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Blood on the Hands of Nigerian Military: A Call for Decisive Action on the Zaria – Quds 34

By Dauda Nalado
The recent report from Amnesty International (AI) came at the time when powers that be – Ebele and his collaborators, could not be able to suppress it. Of course they are already out of the corridors of the intoxicant power which they abused.

What a good riddance! Despite the usual dull denial by the Army mouthpiece, there were stark evidences that the Nigerian Military inflicted physical and psychological torture, extra judicial executions, arbitrary arrests without recourse to due trials, detention in most horrific conditions leading to severe dehydration starvation and disease among detainees, on rather innocent citizens during the state emergency rules in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Most of the affected finally die with very minimal number surviving.

The culture of impunity has been established among those trigger happy soldiers. They always see the bloody civilian, with whose tax they are paid, as an enemy. Nigerian masses were thus exposed to double calamity: Killings and terror from the false flag Boko Haram and same plus horror from those that are supposed to protect them. There is clear complicity of the then authorities in all these. If the reasons given for committing such atrocities by those with star on their shoulders is to contain insurgency, then what would be the reason for their broad day light cold blood murder of Nigerians mostly highly potential and exuberant youth in Zaria on the 25th  and 26th of July 2014? For the avoidance of doubt and putting records straight, let me briefly revisit the unfortunate happening on those fateful days. 

Since 1948, Palestine has been under illegal occupation by the Zionist Israel. The imperial powers backed the Zionists. So Palestinians were under pathetic conditions. It was reported in a famous and authentic Hadith that he who does not show concern over what befalls his Muslim brother is not part of them (the Muslims). It was based on this that After the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Leader Imam Ruhullah Khomeini called on people of Lebanon and told them of their obligation being much closer to the people of Palestine. This was what gave rise to the formation of Hizbullah and later Hamas. This worthy effort has greatly helped to counter Israeli aggression on Palestinians. To complement such efforts in a wider perspective, Imam declared last Friday of each Ramadan as the International Quds day. This was in order to express solidarity with the Palestinians. Since 1980 Quds procession is being conducted globally, even in Europe, including America itself, as well as in the occupied Palestine. Some governments support this procession. These include countries like Venezuela where the (late) President Hugo Chavez and the current Maduro participated. In South Africa, some ministers and legislators also participate since they had similar experience of apartheid.

Last year, the issue took a different dimension. Not only that the people of Palestine were displaced through usurpation of their land, but were being bombarded through the Zionist brutal operation tagged “protective edge” right from the tenth day of the holy month of Ramadan, 8th July, 2014. The genocide continued for almost 50 days. Therefore the need for such processions worldwide could not come at a better time. Demonstrations were conducted in more than 80 countries across the globe (Americas, Canada, Far East, Middle East, Asia and Europe) to condemn this. In many places, not only Muslims but Jews, Christians and Hindus participated in such pro Palestinian demonstrations.

 The international Quds day came when the Israel aggression on Gazzah entered its 17th day. As usual, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the guardianship of his Eminence Allamah Sayyid Ibraheem El-Zakzaky (H) organized peaceful procession in several cities nationwide including some cities in our neighboring Niger Republic. When the processions were conducted the Palestinians were under siege with intense bombardment. At that time, already about 1,600 were reported killed, mostly women and children. The Zionists targeted places where women and children converge including hospitals, schools and health centers. At the end of the aggression, the official UN death toll on Palestinians was 2,139 involving 490 children with over 0.5 million people displaced. Three thousand (3,000) children were wounded and 20, 000 homes destroyed! These are the nature of beastly accomplishments by the descendants of baboons and pigs, the killers of Prophets!

On 25th July, 2014 , highly articulated and organized pro Palestinian processions were conducted and concluded peacefully in all the places but the one at Zaria was singled out for planned massacre in cold blood. Just after the closing prayers when people were returning from the procession, soldiers, unprovoked opened fire. They returned on the 26th and killed some more at the premises of Husainiyya Baqiyyatullah. The murder squad was part of the clandestine terror cells created in the Nigerian military. They were specifically drafted from Maiduguri which was why they had to take several hours driving to Zaria and were late only to meet the tail end of the procession. The Depot Nigerian Army was on full alert. Colonel S.O Oku of the Basawa Engineers Corps coordinated the operation.

