By Mahdi Garba
The President’s infamous Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu who speaks on behalf of the failed Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari has once again goofed. In his unending bid to protect the unprotectable president that personifies failure and cruelty, Shehu crashed like a pack of cards.
The statement issued on 19 July, 2019 by the president’s mouthpiece titled, "Let the Court Decide El-Zakzaky’s fate" which was supposedly aimed at exonerating his paymaster from the war crimes committed in Zaria and the injustice being meted against Sheikh Zakzaky exposed as a poor messenger. He ended up bringing to limelight what has remain hidden to the public, until that statement.
The latest rantings of the President’s spokesperson shows that the guns they had thought could stop supporters of Sheikh Zakzaky from marching peacefully in the streets of Abuja have ostensibly failed.
In the mischievous statement released by the Presidency through one of its Trojan horses, Garba Shehu hypocritically shown that the Muhammadu Buhari- led autocratic government has no hands in the "trial" of Sheikh Zakzaky, as though his readers are people with little or zero knowledge about governance and how governments operate.
It is noteworthy that Sheikh Zakzaky is not on trial. What the Federal Government and Kaduna State Government want Nigerians to see as a trial is a calculated attempt to use the judicial arm in assassinating Sheikh Zakzaky after meeting their waterloo at the Federal High Court, Abuja where Justice Gabriel Kolawole described the continued detention as illegal, issued a verdict to free Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife and compensate them.
The Federal Government’s utter disdain for court orders manifested once more to all people of conscience around the world. In April 2017, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Garba Shehu had said they are challenging the verdict at the apex court. Two years after the latter is trying to extricate his handlers from the continued detention cum attempt to assassinate Sheikh Zakzaky.
In the Presidency’s recent pernicious statement, the peaceful protests calling for the unconditional release of Sheikh Zakzaky in Abuja are violent. He forgot to tell Nigerians an instance where the protesters started attacking themselves, if there is such. The protests are always peacefully conducted except in situations where the government sends its security operatives turn it into a chaotic scene by shooting live ammunition on the peaceful protesters.
The fears of the President and his acolytes is that the peaceful protests in Abuja are gaining momentum, with myriad of people identifying with the cause. Obviously, this is the reason Garba Shehu wants the supporters of Sheikh Zakzaky out of Abuja forgetting that prior to Zaria massacre and the incarceration of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria there were no such processions in the country’s capital. If the Presidency is sad about this development, it should stop concocting fictitious claims.
Shehu’s evasion of the reasons for the renewed protests by supporters of Sheikh Zakzaky only makes one question his sense of reasoning, which is the failing health of the ailing leader. The news of a toxicologist confirming high lead, cadmium in the body and two mild strokes seems to have escaped the memory of Buhari’s stooge, Shehu while writing his statement that is full of fallacies and half-truths.
Sheikh Zakzaky’s "assassination in progress" by the Federal Government is now a household phrase in Nigeria following the toxicologist’s revealation that there are poisonous substances in the body of the beleaguered leader of the Islamic Movement, yet he finished his vituperations without a mention of it. Garba Shehu’s recent logorrhea is dangerous which makes it akin to the last kicks of a dying horse, they don’t last.
The series of previous protests calling for the unconditional release of Sheikh Zakzaky in the Federal Capital Territory are just a tip of an iceberg. More protests are underway until Sheikh Zakzaky and Malama Zeenah regain their freedom.