12-14 December, 2015 will forever remain in our minds, because they were the days when Buhari regime exhibited its worst brutality in its effort to annihilate the Islamic Movement and its Leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. During these dark days bullets were rained on our Leader and his wife, who were then drag in their own blood out of their house, after 1000+ of his followers were killed in cold blood.
Indeed such injustice is unprecedented in the history of this country.
We haven’t forgotten and will never forgive the atrocities committed by the Nigerian Army on those dark murky days. Its precisely three years when that gruesome murder took place in Zaria and our Leader incarcerated with bullets wounds. It’s precisely three years when the residence of our Leader in Gyallesu quarters was demolished after it was burnt down with the holy Qur’an and other Islamic books it contained. It’s precisely three years when our Islamic centre, Husainiyya Baqiyyatullah was razed to ground after a massive bom was fired on it as if in a battle front.
It is also precisely three years when our film village at Darur Rahma was demolished after some of the graves inside the complex were exhumed. It is precisely three years when the house of the mother of our Leader in Jushi quarters was demolished. It is precisely three years when the Governor of Kaduna state, Elrufa’I ordered that at least 347 of those killed by the Army in Zaria were buried in a mass grave, without due Islamic burial rights observed, without differentiating men from women, without the consent of their families, with some buried even with their lives.
This public release is too short to refresh our memories of all the atrocities that were meted on us the followers of Sheikh Zakzaky after those dark three days in states like Kano, Katsina, Plateau, Kaduna and the federal capital territory, Abuja. If we claimed that within these three years about 2000 of brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria were killed by the authorities, it won’t be a surprise.
We are proud of the fact that we have never been convicted of murder; we are always the victims of murder. That is why those fronting for oppressors in the name of coalition for civil rights organization, calling for designating the Islamic Movement as a terror group will not be acceptable to the majority of Nigerians and the international community.
Two years ago, our Leader Shaikh Zakzaky approached a federal high court demanding for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights and secured a historic victory over the federal government of Buhari. It still baffles right thinking Nigerians as to why a person who was pronounced free by a federal high court, is still being illegally incarcerated. And now shamelessly they are trying to portray his detention is a legal one simply because they arraign him before a Kaduna state high court of trump up charges. If at all they are a government of following due process, why won’t they obey the first court order freeing our Leader, instead choose to continue detaining him on the clout of another court’s trial? From the foregoing it is clear that Sheikh Zakzaky is illegally being detained because of his Islamic faith, turning him into a prisoner of faith.
Let’s not forget that in 2016, the judicial commission of inquiry set up by Kaduna state government recommended that the military officers that spearheaded the attack on the Islamic Movement should be tried for using gruesome tactics in killing hundreds of people in Zaria. However the Kaduna state prosecutors turned a blind eye to this important recommendation and instead chose to prosecute 177 people, who barely escaped with their lives during those dark three days of December, 2015. Where is the justice here? Is the Kaduna state government saying that the soldiers that killed 1000+ plus Nigerians are above the law and among the untouchables of this country?
Indeed these three painful years have proved that the hawks within the Buhari administration do not give a damn about lying to the public to protect their misdemeanor, and to them the shedding of innocent blood is not a big deal. In the beginning they claimed that brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement blocked the path of Gen. Buratai, that is why the genocide occurred. When they realized that the public won’t but to their deceit, they started claiming we are lawless, prone to violence, causing public disturbances and even claimed we do not believe in the cooperate existence of the Nigerian state. Even now whenever we are about to gather peacefully in Kaduna and Abuja, trucks loaded with security agents are sent to intimidate us into violence, and battle ready to shed our blood.
But why all these oppressive measures against us? Is it because we are aliens, not Nigerian citizens? Is it because we are not Muslims? Is it because we have no rights under the constitution that must be protected or what? Nobody can dispute the fact that there is no law that has allowed the daily persecution we are facing today. This government is simply carrying out a state sponsored terrorism against us.
We will not relent on our effort to show to the world that we are being treated unjustly by this brutal regime. We have suffered enough injustice more than any other group of people in this country, even though we have adopted peaceful and legal means to seek redress for the severe persecution we are in now. We will not detour from this noble path of seeking justice, until it is served.
That is why as we mourn the third anniversary of our persecution at the hands of Buhari regime, we once again reiterated our call for the release of our Leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his wife and other Muslim brothers and sister still incarceration unjustly. We will not rest on our oars, till we achieve our goal, justice served to the victims of these 3 years of strangulation by the Military and other security agencies, or we die doing exactly that as martyrs.
Peace be upon the followers of the right path
SHEIKH ABDULHAMID BELLO ZARIA