By Abdulmumin Giwa
19th of August every year is set aside to commemorate the International Humanitarian Day by the United Nations. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon described the day as “an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering. It is also an occasion to honor the humanitarian workers and volunteer toiling on the frontlines of crises.”
I commemorate this day with a spirit of respect honor to the most deserving leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN)Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky who had paid the ultimate price in all aspects of life for being the greatest humanitarian ever in Nigeria.
In his humanitarian gesture, the revered leader of the IMN had paid the price for his dedication to fairness and justice to humanity standing for it at all cost.
It would be remembered how he provided humanitarian services and saved the lives of hundreds of innocent non-Muslims/indigenes in Zaria in 2011. This was at the risk of everything he had. The Buhari CPC political party lost in the Nigerian general elections of 2011 and his ardent supporters went on rampage killing non-Muslims/indigenes, destroying and also looting their property in many places in northern Nigeria, Zaria inclusive.
Those that were faced with the Buhari’s CPC killings after the 2011 general elections including Igbos resident in Zaria and students of tertiary institutions close to the Gyallesu residence of Sheikh Zakzaky in Zaria including Federal College of Education and Ahmadu Bello University Zaria took refuge at the residence of the Sheikh Zakzaky for safety and protection being the only island in the sea of deadly political killings by CPC members.
They were saved and protected from the CPC political thugs and would always live to remember him for providing them with a protection that saved them from those wild Buhari supporters in 2011. In fact they paid him an appreciation visit for helping them remain alive.
The revered leader of the Movement has also saved several lives by volunteering the services of his ISMA medical initiative to the main Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital ABUTH in Shika near Zaria whenever health workers go on strike due to poor conditions of service by the Nigerian government.
Patients and sick people in the ABUTH received free medical attention and medication for the entire period of the crises from the medical workers of Sheikh Zakzaky.
The services of the Sheikh’s medical initiative extend to the general public and the needy in various communities as well where affected persons are treated free-of-charge.
Within his residential area, his ambulance is readily available to the needy in case of any emergency at any hour of the day.
This is aside from other community activities embarked upon by his followers in various communities in Nigeria. They have provided boreholes, constructed drainages and cleared places of undue refuse in various communities. This is not mentioning the free lessons to students sitting for examinations and community-based first aid training and awareness as well as scholarship to the less privileged poor neglected by Nigerian government.
More so, as part of his humanitarian services, the revered leader of the IMN had received letters of appreciation consecutively for three years from the National Blood Transfusion Service NBTS. This is as a result of his commitment to saving the lives of those needy of blood to survive.
He instructed his followers everywhere across the country to donate blood to save lives. While the NBTS is busy looking for people to help donate blood and are hardly receiving responses, the followers of Sheikh Zakzaky under his guidance invite the NBTS to collect blood consecutively for 10 days every year from as many of his followers as possible. This is done every year during the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husain AS where donating blood for humanity was part of the 10-days annual event.
One could imagine how many lives he had saved providing thousands of pints of blood to humanity. Such blood might have even been used on some of those soldiers that killed his six children.
Due to government irresponsibility, a lot of people are forced to be living in abject poverty and hunger and things are even getting worse with the advent of the Byuhari regime today in which millions of people hardly feed two times daily. They are surviving far below the UN estimated poverty level without any positive response from the government. As part of his annual humanitarian gesture the leader of IMN had fed hundreds of such needy people every month of Ramadan in Zaria.
Even during the recently concluded Ramadan those needy people were remembered by him even as he is under illegal abduction by the Buhari regime. He fed them as usual but the Nigerian government paid thugs to go and seize the food from the beneficiaries lest they have any pity or support for him. That was how the government-sponsored thugs went on rampage seizing food items from the needy and littering the streets with it leaving the people hungry.
The revered leader of the IMN had also saved neglected youth from delinquencies founded by government irresponsibility. Due to lack of employments and life opportunities a lot of youth have engaged in drug related crimes like becoming community thugs most of whom are employed by the politicians to serve their personal greed. The IMN leader saved many of such youth through his enlightenment and positive mobilization programs. He gave meaning to their lives and were saved from the exploits of wicked politicians the like of whom that went on rampage killing innocent citizens on ethno-religious basis any time they lose elections.
Sheikh Zakzaky speaks against the rampant violation of citizens’ rights by the authorities and their security agencies who use impunity to kill people extra-judicially at will.
