By Abdulmumin Giwa
The need for the recent statement attributed to Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone at the National Assembly, that “Silence over Zaria killings is criminal” cannot be over-emphasized.
At least not when the Nigerian Army goes on a killing spree on unarmed civilians that not only include women and the aged, but also children, chasing them all over the place even as they strive for to hide and simply killing them.
Over one thousand unarmed citizens were murdered by the Army in cold blood and extra-judicially in a manner that could only be described as an act of state terrorism with many burned alive by the Army.
The Nigerian government has refused to even look into the matter or consider it as unacceptable or condemn it.
Some of the most embarrassing things the government did in the attack include the way they killed the sons of Sheikh Zakzaky in the most terror laden manner. One of them was shot through the eye and his brain was blown off that it splashed on his father’s face who was already down in his own blood after also being shot severally. The other was slaughtered on the neck with gun shots by the Nigerian Army.
Nigerians are aware that all these crimes against humanity undeniably took place on this minority group to the extent that the Nigerian government led by president Buhari was already identifying with a majority Islamic sect which helps them celebrate the incessant killings and legalize it in public.
It is all over the social media that the Chief-of-Army-Staff COAS, Lt. General Tukur Buratai is referred to by them as the hero of killing Shias. They seriously celebrate him and the government and its agent are aware of this but remain mute in acceptance.
In fact the celebration of killing the IMNers didn’t just stop in the presidency where a Saudi contingent of scholars along with some Nigerian scholars were given special reception in the Villa, it went as far as Saudi Arabia, the headquarters of Wahabism and sponsors of global terrorism. Nigerian president was given a special reception and the doors of the holy Ka’bah were opened for him for killing Shiahs in Nigeria.
The IMN in Nigeria is known as a peaceful, assembly of non-violent and peaceful progressive minds that preach fairness, justice and love to all irrespective of tribe, race, region or religion in Nigeria and has set many records and benchmarks in its social development history as well as aid and relief activities in times of need. It has no single reference of any indictment or act of violence attributed to it in it’s about 40 years of history.
It is against this backdrop that the IMN sued the Nigerian government for illegally detaining its leader thereby violating his fundamental rights as a citizen and the High Court in Abuja judged in his favor. It ordered for the unconditional release of the leader, payment of damages, provision of residence and police protection for him until what they claimed before the court of his life being in danger is totally cleared. In this regard the government acted in contempt of court and refused to obey the court order.
Contrary to this generally known fact about the peaceful dispensation of the IMN, the Wahhabi Saudi Arabia was the first to congratulate the Nigerian president for killing Shiahs and referring to them as terrorists. The president was comfortable with it and Nigerians remained mute probably due to the cancer of lack of patriotism and lack of justice and fairness eating deep into the nation.
What is worse is that the accomplices of this crime against humanity, where the ‘Buharian Army’ called Nigerian Army murdered over 1000 innocent unarmed women, children and the aged from 12th to 14th of December 2015 in Zaria, no single genuine reason or justification has been given for that action by the Nigerian government two years after.
Starting by the president, he claimed that miscreants blocked the convoy of COAS and were hitting the chest of a General. Contrary to this claim, even the video produced by the government and used for its propaganda on national television after the genocide didn’t show any miscreant hitting the chest of a General. What the video showed was Colonel Usman Kukasheka (now a Brigadier General), the Army spokesman, hitting the chest of a young man complaining to him of something.
More so, does the hitting of the chest of a General by a miscreant justify the extra-judicial killing of over 1000 innocent unarmed civilians, most of who were not even at the scene of the crime? What are the police for? What are the courts for? What is the judiciary for?
The government also claimed that the IMN members blocked the convoy of the COAS, the COAS told pressmen that the IMN members were after his life but he survived, the army claimed that the IMN had stockpile of arms and were planning a reprisal, also the government told the court that they were protecting the IMN leader because his life was in danger hence he is under protective custody.
Also, the government told the public that IMN is worse than Boko Haram terrorist group and the government also told the public that no Nigerian wants to be a neighbor of Seikh Zakzaky that is why they are keeping him in protective custody but were shamed by some Nigerians including Christians who even offered their residence for him.
