Today 07/07/18 marks 1000 days since the Zaria massacre of 12-14 December, 2015, when soldiers on orders from President Buhari killed unarmed civilians in Zaria, Kaduna state on a false pretext of blocking the path of the Chief of Staff on the Nigerian Army.
The type of injustice and maltreatment meted on Sheikh Zakzaky is not hidden to foes and friends, Clerics and politicians, the masses and the rich and the international community. Nobody was denying the brutal military attack, it was an open secret. The ultimate judge in this flagrant abuse of power is the Almighty Allah, but indeed the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has witnessed gross injustice that none in recent history has suffered as much.
Buharis regime killed his additional three sons before his eyes in his residence including hundreds of his supporters. Its soldiers brutally fired several shots at his wife, after killing 1000+ of his supporters, with some of them burnt alive, and in the aftermath buried them secretly in a mass grave at Mando, Kaduna. The government also bulldozed his house after looting valuables inside, demolished Fudiyya Islamic Centre, allowing hoodlums of Gyallesu neighborhood and the soldier having a field day carting away his valuable properties.
The rampaging soldiers did burnt to ashes Sheikh Zakzakys senior sister and his nephew alive, desecrated the graves of his 3 children killed by the same army in 2014, who were buried some 5 kilometres from his residence, and the whole complex was demolished. The privately owned house where his mother was buried also suffered similar fate for an alleged crime he knew nothing about. Its a pity that even the dead were not spared of the hatred his tormentors have for him, simply because they are related to him.
What an injustice this is! Sheikh Zakzaky has been detained in terrible conditions even though he has sustained life-threatening injuries during the Armys onslaught with today marking a thousand days. While incarcerated, he has been denied proper medical care, and his health is fast deteriorating by the day. Hence when will justice be served by the release of this charismatic leader?
As pressure mounts on Buharis regime for its refusal to obey a court order releasing Sheikh Zakzaky, with the incessant peaceful protest in several cities across the nation and Abuja, including major cities of several European and Asian countries, the Kaduna state government came up with another ploy to keep the Sheikh in detention by filing charges against him in a state high court. Among the fraudulent charges is culpable homicide.
However as all ploys by oppressive regimes is likened to a spiders cobweb, this one wasnt different, it shortly became clear that the charges slammed against the Sheikh were similar to the ones on which almost a hundred members of the Islamic Movement were discharged and acquitted by another state high court. This is not a mere coincidence; is this not enough for the government and well-meaning Nigerians to ponder over?
Where are the human rights groups, lawyers, journalists and other international civil right groups and activists? It is high time they stand up to be counted in this struggle for justice to the victims of state-sponsored terrorism in Zaria. This brutal and inhuman Zaria massacre is not something that can be ignored, or a siddon-look posture be observed, assuming that it only concerns some people only.
To those who perpetrated these gory acts of vandalism and killings in Zaria, who we believe were contracted by some foreign governments, they should know now if they dont know that, killings, detention, hate speeches, intimidation, hatred, humiliation, and campaign of calumny by paid clerics cannot deter the tremendous progress the Islamic movement is witnessing across the nation. It is left to them to continue with their despicable acts and die with anger or stop and save themselves of anguish.
On a final note we reiterate our call for the immediate release of our leader Sheikh Zakzaky, his wife Malama Zeenah and other hundreds of detainees since December, 2015 unconditionally. We believe that all those involved in this inhuman massacre should be brought to book and prosecuted.
SHEIKH ABDULHAMID BELLO ZARIA