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Re-Why we are holding Sheikh Zakzaky –Garba Shehu

By Abdulmumin Giwa

The Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu has stated on Tuesday while addressing State House correspondents on the success made by Muhammadu Buhari administration since coming to power in 2015 that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is still in detention for his own safety.

He claimed that the government was fearful of breakdown of law and order if the IMN leader was allowed to go home claiming that government has responsibility to ensure his safety. 

The presidential spokesman also claiĥmed that Sheikh Zakzaky is not in a prison type detention claiming that he is in company of his wife and children voluntarily.

The claim that Sheikh Zakzaky is being detained for his safety is one of the usual shameless lies fed to the public by this Buhari led administration. The IMN leader is being held by the government as a way of dowsing down the tension they have generated with the Zaria massacre where they committed crimes against humanity.

It was the Nigerian Army that attacked the IMN members and killed about 1000 of them in cold blood including women and children, burning some alive, cutting the breasts of women with bayonets and punching them on the private parts with sharp objects. 

The same Nigerian army used heavy weapons on unarmed civilians like Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) and Automatic Machine Guns in the attack without any provocation.

They attempted to hide the heinous crime by taking the corpses about 100km away from the scene of the massacre to bury them in mass graves at night only for their Kaduna government partners to reveal one of the mass graves in which they buried 347 IMN members some of who were buried alive.

It was the same army that set the residence of the IMN leader ablaze and killed three of his young sons ruthlessly while the IMN leader was shot severally with the intention of assassinating him. His wife was also shot severally by the Nigerian army while his elder sister and nephew were burned alive. 

The IMN leader was then abducted and taken to Abuja where he has been for over 500 days now without any charges at all in contravention of the Nigerian Constitution. 

Everyone across the world is aware that the IMN leader was attacked by the Nigerian Army and has been in illegal detention thereafter, where then do the lies emerged that he is being willfully protected?

It is clear that the revered IMN leader’s life was threatened by the Muhammadu Buhari’s regime when it attempted to kill him, disperse his followers and ban the Movement.

The IMN leader has been kept incommunicado such that not even his lawyers were allowed to see him and that was how he won his case when he challenged his illegal detention before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

This same lie was presented before the court by the Nigerian government claiming the IMN leader was kept in protective custody with his own consent to which the judge threatened asking them to produce him before the court to confirm it. The government lawyers systematically withdrew that claim to avoid bringing him to court so that nobody could hear from him.

From this account and many more, if there was any threat to the life of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, such a threat is the Muhammadu Buhari regime that clampdown on the IMN killing his children and followers and destroying their property.

If the government was serious why wasn’t any soldier arrested and tried for mass murdering innocent unarmed civilians? Why is the government pretending not to see the series of attacks that followed the Zaria massacre in which several people were murdered while it remained mute?

Why is the Buhari regime refusing to obey court judgment by releasing the IMN leader, providing a house for him in any state of his choice and paying him damages? Are all these part of saving his life? Let them prove this to the world by simply allowing the IMN leader address the press to confirm their claim.

You can’t attack him and his wife, kill three of his children and almost a thousand of his followers, demolish his Islamic center, destroy his mother’s tomb and burn down his residence and claim that you are protecting him. This is insane. If your claim that government has responsibility to ensure the IMN leader’s safety why then did you attempt eliminating him?