldier or had her breast cut with a bayonet or a sharp object forced in her private part; Imagine the feelings of the relations of an entirely wiped out family. Definitely, with thousands of cases like these, in which everyone has a sorrowful tale to tell, these vampires of leaders have only succeeded in broadening the scope of their enmity with humanity. The feeling deep inside of everyone here is worse than saying we shall revenge because even that will not heal the pains.
The only thing that will heal the pains is that faith in God Almighty the destroyer of tyrants and tyranny and oppressors and oppression for indeed there is atonement for the grievous sins they have committed. For this, the IMN has since taken the steps towards that revenge through persistent prayers and seeking the intervention of God Almighty and not arms, the weapon of the foolhardy.
Definitely we are already revenging by placing our complaints before God Almighty through prayers and devotions and God is not a member of APC/Wahabi Nigerian government but the destroyer of tyrants and oppressors. He is in a better position to deal with the perpetrators in the best way He feels will heal our pains and our trust is in Him.
It is worth asking, why would anyone be afraid that the IMN is going to avenge the massacre with all the inhumanity and violations it’s members have suffered? Could it be that he is afraid of death? How could you be killing or be pleased with the killing and destruction of others and then be afraid of death again. This only proves that you are a coward. This could even be seen in the way the Nigerian army takes pride in using heavy weapons on IMN members that are unarmed and made up of mostly women and children and whenever they are thrashed by militants or terrorists they run away and come back crying that they don’t have enough weapons.
To us in the IMN, guns are for the foolhardy as we believe and uphold that the greatest weapon is prayer and not guns. Hence the whole noise about Malam Sanusi’s speech is much ado about nothing but a calculated mischief against the IMN by the perpetrators of the mass murder. Definitely the blood of IMN members whose lives have summarily been terminated by Nigerian army in Zaria and elsewhere to satisfy the personal greed of some ‘Pharoic’ Nigerian leaders shall forever continue to chase those leaders to the end of time.
By Abdulmumin Giwa
This rejoinder is intended to correct the misinformation with the above-mentioned editorial heading stating the stand of the Leadership newspaper on the recent developments on the issue of the Zaria massacre of December 2015 in its Thursday, December 8th 2016 edition.
The content only seemed to have presented a sentimental, unsubstantiated and ill-fated misinformation unfortunately coming as an editorial of a widely read newspaper. This must have undoubtedly affected the credibility and integrity of the paper in the eyes observers.
Firstly, I will like to start by disabusing the minds of people from using the word “clash” to qualify the unfortunate December Army attack on the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). What actually took place was not a clash because the Nigerian Army attacked unarmed men, women and children killing then indiscriminately, using heavy weapons like RPGs, AK47s, Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and bombs.
All these facts have been established by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI) and the Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) set up by the Kaduna state government. The JCI described the incident as a massacre and the Army as violating its rule of engagement. The JCI also recommended that the soldiers involved in the clash be prosecuted while it also described the mass burial of victims by the Army and Governor El-Rufai as a violation of the Geneva Convention, state laws as well as religious laws.
Who clashed with who? It does not make any sense for one to describe a heavily armed Army attacking and indiscriminately bombing, burning alive and killing unarmed women and children as a clash. How could you describe such a pre-planned extra-judicial killing and mass murder of unarmed civilians as a clash?
More so, I debunk the misinformation that there was an assassination attempt on the life of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Y. Buratai. Not even the JCI mentioned this as a reason because it is a lie. The Army propagandists striving to cover up their crimes against humanity are the ones spreading this misinformation.
The claim that “the Iranians are known to be the promoters of the Shiite Movement and they can be very rabid in their interpretation of what Islam teaches” is more of a display of compound ignorance. Firstly, there is no connection between the IMN and the Iranian government but the people of Iran that share the same faith-base with IMN.
