By Ibrahim Usman
Muslims in Nigeria under the leadership of His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, Saturday (13/09/20014) remembered martyrs killed by the despotic regime of late General Sani Abacha on September 13, 1996. The bloody Friday in September followed a demonstration over the arrest of Sheikh Zakzaky by the then military regime on September 12 of the same year.
At an event to commemorate the day which took place at the Zaria city Juma’a mosque, Sheikh Abdul Hamid Bello described the day as historic in the life span of the Movement that is worthy of remembrance.
Sheikh AbdulHamid Bello, who is also the Director of Martyrs’ Foundation (Mu’assatu Shuhada’u) gave brief account of the security brutality, which led to the death of several members of the Movement and subsequent crackdown across the country.
He said, the unfortunate incident was meant to suppress and totally crush the Movement in its quest for justice and fair play, but what followed was victory on the side of the Movement and failure on the part of the government.
According to him, the regime failed in so many ways as in its plan to kill leader of the Movement, instill fear in the members and completely wipe out the remembrance of the Movement in the heart of the people. “Instead, Allah wiped out leader of the despotic regime. But here we are remembering our martyrs and adoring our Leader”, he added.
Sheikh AbdulHamid Bello described the September 13 as “an attempted attempt”, which he said should have been a good lesson to subsequent regimes.
He described the International Quds Day killings on July 25, 2014 as continuation of the September 13 1996 atrocity saying, “At the end of it all, the Movement emerged stronger and popular beyond imagination of the oppressors. On the other hand, the oppressors emerged weaker and widely condemned”.
He therefore urged people to be steadfast in the way of Allah through sincere devotion. “That is our weapon with which we won many battles, triumphed over oppressors and remained unshaken throughout the period. Above all, we have an unmatched Leader on whose guidance we always turn to”.
Highlight of the occasion was award presentation to the best contributors of Martyrs’ dues. Dokan Tagwai became overall winner, followed by Imam Sadiq (AS) circle, while Soba took the third position.
There was also a visit to the graveyard where the martyrs were buried. Thousands of people, men, women children and the aged staged a procession through the major street of the old Zaria city carrying pictures of the martyrs, reciting songs in praise of the martyrs.
At the graveyard, special prayers were offered for the martyrs with a call for special consideration on the dwelling place of the martyrs, as was being encouraged by Sheikh Zakzaky.
Sheikh AbdulHamid Bello urged people to always remember the martyrs in their prayers, and also expounded on the etiquettes of grave visitation.
Malam Badamasi Yaqoub said the closing prayer.