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Sheikh Zakzaky (H) interview with BBC Hausa PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 22 March 2022 17:09

SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: As you know, after the 'Waqi'a', we were taken away, bloodied. Many people, not only me, about 500 people were taken away in a bloodied state. Among them were men, women and children. Later on, they released the women and the children. They kept reducing the number (of detainees) until they left (imprisoned) about 153 in Kaduna. 

Meanwhile, they headed off to Abuja with two of us, my wife and I. Initially, they took us to a military hospital, before transferring us to the State Security Hospital. From there, our hospitalization came to an end; we had stayed for about three months in hospitals, from December to March (of the year 2015).
BBC HAUSA: So you spent three months in hospital(s)?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Yes, that's right, because I could only be moved, due to the shattering of (the bones of) my right thigh. Not that it was broken, rather, it was shattered. Likewise, my left hand.
BBC HAUSA: About how many shots do you think were made at your hand and leg?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Multitudes of shots, because about four people rained bullets in the small room where we were in.
BBC HAUSA: So You saw them?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Of course, I saw them. They came right in front of us. It was even my wife...
BBC HAUSA: Even though they came directly in your presence, didn't you think of changing position or moving to another room?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: The way it happened was, they saw us immediately they opened (the door of the room), and said 'Here are some more!' They asked my wife to remove her clothing. When she declined, they just declared, 'Fire!' They rained bullets until the room became stuffy; all one could see was smoke, and (there was) the pungent smell of smoking bullets. At that time, two of my children were by my right, my wife was in front of me while some of my other children were by my left. In summary, one of my sons on the right, who was a thirteen-year-old, got shot on his... (pointed at forehead).
BBC HAUSA: Like how many of your own children did you lose at that time?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: At that time, three of my sons were with me, and a daughter. There were also some foster children...
BBC HAUSA: So four of your own children, three sons and one daughter, at that time, were...
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: ...we were together with them. That's right, when (the soldiers) opened fire. Then there were some foster children, two females, and also some disciples with whom we were together in the house. Anyway, as I was recounting to you, when they (the armed personnel) opened fire, a bullet passed through my son's forehead.
BBC HAUSA: But reports that reached us then showed that perhaps Akramakallah refused to agree to be taken away, that was why they did....
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: No, they just opened (their) fire. Immediately they said, 'Remove those clothes,' and she responded that she wouldn't, they said 'Fire!' Indeed, they'd come (prepared) for murder. And they had actually murdered hundreds before reaching us. They had raised the house to the ground; they thought we had gotten burnt (along with it).
BBC HAUSA: But when they came and opened fire, Akramakallah, didn't you think of going out (to meet them), maybe to bring an end to it (the attack), perhaps....
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: They didn't really give us any chance; they didn't speak to anyone. What I even noticed was that they had only arrived to kill, that's it. They only arrived to murder, nothing (else), and the murder was their only objective.
BBC Hausa: At the time, weren't you apprehensive that perhaps they'd kill you too?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: I wasn't really apprehensive; Allah forbid that I feel apprehensive. There was one who asked whether I wanted to 'relocate'. I replied that Allah forbid, there's no way that my life is being hunted and I'd go to another place, and (while) people have been killed before reaching me. Therefore, they (the adversaries) should meet their goal to murder me; I'm waiting for the murder, not something else.
BBC Hausa: So at the time when they entered, perhaps no matter what they'd arrived with, even if they were going to shoot at the face or other parts of the human body, Akramakallah would've remained unfazed?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: That was indeed what we were waiting for. I actually cut the long story short for you, because they arrived since on Saturday and opened fire at 10:30pm on that day I think 12th December, 2015. They passed he night shooting and continued ruthlessly in the morning till around 12pm in the afternoon. At that time, they had killed hundreds, and then they set fire to the house. Before setting the house on fire, they had announced that the people in the house should either go out (to them) or they'd level down the house on them.