What the editorial is saying is that the a Nigerian Catholic is being controlled by Rome because of the Vatican, or an Anglican is controlled by England because the Arch-Bishop is in Canterbury, or the Wahabi/Salafi Sunni Muslims are controlled by Saudi Arabia, or the Sufi Muslims are controlled by Morocco, or even a Manchester United FC fan is being controlled from Manchester. This does not make sense at all because it is not a crime to share the same faith-base with people in another part of the world.
Secondly, there is no such thing as rabid interpretation of Islam because Islam is a universal religion. What exists is referred to as ‘Schools of Thought’ in Islam and not rabid interpretation. These are basically two made up of Sunni that is further sub-divided to Wahabi/Salafi and the Sufi orders. On the other hand is the Shi’ah School of Thought.
Furthermore, some are taking these diversities on the platform of sectarian sentiments especially Wahabi/Salafists who see Muslims other than themselves as infidels and polytheists and Christians as their enemies. So, there is nothing surprising when you claim that “many Moslem faithful are also not known to sympathize with them (Shiites) in their plight” because they are in the majority in Nigeria.
It is difficult to believe that a team of editors and journalist of a reputable newspaper do not know what the acronym ISIS stands for even with the availability of the Wikipedia. The editorial wrongly claimed that ISIS means Islamic State of Iran and Syria which is unbelievable in this age of information. What is the link between Iran that is Shiite and ISIS that is Salafi? It is a display of compound ignorance. ISIS or ISIL or DAESH in Arabic, means Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and it is established and funded by Saudi Arabia, America and Israel. There is no connection between Iran and ISIS.
Recently, prior to the fifth coming back to life of the Boko Haram leader Shekau who also declared the IMN leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky a non-Muslim in his new life maiden speech, it was everywhere in the news that Boko Haram have joined ISIS. This was made public by the Nigerian security and it was in the news. On the other hand the IMN is a victim of several bomb attacks claimed by Boko Haram, therefore there is no link whatsoever between the IMN and ISIS.
More so, the Syrian crisis was miss-presented in your editorial. The ISIS is being sponsored by Saudi Arabia, America and Israel to help oust the Bashar Al-Assad Syrian regime while on the other hand Russia, Lebanon and Iran are allies to the Syrian government.
There is no link, no connection and no sympathy whatsoever between IMN and ISIL and we see this claim by the leadership newspaper as a mischievous attempt at painting the IMN black in order to dent its public image.
I was among the team of Journalists that escorted the founder of the Leadership newspaper Chief Sam Nda Isiah to condole the IMN leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky when the Nigerian Army without any provocation murdered 34 IMN members including three biological sons of the Sheikh in 2014.
Chief Sam Nda Isiah praised and eulogized the IMN leader for remaining calm despite the extent of provocation on him and the widespread followership he has. He was so impressed that the IMN leader called for calm that he described him as an exemplary leader saying if Nigeria would have just three of his type Nigerian problems will be a thing of the pass due to his leadership quaalities. I am sure whatever negative views you might be having about IMN and its leader is not similar to that of the founder of the Leadership newspaper.
Most of the accusations labeled against the IMN in your editorial are bits of the fabrications by the perpetrators of the attack on IMN. There is no way one can liken Boko Haram with IMN. They are entirely different in all parameters. The faith base of the IMN does not accept unnecessary bloodshed and also, it recognizes every human being as a brother in humanity or a brother in faith. The IMN does not believe in arms struggle and clandestine attacks and whenever it is suppressed or oppressed it follows peaceful channels of seeking redress just as it had done since the Zaria attack despite deliberate provocations by government to push it into violence.
I personally expected the editorial board of the leadership newspaper to scrutinize the integrity of the so-called white paper produced by Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai. The entire content of the Whitepaper contradicts the report and recommendations of the JCI.