The government after refusing to obey the court order for the release of the IMN leader also claimed that it was going to appeal the judgment ordering his unconditional release but now is over one year yet nothing has been heard of it.
The Kaduna state Governor Nasiru El-Rufai accused the IMN of plotting a revolution, not voting during elections, taking over schools during its events, Harrassing and causing nuisance to the public, to the extent that he went above the Nigerian laws with impunity and arrogance to announce that he had banned IMN in the state for which the lives of the members were placed under undue insecurity to the extent that several more were extra-judicially killed by the ‘El-Rufaian Police’ in the state.
Nasiru El-Rufai also sued about 200 IMN members, now in Kaduna prison for some concocted charges of killing one Corporal Dan Kaduna and unlawful assembly. These innocent people are inn Kaduna prison for two years now and the case has gotten nowhere.
He set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry JCI to investigate the Zaria massacre in the process of which it was revealed that the state government and the Nigerian army buried 347 IMN members in a mass grave at Mando, Kaduna, about 100 km away from the scene of the crime.
Even as the IMN refused to go before the JCI due to its composition of members who suspiciously were there to cleanse the government of any faults in the genocide, the JCI indicted the army of going against its rules of engagement. It declared the mass burial as being against all known laws in its report. Contrary to the report, Nasiru El-Rufai produced a whitepaper solely indicting the IMN
More so, the government’s Wahhabi partners in the crime are busy propagating lies upon lies and hate and dangerous speeches that the IMN members are infidels, they insult the companions of Prophet Muhammad SAWA, they exchange wives, thereby polluting the minds of the public with rubbish in the name of preaching religion.
All these irregularities and many more that have caused Nigeria so much have taken and are still taking place in this country in the last two years.
The IMN has gone to courts across the country seeking rights protection, the IMN has taken its case to International Criminal Court ICC in The Hague, the IMN has complained before the National Human Rights Commission, the IMN has complained to the National Assembly and the house of Representative, the IMN has complained to various diplomatic missions, the IMN has contacted various groups and individuals as well.
Also, the IMN has gone before the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the IMN has complained to the Amnesty International, the IMN has complained to the Human Rights Watch and the Islamic Human Rights Commission of London. But the Buhari regime has refused to heed all the calls from the various quarters.
Internationally again, embarrassing incidences of protests against this injustice by the Buhari regime have taken place in places like London, at the Nigerian house severally, in India, Pakistan, France, Germany, Australia, New York and various other places too numerous to be mentioned.
This incident has been raised in the American Senate in the US where a Senator insisted that arms must not be sold to Nigeria because the Army is using the arms to kill unarmed civilians sighting the Zaria massacre as an example.
As a result of this, the Nigerian government has been forced into setting up an inquiry to investigate the Nigerian Army’s bags of rights abuse but will not allow a major victim of this crime to speak in public but in camera due to cowardice and hypocrisy. Such investigation has now gone without any mention of the army’s crime on IMN virtually because the investigation wants to avoid the issue of the revered Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky whose rights and those of his followers have been violated.
This has turned into global issue with accusations of genocide against a minority group being labeled against the Nigerian government led by Muhammadu Buhari. What is even more dangerous is how Nigerians remain indifferent about the matter with some religious and political bigots and extremists even seeing it as something good simply because the major stakeholder in the crime is their political and religious hero, President Buhari.
It implies that Nigerians are not safe because the government can at any time kill members of any group at will and self-appointed adversaries of such groups will simply support the illegal act by government.
We have seen those in authority today who have sworn with their religious books before the world that they will protect the lives and property of all citizens irrespective of their inclinations. The president went as far as borrowing a statement to add to it that he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody. Unfortunately, here he is two years after belonging to somebody and not belonging to everybody and turning IMN members into his adversaries.
With these and many other facts, one cannot help but accept that it is indeed criminal for the Nigerian government not to investigate the Zaria massacre it is a violation of fundamental human rights and is even more criminal for the government to have engaged in act of state terrorism by attacking unarmed minority group as it is an act genocide.