BBC Hausa: But after you were shot, it happened that there were times when we interviewed your near ones who said that one each of your hands and feet (were injured), (and) you couldn't walk on the (injured) leg at the time?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: I am taking you (to that). They had threatened us to get out or get the house leveled to the ground atop us. So at the time, we only prostrated and waited for the house to be leveled atop us. But then we saw that they set fire (to the house). That was why we resolved that it'd be better if we emerged and they shot us, rather than get consumed by fire. You understand, right? That was how we found (our way to) a small room, which we (earlier) used as a laundry room. When they burnt down he house, we spent the night in the (laundry) room.
BBC Hausa: You and the whole family?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Yes. And then in the morning, when they arrived on Monday and found us, that was when they opened fire in us. That's how it happened. And as I told you before, they indeed killed three of my children instantly, as for me, they dragged me because I couldn't walk. They could only drag (me).
BBC Hausa: How is the health of the leg and hand now?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: We thank Allah. We thank Allah due to the fact that we really saw the (absolute) power of Allah (T), because my daughter, who was with me, was among those that witnessed it; she can even bear witness. They were the ones who tied the leg; the bones were protruding, shattered, likewise the hand. But by the power of Allah, (we were brought here) First, they took us to 44 Hospital in Kaduna. Or let me say they first took us to Depot (in Zaria), (where) they stopped the blood flow, then proceeded to 44, where they set the bones. Then they they took us to the military hospital here in Abuja, but when they scanned (the limb), they said that the bones werent even broken. You understand? Therefore, its the will of Allah that what was hitherto shattered was kept (intact) for me by Allah. Likewise, my eye that bulged out, when a bullet was lodged in my right eye, (but) by the power of Allah, we are grateful to Allah.
BBC Hausa: And both eyes can (now) be seen with?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Yes, in sha Allah Here they are (Theyre usable).
BBC HAUSA: There was a time when it was spread that Akramkallah was sick, and that you needed to be taken abroad together with Malama (SheikhZakzakys wife). The trip was made but then it was like the health wasnt restored fully when you returned. What happened at the time? People thought you were severely sick in need of (urgent) medical attention, but then you were seen (sitting) on a chair and so on
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: No, that wasnt how it happened. Actually, (regarding) the first doctors, we got approval (from the authorities) for them to come and check up on us. And they came. We invited doctors from abroad and they came. Three of them were Indians, one from London, another from Tanzania. Well, when they came and checked our health condition, they saw problems that surpassed the (available) infrastructure and they said they couldnt do it.
For example, there are bullets lodged in Malamas body. They removed (some), but there was one lodged in her waist, which they said they couldnt remove here. And then her situation had worsened to the point that her knee joint had melded with the bones Theres an operation where the knee joint could be removed and replaced with another. She needed that, because she couldnt walk; she used a battery-powered chair.
And then I also had some shrapnel scattered in my body, which till now, they said they cant remove, especially those in the head. But even the doctors who came said that they could be removed abroad. And theres poison from the lead shrapnel pieces that can also be removed. You understand, right? The things that actually took us abroad were these operations. When we went, they (the doctors) appeared ignorant of the illness plaguing us. They said they had to check to see what the matter was
BBC Hausa: The hospital you went to?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Thats true
BBC Hausa: Did you choose the hospital yourself or was it chosen by the government?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: We chose it, paid our (plane) ticket fare, (and) took ourselves to India; not that we were taken. And an agreement was made with our doctors that were there; it was arranged that we would go there and the operations would be conducted with them. But when we arrived there, we met a situation where the Nigerian government had already concluded its own arrangements with the Indian government regarding an entirely different procedure. When we went there, we saw that they were not even going to include our doctors in the operations. At first, they specified that they (our doctors) could only watch, then they later said that they wouldnt even be allowed to enter the operating theatre at all. So we saw that this wasnt what took us there.
And they also said that they had no business with the (medical) record(s) we took along with us, because some check-ups and x-rays were done here (in Nigeria), they said they had no business with the record(s) we took with us. (They said) theyd be the ones to determine our problems and make prescriptions for us. So you see, in a nutshell, Nigeria (the Nigerian government) was the one stipulating what they should do to us. We objected that this wasnt what we arranged, we chose doctors that would operate on us, we chose the hospital where we should be operated in, but you (the Nigerian government) have spoilt everything. Instead of you to watch, you have interfered with mouths and hands and legs! You have scuttled everything. You see, in the end, when they saw that what they planned to do to us wasnt possible, and the Indian masses were disturbing them with protests and were even going to the Nigerian Embassy in throngs, they packed us without notice and brought us back to Abuja. This is (what happened) in brief.