The JCI clearly dismissed the claims that the IMN was armed but with disregard to the report the governor fabricated it in his white paper. Also the JCI never described the IMN as an insurgent group but the governor did that in his whitepaper. The JCI described the military attack as a massacre that violates the army rules of engagement but the whitepaper disputed that. The JCI described the mass burial of 347 IMN members as violating international laws, state laws and religious laws but El-Rufai disputed that. He also systematically avoided calling for the prosecution of soldiers guilty of the crimes against humanity they committed in the course of the attack. His white paper is as good as completely not having the inquiry because all he had ranted about before setting up the JCI, during the sitting of the JCI and after the sitting are all that are contained in it and not the recommendations of the JCI.
Finally, the IMN as usual will never engage in any form of violence no matter the level of provocations but it is also the duty of every right-thinking person to speak out against the persecution being meted on the IMN by the APC regime. They should encourage the government to obey the court order for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the IMN leader and they should busy themselves calling on the Nigerian government to respect constitutional authority and lead by example in obedience and recognition of law and order. In a nutshell it is not the IMN that is a threat to law and order because of its peaceful manner of seeking redress and general conduct. It is now left on the government to prove that it is truly the gatekeeper of law order and not a threat to the citizenry by ruling with oppression and impunity.
By Abdulmumin Giwa
I read with dismay the display of intellectual bankruptcy by the Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai in an interview he had with newsmen on Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Southern Kaduna crises.
In his effort to convince the selected journalists of his reason for outlawing the IMN, El-Rufai repeated the usually fabricated and unsubstantiated lies demonizing the IMN and even claiming that his Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) report s and recommendations guided him towards that decision.
For now there wouldn’t be any need to take on what he said one after the other because the intention of this piece is to tackle his claim that the IMN is a political organization and that the objective of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is to gather enough followers to effect an Iranian type Islamic Revolution in Nigeria. He said that this will lead to crises because Nigeria is not 100% Muslim that you can do Islamic Revolution.
In effect, he is explaining to the journalists that he is fighting against the establishment of an Islamic state through a popular Revolution and that is why he is at war with the IMN.
I have heard a lot of elder statesmen, analysts and political observers saying that the only way out for Nigeria to become a solidly developed nation is a popular Revolution. One of such statement recently came from a onetime Nigeria’s permanent representative at the United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule.
I will take on the topic by reminding El-Rufi that he also made the same statement when a team of IMN members went to condole him at his Jabi residence in Abuja when his daughter Yasmin died. He said the only way out for Nigeria is the type of Revolution being advocated for by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
It appears that El-Rufai is ignorant about what revolution is that is why he is trying to demonize it to convince people of his reasons for being at war with the IMN.
The issue is about understanding what revolution really is and not the revolution itself. Revolution is not an issue of change of government or establishing a state. Revolution is about the change of conscience, thought and ideas.
There is a difference between reform and revolution. A reform can take place under the same ideology or system whereby some changes are effected for the betterment of the said ideology or system through a popular demand by advocates of that system or ideology.
Revolution on the other hand is a total change of system and ideology by addressing peoples’ conscience and directing it along a new thought and idea. Usually systems are established to manage people’s affairs and life to avoid tyranny and dictatorship.
Revolution has nothing to do with violence but conscience and ideas. That is why it is embedded within the Nigerian constitution to have freedom of conscience and ideas which one could propagate for the betterment of the generality.
On his claim that IMN is a political organization is nothing but a sham because IMN is not an organization but a collection of people of conscience and ideas.
To us as Muslims, Islam is more than what a lot of people call religion which they define as a personal affair of an individual that has to do with one’s spiritual inclination and acts of worship. If this is the definition of religion, then Islam is not a religion because Islam is more than just that, it is a complete system of life. Such a definition could apply to other religions but not to Islam.
In Islam there is a system of worship and spiritualism as well as a system of social, political, economic and judicial inclinations. It is a complete philosophy of life that is accepted and implemented on will and choice and not through imposition or force.
