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Remembering the 25th July Quds day killings

By Mahdi Garba
In 2014, the International Quds day was marked in 22 Nigerian cities peacefully as usual. But, Zaria’s procession ended bloody when the Nigerian military under the command of Lieutenant Colonel S. Okwu of Basawa barracks who were on a killing spree ambushed the peaceful protesters.

 The clandestine operation has left 34 unarmed civilians dead including 3 undergraduate sons of Sheikh Zakzaky, Ahmad, Hamid and Mahmoud. Many of the victims were killed in cold blood. During the attack, Shahid Mahmoud Zakzaky was shot at the spot but was still breathing. In the quest for medical care, all the routes leading to the hospital were blocked by the soldiers. Their, he gave up the ghost. Before his martyrdom, he was a student of Al-Mustapha International University, Beirut were he studies Islamic studies.

Also, he initiated a website (imnig.org) were Sheikh Zakzaky’s lectures are aired and articles discussing good governance, Islamic reawakening and justice for humanity are published. Ahmad, Hamid, Ali Zakzaky and other brothers were whisked away by the soldiers to Basawa barracks and tortured to death. Though, Ali survived with gunshots and a fractured leg. But an irony of life is Ali was killed by the same Nigerian soldiers under the command of the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff Maj. Gen TY Buratai last year during the crackdown on members of the Islamic movement on 12 December. Ahmad Zakzaky, 24, a student of Chemical Engineering at Shenyang University, China was expected to graduate in April 2015 but the cruel members of the murderous Army dashed his hope.

He was electrocuted, tortured and shot to death by the same soldiers at Basawa Barracks Zaria and his body disposed to Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital, Shika. Nevertheless, his Brother Hamid Zakzaky, 22, was a first-year student of Aeronautical Engineering at Xian University of Technology, China experienced the same brutality with his brothers. Before, proceeding to China for studies he was engaged in craftmanship. He arrived home on Saturday 19 July, and was killed 5 days after in cold blood. Meanwhile, Mr Julius Anyanwu, 66, a Christain who owns a capentary workshop was also shot to dead. His only sin is asking them the reason for shooting the peaceful protesters. On 26th July, a day after, the Nigerian military attacked Hussainiyya Baqiyatullah where they killed two more people.

All the corpses were buried according to Islamic rites in Jannatu Darur Rahma cemetery where marytrs of the movement are buried but it was demolished by Kaduna state government during its recent clampdown. In the aftermath of the massacre, the atrocities of the military has attracted local and international condemnation from individuals, CSOs, religious bodies, clerics, and media personalities among others. In a bid to remember and immortalize these fallen heroes, the Islamic movement in Nigeria under the leadership of his eminence Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky has opened its maiden Annual International Quds day and exhibition, last year.

It was first of it nature in the Africa. It was marked in Nigeria’s capital, featuring pro-palestinian figures. The next one is in the pipeline.

Register here qudsconf.org