The revered leader of IMN had always called for togetherness and oneness of purpose among Nigerians as against individualism and greed perpetrated and encouraged by Nigerian leaders.
The respected Sheikh is a major anti-graft advocate that has always spoken against corruption and discouraged his followers from it. No wonder none of his followers is mentioned anywhere corruption is identified unlike the CAN leader and the Wahhabis that received over N500 million each to pray for government.
It is his non-compromising stance against corruption that has made the present regime envious that they despise him lest e exposes their selective fight against corruption. They know the Sheikh is bold enough to speak against the use of impunity in the name of fighting corruption.
Hence they see him as an enemy because of the way he is enlightening humanity towards developmental progress, freedom from exploitation and emancipation from imperialism and neocolonialism. The Nigerian government and leaders on the other hand advocate and practice subjugation and suppression through outright submission to the tenets of global imperialism.
Indeed Sheikh Zakzaky is the big heart that withstood the test of time and is the only clear hope for Nigeria today.
More so, it is on record that the revered leader of the IMN is the pioneer of peace promotion and harmonious coexistence amongst the diverse northern divides. For this he had even received award from the Kaduna state government when Colonel Sarki Mukhtar was Governor.
The Sheikh’s famous Unity Week is meant for uniting the warring sectarian Islamic extremists groups calling on them to live with those things that unite them and discard those things on which they differ through mutual understanding and respect.
These qualities of his have attracted not only the Muslims but also the Christians who see an exemplary Muslim in him. A Muslim that gives them shelter and protection, whose followers join them in celebrating Christmas and also invite them to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad with them. They see future and hope for Nigeria in a scholar that truly believes in and practices unity in diversity. This has earned him recognition and respect from various Christian and Muslim communities alike.
He is that humanitarian that speaks against the inhumanity labeled against the Palestinians by the Israelis. He condemns the suppression of Palestinians by the illegal state of Israel and calls for the emancipation of the Palestinians even as he is thousands of miles away from them.
It is even as a result of this that three of his undergraduate sons were abducted and tortured to death by the Nigerian Army along with 31 other followers of his.
Despite his large followership and loyalty he enjoys he called on his followers to remain calm and resolute and never to allow themselves be used as agents of bloodshed and this has saved even the country which no one would explain what would have been of Nigeria today if he acted otherwise.
This is a true humanitarian that identifies with the Palestinian course where women and children are mercilessly butchered by the illegal Israeli regime and their residences demolished in the occupied lands.
His humanitarian virtues remain uncountable that he spoke out clearly to make Nigerians understand that Boko Haram was and is still a government ploy. He calls on Nigerians not to give in to the plans of the imperialists who want to recolonize Nigeria and steal its resources by using stooges called leaders to create fear and tension among the people.
Sheikh Zakzaky no doubt remains the only remaining hope for Nigerians today after the practical failure of the current regime and the agents of imperialism and neocolonialism see him as a threat to them and so they used the state owned machinery to launch genocide on him and his followers.
They did all they could to kill him after killing over 1000 of his followers and injuring thousands. They killed three more of his children again making a total of six children killed within 18 months for his crime of being a humanitarian.
He still remains steadfast and committed to humanity as ever even as the imperialist government of Nigeria under Buhari is keeping him under illegal abduction and also denying him medical care in total contravention of the Nigerian constitution and yet the corrupt and wicked-minded people of impunity claim to be fighting corruption.
His message after the Zaria massacre is that of love for humanity asking his followers never to allow themselves to be used as tools of destabilizing the country and making it ungovernable to clear the space for the imperialists to come and steal resources to build their countries.
Against the expectations of the perpetrators of the Zaria massacre of December 2015, Sheikh Zakzaky called on his followers to seek redress through peaceful means and avoid falling into the trap of the imperialists and their agents.
He is hated by the imperialist because they see in him a bright future for Nigerians and must join hands with the unpatriotic and wicked Nigerian leaders to paint him black and extinguish his fast growing light from the heart of Nigerians lest they lose a country where they can fetch natural resources at will.
In return for power the wicked Nigerian leaders submit to the gods of global imperialism and would do anything to ensure they nurture the defeatist mentality of their people and disallow them becoming truly free and independent including killing over 1000 IMN members.
Definitely the best of humanitarians in this age is Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky who has paid the ultimate price for humanity.