This implies that there is nothing chaotic about enlightening people, raising their conscience and awareness towards positive development without resulting to any form of violence. Once the people accept to change from a bad state to a better and developed state through change of conscience and idea then a revolution is achieved.
It was the same rhetoric adopted by the current APC regime during it’s campaign in the last elections in the name of change but was wrongly implemented because it didn’t address peoples’ conscience and ideas. This is the reason why the regime is stagnant and lacks any idea of what to do and how to do it.
We in Nigeria are witnesses to the state of the nation in which everything has deteriorated and the nation is moving from bad to worse daily. Nigeria is now over half a century old but there is no stable power supply, no roads, no water and no satisfactory health delivery services. Nigerians are forced to be living in hardship and abject poverty and suffering from the repercussions of the misdoings of its misguided elites like El-Rufai.
Not even a solidly functional educational system that can exploit the verse human resources of the country exists in Nigeria. This is worsened by lack of leadership commitment and patriotism. People see themselves as belonging to some tribes or regions before Nigeria in which the general character of the people is that of individualism and greed. This has led to disunity and intolerance among Nigerians with resultant negativities like insecurity.
With all these negativities bedeviling the country, only tyrants and dictators will see a call towards fairness and justice to all as well as unity, understanding and humanity as a threat to national interest. What could be wrong with raising peoples’ conscience and understanding towards creating a better society free of negativities?
This is Nigeria and we are Nigerians and we want a better future for our children and children’s children which people like El-Rufai and his likes don’t have the capacity to provide, so what if we call on Nigerians to seek a better Nigeria by changing their conscience and ideas for the better?
Lastly, there is this issue of scaring people away from Iran, this rhetoric is engaged in by the global imperialists who deceive the world by demonizing Iran. El-Rufai and his anti-IMN sponsored propaganda team have also taken to this idea.
But what is wrong with Iran? Yes there was a Revolution in Iran in 1979 that led to the emancipation of the country from American control and exploitation under the ousted king Shah Reza Pahlavi.
America did everything possible to bring down the new Iranian system which has destroyed a lot of economic concessions they have signed on oil with the ousted Shah of Iran. In fact the oil riches that made Iran the forth oil richest nation of the world was to come under complete control of America when the revolution took place.
America started by imposing a war with it with Iraq later referred to as the Gulf War. The intention was to take over Iran within eight days but the war lasted eight years without taking over eight kilometers of the Iranian soil. They supplied Saddam Husain with cluster and chemical bombs which he used indiscriminately on Iran but still lost the war.
Notwithstanding, America imposed tens of political, economic as well as religious sanctions on Iran to bring it down in addition to spreading phobia against it across the world through its effective propaganda machinery. Since that revolution in 1979, Iran has always been on sanctions such that it withdrew its economy from relying on oil and exploited other avenues.
In the last 35 years Iran was able to become a nuclear power, leading in the field of medicine, science and technology as well as military might. Iran developed in such a way that more than 80 percent of women in Iran are educated and most of them are in the fields of sciences and medicine.
With the Iran phobia propagated by America and her allies Iran was forced to take some stance on the global platform to protect its own interests. It became the voice of nations being oppressed and exploited by America and Israel especially Palestine.
All these developments that made Iran a power came while Iran was under total sanctions from global imperialism. Iran is now a power to reckon with in the globe. More so, Iran is running one of the most functional democratic states in the world where not less than 90 percent of registered voters cast their votes during elections. Yes it is an Islamic system but not in the Saudi fashion of societal segregation and monarchy but with every section including Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians all represented in its parliament.
Unlike America which has started not less than 86 wars in other sovereign nations that has led to the deaths and displacement of not less than 20 million people across the globe, Iran has never attacked any nation. America has used atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and has founded terrorist organizations like Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS which it is co-sponsoring along with Saudi Arabia and is also protecting Israeli illegal occupation of the Palestinian lands.
