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By Saifullahi M. Kabir

It is now a year since after the Ashura attack in Jos, the capital of Plateau state, which is popularly referred to as ‘Gangare attack’. A tragedy that left over 30 members of IMN under the guardianship of his eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), injured and led to the destruction of properties.

It was on Friday, 9th of Muharram 1437, a group of jobless individuals who were believed to be the adherents of a religious bigot from Kaduna faction of the Izala sect, Malam Ali Dan Ali by name; who is residing in Gangare quarters; under the leadership of his senior adherent, Kabiru Cidawa; attacked the peaceful members of the IMN while on their way to the annual Ashura mourning session taking place at the movement’s teaching center in Rogo quarters. The attack led to the injury of 34 IMN members instantly, 4 of which were women; some of them sustained fracture in the legs and hands, while some were stabbed in various parts of their body, and one of them was seriously stabbed on the head leading to almost injury to his brain. After that, the hooligans continued by trailing house to house of the IMN members, setting them ablaze and destroying their properties all at the Gangare quarters in Jos.

The attack extended till Sunday 11th of Muharram, under the command of the same Izala sect cleric; by trailing house to house of the members of IMN, it was on that Sunday when they set another house ablaze, a room belonging to brother Aliyu. On Monday, in the morning the hooligans proceeded to the house of Alhaji Sabo Maigoro and set it ablaze as well. After then, they proceeded to the house of Alhaji Sa’idu Almizan destroy his room and chase his wife away, they later threw all his properties into a well, before his neighbours intervened and stopped them from blazing the room. They similarly attacked the house of Malam Idris Muhammad and Uncle Sani, on that tragic days.

The attack was an aftermath of the over 10 years long preach of Malam Ali Aliyu, a.k.a Dan Ali; who was always calling for and legalizing attacks on the followers of Ahle Bayt (as) specifically in Jos. Even when after the attack on Friday, Muharram 9th; Dan Ali encouraged his students on their obligation to weaponry possession in order to kill those he called insulters of the companions of the holy prophet (sawa).

After the attack, Malam Dan Ali was overheard during his lectures saying "Our committee members and our first aid team, have said something which is true, that we always came here to speak about Jihad, nevertheless; some of us possess even no single knife at their disposal." So, in view of this; as of that day he urged them to start looking for help so that whenever they go for their preach, they won’t go barehanded. He also advised his students to always have weapons at their disposal whenever they go for the preach.

Moreover, the said Malam Dan Ali keep on instigating his followers on killing Shi’ites even after the attack, where he was quoted saying "Send them even if after I depart, fight against leaders of infidelity, and do not bother yourselves with the young ones among them, put more concern on the elder ones. If they kill an elder one among you, do as well to them by killing the elder ones amongst them. Don’t do it on the street, let it be in the midnight. So that you won’t come across a security personnel; let it be the time he goes to sleep in the house."

To our surprise, despite all these statements he issued which were harmful and full of threat to the harmony of the nation and its citizens, the security forces did nothing to stop Dan Ali and his follower Kabiru Cidawa, talk less of other hooligans they supplied poisoned weapons to and attack the peaceful members of the IMN to that moment.

Avoidance of retaliation was the method adapted by the IMN members on that time, it is a well known fact that IMN has never adapted the habit of retaliation. Only that they try to defend themselves whenever they were attacked, and later they adapt the method of sound reasoning in enlightening the public on the way they were been oppressed, and perhaps if it warrants, they filed the case in a court. As such, the people of Jos were convinced on the activities of IMN including some organizations and respected elders.

As a result, after the incidence; some respected elders in Gangare quarters trekked specifically from their homes and visited the representative of Sheikh Zakzaky (H) in Jos, Sheikh Adamu Tsoho, demanding for negotiations and appealing pardon from the IMN members. As well, the head of Kaduna faction of the Izala sect in Jos appealed the same. Sheikh Adamu Tsoho told them that they have no intention of anything like retaliation or its kind, but they will follow due process to make sure that the culprits are brought to justice.

Sheikh Adamu Tsoho declared that; "Some of our brothers in the quarters were aware of the plot, and they even reported the case to the police station beforehand; that some hooligans were paid to attack Shi’ites.. The hooligans were quoted saying; " They were paid by so and so person to attack the Shi’ites." Sheikh Tsoho added, "A report was presented before the police, SSS, Sector command and DPO were all aware of it. But we later realize that it seems like those people (the Izala sect followers) have godfathers, so that the police failed to do anything reasonable on the issue."

Sheikh Adamu expressed his surprise on how those in authority keep watching eyes while the dispute, after all they know all those creating unrest and causing violence, he said; "Instead of the police to arrest that Malam Dan Ali and his boy Cidawa and charge them to court for causing violence, but they failed to do so. Even those that stabbed our brothers were released without punishing any of them. Therefore, the report filed earlier to the police station was not considered, till the moment our brothers were stabbed."

By now, almost all the victims of the attack have recuperated, those with fractures healed; only for some of them stabbed on their heads, like Jawad; whose injury arouse from time to time. And Aliyu Adamu Tsoho who is still battling against his injury, it reached an apex that he need be taken abroad for proper medical attention.