BBC Hausa: Well, now that the search for cure has been continued here, how is Akramakallahs health?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Well, now, we know what is wrong with us, and we know what should be done to (for) us. For example, like I said, my wife has a bullet lodged in a location where it should be removed from, but it cant be removed here. You understand? That should be removed. And then her knee joint should be changed. This bullet in her body often triggers a painful experience for her, which usually makes her
BBC Hausa: Now, is there a plan for going abroad?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Well, yes, if were allowed to go, right? We have actually been denied permission. As for me, I have lead shrapnel pieces that should be removed and the (lead) poison expelled. In addition, theres need for another operation in my eye, because I have been already operated on twice here. The first was satisfactory, but in the second, there was a problem.
BBC Hausa: But has a request been made to the Nigerian authorities to allow the trip overseas?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Well, you understand, since they actually charged us to court on an alleged crime, and the court absolved us of all charges, and we were acquitted without conditions, we have the freedom to go anywhere we want, right? But they denied us our exit papers; they withheld our passports and refused to give them back. Our passports before the Waqia were actually burnt down along with the house. When we were about to go to India the other time, they were the ones that gathered information from our old passports; we didnt go to the office to get new ones. Since the required information was available on record, along with signature, pictures and everything, there was no need to ask again. They did what is termed retrieving in English; (the information) was retrieved from the previous ones. Well, the retrieved ones are the ones that they have refused to give us till date. Even if they say that they have lost it, all they need to do is to go back to their records and produce new ones.
BBC Hausa: Are there measures youre taking to see that your passports are given (back) to you?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: We have followed all the necessary procedures; theres no requirement that we havent fulfilled. Its a long story, and we have been doing this all these months. It got to a point that we charged them to court when we saw that they had no intention of giving the passports. And we saw that the Immigration should produce it, but when they also refused, the SS and the Attorney General, who were charged to court, said that they didnt withhold the passport, that it got lost, bla bla bla We responded that since thats the case, the Immigration (office) should produce it. When they also played around, we charged them to court. This last Monday, a court sitting was held. Instead of the case to be heard, we discovered that the Judge had taken the case to the Chief Judge. When the Chief Judge was approached, he said that the case wasnt taken to them. So now, courts are just meddling with us.
BBC Hausa: When 'things' happened in Zaria, there was a grave condition that was experienced. Are there plans of Malam going back to Zaria to build his residence, a school and so on?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: In sha Allah. Nothing will stop that. However, what is (currently) bothering us is our health condition. Thats why you see, our bodies health first before any other thing. But returning all our buildings that have been demolished and every other thing
BBC Hausa: And you're planning on doing that again in Zaria?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: In sha Allah! In sha Allah! Just like we'll continue doing everything we were doing before; nothing will be stopped.
BBC Hausa: But when those problems were encountered, there was a bit of disuniry among the neighbors; some supported the government while others supported you and your actions. How do you see neighborhood relations, where some jubilate when something happens to you while others mourn?
SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: Well, it's left for them, really. The thing is, when this thing was done, the government had scared the people. Or don't you understand? Therefore, some said what they said in fear, due to fear of the authorities, without the words necessarily being their opinion. Now, after some time, you will see that the situations and some things will not be the same as before. Now, everybody just hears the authorities. Everybody knows it (in its true sense). The ones that hastened to praise them before will tell you a different thing (now).
Digital & Translation Team , Academic Forum of the Islamic movement
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter Handle: @afimn14

sheikh zakzaky interview with BBC

sheikh zakzaky interview with BBC

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 March 2022 19:19