By Aliyu Smith Almusawi
Once upon a time when my friend, now martyred, invited me to his house to greet his affable and hospitable wife, I was gobsmacked to see a happy household as his wife and three rumbunctious children hospitably welcomed me with open hands and accomadated me for two days, and I was served with various sorts of food which made me believe that my friend did everything at his disposal to please and cater for his family members.
That was in 2015, now more than a year after the Zaria massacre, when I paid a visit to his wife to condole with her for the second time, I shed tears when I found them barely surviving on supports provided by Shuhada Foundation of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, and to sum up the case, she lives below survival. This is the case for many families whose breadwinners were kiled during the massacre in Zaria, Funtua and Kano.
Since the carnage committed against us by the Nigerian government in 2015, the numbers of stranded families have quadrapled which increased more pressure on the shoulders of Shuhadah Foundation to look after the food they eat and make sure they are properly educated. Don’t forget, we are millions in numbers in this country, but despite our unwavering donations to the Shuhada Foundation, our efforts to come to their rescue are in jeopardy. Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has recommended that every member donate 100 naira a month to support the families of our fallen heroes, martyrs, and the measure had, before the Zaria massacre, proved successful because the wives of the martyrs were being fed well and taken care of and their children were given best education. The Zaria incident has pushed the foundation to the limits, a series of fundrising campaigns were launched since the carnage, and the foundation has managed to surmount a lot of challenges such as the issues of catering for babies born shortly after incident. But in spite of all this, we must not rest our oars when it comes to contributing to the cause of Shuahada Foundation; we must not let the current economic hardship strangulate our efforts to help. Our martyrs are gone, but their families need us more than ever; let’s continue to put smiles on their faces by shrugging of economic woes to help them, let’s continue to double our efforts until we take their families to an island of hope and optimism and most of all, they should in no way be left in the lurch.