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Mal. Kasimu and 111 Others Receive Grand Reception in Sokoto

By Ibrahim Usman
It’s the Triumph of Truth Over Falsehood”- Sheikh Zakzaky Imprisonment Strengthens Us”- Mal. Kasimu

It was an unprecedented and momentous gathering that Sokoto had not witnessed. People thronged in thousands to welcome Malam Kasimu Umar and 111 other Muslim brothers after 6 years of illegal incarceration in various prisons across the country, as a result of conspiracy by the Sokoto state government under Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako. Motorcade in grand style peacefully made a triumphant entry into the city of Sokoto penultimate Sunday carrying the prisoners of conscience from Kaduna through Zaria amidst cheering crowd of excited onlookers and jubilating well wishers.

Cheering groups along each town, village and hamlets right from Zaria came out with flags in solidarity with the Muslim Brothers. At Shuni, outskirt of Sokoto, mammoth crowd gathered to receive Malam Kasimu and other Brothers for a triumphant entry into Sokoto. On entry the convoy of supporters moved to the stadium, where Malam Kasimu addressed the people and thanked them for the support despite the persecution faced. For so many crowds flooding the city, the programme had to be cut short.

Despite this peaceful and joyful gathering, some hoodlums with dangerous weapons barricaded the Ahmadu Bello Way, close to the Sultan’s residence, and attacked the convoy. One brother was martyred as a result of the attack, many were injured. Dead bodies of two more Brothers were later identified martyred by the hoodlums in remote areas. Many people interviewed condemned the senseless attack, especially the indifference shown by the police which allowed the mayhem to be executed unhindered. The BBC Hausa Service had interviewed the state police commissioner on why the police were watching as the hoodlums launched the attack. His response was that, the police were helpless.

Prior to the victorious return to their hometown, the Muslim brothers were addressed by the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem  Zakzaky at the Hussainiyya Baqiyyatullah, Zaria, where he pointed out that the release of the brothers was an act of God to show their innocence, as well as dishonor and shame on the Sokoto state governor Aliyu Wammako and all those involved in the conspiracy. He also described their imprisonment as a test, which they have passed beyond reasonable doubt.

Sheikh Zakzaky also said, families of the affected people were also tested as a result of the illegal incarceration saying, “in the actual sense the families were the ones incarcerated and not the brothers, for the families had been in perpetual worry due to the complete absence of their spouses and fathers.” He said, Nigeria is still operating colonial prison rules in contrast to other countries, where a prisoner has complete freedom to visit and be visited by his families.

 He said, governor Wammako, as the chief security officer of Sokoto state, should be held responsible for all the heinous crimes committed on members of the Islamic Movement in the state. According to Sheikh Zakzaky, brothers in the state were subjected to untold hardship years  before their eventual arrest through various machinations using so-called Islamic scholars, hoodlums, traditional rulers and politicians. “We have neither forgotten nor forgiven. We have comprehensive list of all those involved and the role each played, but Wammako’s name stands out as the chief security officer of the state who gave the order and allowed the brutality to continue unhindered.  History and posterity will judge them.”

On the confiscation and destruction of the Brothers’ assets, Sheikh Zakzaky declared, “Our Markaz (Centre), confiscated and turned into a police station still belongs to us! The family house of Malam Kasimu demolished and turned into

government property still belongs to them! He (Wammako) should either give it up, or it will still come back to us and he will face double defeat and humiliation. These people were wrongly jailed for six years, they are now free. Others were forcibly banished from the city. They will now go back to their hometown, and none can stop them!” 

He urged the freed brothers and other brothers to remain steadfast and persevere in the cause of Allah, truth and justice. He also extended similar call to the people to use reason in the determining truth and falsehood, and avoid being used as agents of destruction on innocent people to please those in corridors of worldly power.

Earlier Malam Kasimu Umar, leader of the freed Sokoto brothers said, the incarceration had only strengthened their determination in the struggle. He said, they suffered all forms of persecution five years before their incarceration, “because of our allegiance to Sheikh Zakzaky and the Movement. We will neither retreat nor surrender.”

According to Malam Kasimu, the initial plan was not to jail them, but to kill them, which they thought will bring to end activities of the Islamic Movement in the Sokoto. “The whole aim was not us, but to get to the heart and root of the Islamic Movement under Sheikh Zakzaky. They have failed!” he pointed out. He thanked  Sheikh Zakzaky for his inspirational guidance and prayers throughout the years of hardship.

Among those who graced the occasion were, Alhaji Muhammad Gashash,  President, National Tranquility Movement and Pastor Yohanna Buru of the  Evangelical Church in Kaduna and Chairman, Peace Revival and Reconciliation  Movement. The brothers were earlier treated to special thanks-giving in Kaduna, after which they were escorted to Zaria.