On the other hand Iran does not have any of these negative trends. Hence the question why would one hate Iran? Iran doesn’t have any bad records to refer to. Those who castigate and demonize Iran do it only because America hates Iran which is a very stupid reason. Iran has diplomatic ties with Nigeria and Nigeria has more to learn and benefit from Iran than from America even as it is politically older than Iran. Nigeria is 56 years old while Iran is only 37 and has become a global super power while Nigeria is still left behind striving to provide electricity, water, roads and other infrastructure due to bad leadership and lack of focus and true patriotism.
It is too cheap a propaganda for El-Rufai and his team to be using Iran to blackmail IMN. Despite Nigeria’s loyalty to America and its interests, that include Nigerian leaders fighting anti-Iran proxy war in the country, Nigeria cannot boast of benefitting from America in terms of general development of the country. Nigerians are suffering and are in hardships as a result of pro-American policies introduced by Nigerian leaders.
Hence, if calling for an Iranian type Revolution in Nigeria is what will save Nigerians from untold hardships, retrogression and under-development, by calling for unity and brotherhood among Nigerians irrespective of tribe, region or religion then so what if we call for a Revolution? If such a call is a popular demand of Nigerians, then who are you to stop it?
If there will be any crises in Nigeria as claimed by El-Rufai then that crises is from him and his likes that are contracted to kill their people to satisfy some foreign interests but not from Nigerians disagreeing with true emancipation from foreign domination and control.
By Abdulmumin Giwa
Delivering his judgment in a case seeking the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, the High Court Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawale vindicated the IMN in his judgment summary.
He never wanted to get to the level of having to deliver his judgment in the case in order to save the image of the Nigerian government by allowing an opportunity for out of court settlement, an opportunity the government never considered.
Justice Kolawale expressed dismay over the level of religious intolerance where he told the court that he doesn’t like cases bordering on religious issues.
What is more interesting is his concept about the IMN which he described as a school of thought in Islam and not a sect as some people think. He explained that although there are no demographic references but it is clear that the Shiites are in a minority when compared to the largely Sunni inclined adherents. For this he attributed what happened to the Shiites as largely caused by intolerance. This fact has severally been mentioned by the IMN in its call for unity and understanding.
Justice Kolawale made reference to the fact that Nigeria is a federation with a constitution that allows for freedom of worship to buttress his point. He explained that the Nigerian constitution allows one to practice the faith of his choice alone or in congregation, in public or in private and also preach it. He said, what is more is that he has the right to change from one religion to another and must not be discriminated at. He further explained that where the rights of others stop is where the rights of others begin. He thereby called for religious tolerance and understanding among adherents of various faiths.
The IMN had always reminded those in authority that its members have the rights to practice their faith as Nigerians but the advocacy had always fallen in deaf ears. This worsened when the Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai went ahead of the Nigerian constitution to ban the IMN to satisfy his sectarian sentiment.
The governor’s action even led to a sectarian attack by sponsored Sunni thugs on the IMN members where they burned shops and residences of IMN members in Kaduna in particular and even killed and maimed some. On his own part El-Rufai even used state resources to demolish schools, medical and Islamic centers of the IMN all with the intention of provoking the IMN into violence and in total disregard to constitutional provisions.
Justice Kolawale is particular on the need to protect the image of Nigeria as a democratic entity on issues that boarder around human rights. He made reference to allegations of extra-judicial killings labeled against the Nigerian Army by the Amnesty International (AI). He described such as very embarrassing and telling on the image of the country among the league of democratic states.
It is really unimaginable how the Nigerian Army will attack unarmed civilians in a killing spree and kill over a thousand people including women and children. When it comes to killing the Shiites the security are always well armed and equipped but any time the Army is attacked and killed by militants or terrorists organizations they complain that they don’t have good arms.
It is more like their arms are meant for murdering of unarmed civilians and their gallantry only displayed in the mass murder of unarmed women and children.