 If you watch the video clip of the shooting, you would think that it was happening in Palestinian enclave of Gazzah. It is exactly the same way Israeli soldiers shoot at armless teenagers. Initially, 20 people were killed and 14 were captured alive. Out of those killed, there were a 4-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, while some were in their twenties and few above thirty years. Among those killed was an elderly man, 68, Chris Anyanwu whose fault was that he made a solemn inquiry on why the soldiers opened fire on peaceful, armless civilian citizens. Majority of them were students and mostly unmarried. Of the two women killed, one is unmarried, and the other was married with one child. Nine out those shot at were target shootings aimed at sensitive places such as head, heart, or at point where the victim would bleed to death. Mahmoud, one of the sons of Malam El-Zakzaky was shot at a position below the abdomen and bled to death before the vein was arrested. This was because they blocked the road to the hospital. Doctors confirmed that, shooting at that point was intended for a victim to bleed to death.

 Out of those captured alive there were three biological sons of Allamah Ibraheem El Zakzaky, Sayyeeds Ahmad, Hameed and Ali. All of those captured were taken to the military barrack, where they were brutally tortured to death. The manner of torture included electrocution, stabbing with knife and, stamping and dragging their bodies roughly on the ground. In addition Col. Oku together with others specifically shot Ahmad and Hameed. Ali was a witness to this beastly wickedness meted on his brothers. He was shot on the leg. The leg was almost shattered. They thought he has died so he was lumped together with the dead and dropped at ABUTH Shika.  Allah saved him. They made several attempts at his life at the hospital when they later discovered that he did not die. Allah thwarted their effort.  He is now fully recovered and on his legs. The total death toll was thus 34.    

What was the motive behind this barbaric atrocity? The Federal Government stands to gain nothing from these murders and from the suppression of International Quds Day peaceful processions, the Nigerian Army stands to gain nothing from them. Looking at what they did, surely it was purely meant to protect the interest of Israel. This is a hatched strategic plan with intended far reaching consequences. The Nigerian Government through its Military murder apparatus was only used and Ebele together with Okus, Olukolades and Umamas, who are partners in crime, should not have been so dull and foolish to allow themselves to be abused to this extent. They execute Zionist dirty job on fellow citizens. What is their reward from those who consider them as goyims?.

This dastardly act by the Military was nothing but murder in cold blood. Their shameless mouthpiece said that it was the “Shiites” who opened fire on the soldiers. After all, it is known to all and sundry that the so called Shiites do not possess fire arms. (Note that mischief makers always want to label the Islamic Movement as Shiites in order to dissolve its universal nature and to portray it as purely sectarian. They are late). Of similar foolishness was the report on this incidence by the commandant of the Depot Nigerian Army Zaria Brig Gen., Fibion-Umama who wrote that there was “war” between soldiers and Shiites where they killed 17, captured 13 POW’s, including an ambulance. However no death no injury or any casualty on the part of the soldiers! What a war!

After mounted pressure both local and international, the Army, which kept mute for so long, rather reluctantly, set a biased dependent and kangaroo panel to investigate the issue. Despite their bias, they were moved when the CD plate of the incident was played to them by the representatives of El Zakzaky. They saw clearly restive, armed soldiers, unprovoked shooting at unarmed civilians including women and children! What a shame and act of cowardice! Their report is yet to be known for all this time talk less of seeing any action to that effect. Similar inaction is exhibited by the National Human Rights Commission. The culture of impunity in which soldiers oppress, torture and kill people without consequences has to stop and those who had done so must be brought to justice. If they cannot be patriotic enough to safeguard the dignity, blood and wealth of the citizenry, they do not deserve the stars on their shoulders. Thanks to Amnesty International terminology: Stars on their shoulders blood on their hands.

As pointed earlier, the issue of Zaria Quds 34 massacre was a clear case of murder in cold blood by the Army. This is more gruesome than the other charges of abuse of human rights. Hence, if the Government of the day could rightly constitute investigation based on the recommendations of AI., then the set up of similar panel is direly needed to look into Zaria Quds 34. Already the local Human Right Commission and the international Islamic Human Rights Commission have a lot of facts on this matter. We will never relent on our efforts of seeing that justice is done. People should always rise up to defend the oppressed. Threats, imprisonment, torture and killings can never deter those in struggle to exercise their right of freedom of association and expression. The precious blood of our martyrs shall continue to nourish the highly prosperous and impending Khomeini type revolution in Nigeria and indeed in the oppressed African continent.