By Ibrahim Usman
Absolute silence in the time of monumental deceit is the greatest tragedy to any society. To steer the society clear of this tragedy, Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky had always spoken against corruption, injustice and related vices. This earned him the wrath of all governments. No wonder, there were attempts by past governments to suppress and silence this popular voice of freedom, peace and justice without success.
However, there had never been so much blind desperation not only to cripple the Islamic Movement but to assassinate the Leader, as now in the reign of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Since the beginning of the official creation of insurgency nick-named ‘Boko Haram’ in Nigeria, Sheikh Zakzaky had consistently maintained that the so-called Boko Haram is nothing but a calculated attempt by Israel, U.S. and their allies to get to the root of the Islamic Movement, balkanize Nigeria and siphon its resources with maximum casualties.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the guidance of His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky had been the greatest threat to the achievement of this heinous agenda in Nigeria. On the other hand, the unpopular government in Nigeria under Ebele Jonathan wants to cling to power in spite of the myriad of problems it has created to the citizens. No wonder Ebele Jonathan accepted the contract to kill Sheikh Zakzaky as a pre-requisite to remain in office, unmindful of the consequences. As a result, prominent Islamic clerics, elder statesmen and politicians were assassinated, while attempts on the lives of many was made. As the last man standing, Sheikh Zakzaky has now become the prime target for assassination by the Nigerian government because he refused to keep silent in the face of injustice, corruption and oppression being perpetrated by the government in power.
In the early hours of June 14, 2014, heavy armed and masked military men stormed residence of Sheikh Zakzaky with full intent to kill, but were repelled. The night before, snipers tried to lay ambush on his convoy, which also failed. This came about a day after the Sheikh exposed a plan to assassinate him in before the end of the month of Ramadan. Since then, he became target of direct assassination through various strategies. When all attempts failed, on July 25, 2014, the Nigerian military attacked the International Quds Day procession and killed 3 of Sheikh Zakzaky’s sons and 31 others. Over 100 were rendered injured.
Not satisfied with killing his sons and followers, the hunt for Sheikh Zakzaky’s life intensified through various dubious strategies since the beginning of month of Muharram. For four consecutive days from November 11, 2014, the hunt became more intense and with blind desperation. Armed military vehicles with combat-ready plain clothes personnel had been trailing Sheikh Zakzaky’s convoy in all the routes to and from Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah, where he delivers lectures.
As the attempts become more desperate and obvious, there is urgent need for Nigerians within and in diaspora, and all peace-loving groups and individuals across the globe to be aware and bear witness to this evil plot. For it is an ill wind that will blow to the country no good.
Sheikh Zakzaky is widely acclaimed and placed in the rank of the most peaceful Islamic clerics in the world, as such attack on him is equivalent to attack and disruption of genuine peace. This, the world must vehemently condemn and oppose.
In view of the above, Nigerian government must hands-off and steer clear of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, for in the event of any eventuality the world will never keep silent, as it did not when the Nigerian military killed his sons and followers.