Justice Kolawale expressed dismay over the alleged killing of the three biological sons of Sheikh Zakzaky by the Nigerian Army and shooting him and his wife severally and also demolishing is residence. This is an abuse of democratic tenets using state security agency against unarmed civilians.
In his fifty-six paged judgment, Justice Kolawale also described the detention of Sheikh Zakzaky as unlawful. He said that he had used microscopic glasses to look for where the Nigerian constitution or the acts establishing the security agencies allows for detention without trial for almost a year but could not find any.
The IMN had always described the detention of its leaders as illegal and a violation of the Nigerian constitution. It had staged several peaceful rallies and protests calling for his immediate and unconditional release and had also issued press statements to that effect. But in its usual character of tyranny and dictatorship the Nigerian government refused to heed the call. In fact the government had attacked several peaceful protest and killed several IMN members in several occasions unprovoked.
Imagine what the Nigerian police did in Kano where they attacked a peaceful trekking event by the IMN and simply engaged in a killing spree unprovoked. This led to the Nigerian police chief having to lie to the public that the tens of thousands of IMN members, that include women and children were armed to the teeth in order to deceive the public and justify their crime. Yet the police successfully killed over one hundred of them unprovoked simply because they see them as Shiites. This is a flagrant abuse of human rights by the Nigerian government.
Justice Kolawale thereby issued the order for the release of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. He not only ordered the release of the revered leader but also supported the release with some conditions. He ordered that a house be provided for the Sheikh within 45 days from the judgment.
The DSS is to hand over the IMN leader to the Inspector General of Police (IG) who within 24 hours is to convey the leader to the house provided under an entourage led by not less than the rank of an AIG.
Earlier in the course of hearing in the case, the DSS claimed that the IMN leader was being held in protective custody with his own consent for fear that his life is under threat. They also claimed that Femi Falana SAN, the lead counsel representing the IMN leader was not contracted by him to represent him. But when the court said it would invite the Sheikh to tell the world whether he was being detained with his consent and that Falana was not contracted by him, the respondents systematically avoided that.
It was clear that the Nigerian Army was the only threat on the life of Sheikh Zakzaky, if there was any, because they were the ones that attacked him, killed his children, killed almost a thousand of his followers and dumped them in a mass graves, burned his elder sister and nephew alive along with others, demolished his residence and Islamic centers and also the tomb of his mother. Definitely they are the threat to the life of the Sheikh and not anybody.
Justice Kolawale observed that the IMN leader never complained of his life being threatened by anybody prior to the attack by the Army.
Hence, the High Court Judge said that the police should as a matter of necessity provide the IMN leader with 24 hours, seven days a week protection in his house until there is no more threat to his life as they claim.
He also ordered that the Sheikh and his wife be paid the sum of 25 million naira each as general damages. He explained that he could not order for more than that amount because of the current recession in the country under which funds are scarce and people are living in untold hardship.
The court has now issued an order but by the nature of the Wahabbbi/APC regime in Nigeria, it is only right to be pessimistic about government’s compliance with the order. This is because the entire violations and clampdown on the movement is in the interest of the President and his team. He had said earlier that he does not obey court order for some flimsy reasons he gave.
In a country with a president that does not respect and obey court orders and has personal interest in the killing of the IMN members definitely it is not wrong to be pessimistic about implementing the order. It has turned out to be a government that does not respect the Nigerian constitution and is accusing innocent citizens of violating the constitution.
If the government claims that the IMN does not regard the Nigerian constitution then it should lead by example and prove to the world that its interest is that of protecting and upholding the constitution by simply obeying the court order issued by Justice Kolawale and not otherwise.
But we shall remain pessimistic because the body language of the Nigerian regime is that of obeying the Nigerian constitution only when it serves its whims and caprices but disregards the constitution where it goes against its personal greed. It is now left for the Nigerian government to clear its already tarnished human rights records by simply respecting the court order.