Skip to content Skip to footer

Zaria Massacre: Creating A State Within A State

By Saminu Azare
Every right thinking Nigerian who keeps himself abreast about the recent attack of Nigeria Army on members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Zaria which resulted the death of over one thousand innocent defenseless Nigerians at their Islamic center Hussainyya 
Bakiyatallah along Sokoto road G.R.A Zaria and resident of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzakyat Gyallesu on 12 and 13 December, 2015 need more clarifications.

The statements that came out from Nigerian President during his media chat with journalists generated mixed reactions from human right activists, media and legal practitioners instead of President Buhari to condemn the attacks, he blame Islamic Movement of creating a state within a state. Even if he did not say the action of Nigerian Military was right but his statement symbolized that the Zaria Massacre was in line with his interest or it was carried out with his instructions.

Before going further let me discuss the definition and concept of state by political theories so that Nigerians can easily judge the statement of President Buhari on IMN as a democratically elected president of Nigeria, whom have being struggling as the opposition leader for twelve years and also a former military dictator.

In the communist manifesto (it was written by both Marx and Engels) we find a simple definition of state. They have said that the state is the “political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power to one class for oppressing another”. “The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.

A state cannot exist without the government but government can exist even without the state. A state is composed of four elements to be called a state, such as territory for the people to live in and a government to set law and rules for the people to follow and a resource for the inhabitants to be enjoyed in the external control, but a government can exist without the state.

Best on this Marxist ideas on state how can Nigerians justify the statement of president Buhari that Islamic Movement of Nigeria is creating a state within a state, does Islamic Movement have a population different with other Nigerians? Does Islamic Movement have a territory boundary, a demarcated portion which differentiate it with other territory? Doesthe have a government that set its law and rules for the people to follow? Doesthe have the resources for the inhabitant to be enjoyed in the external control, but a government can exist without the state going by this definition of state by scholars of political thought there is no how a religious group can create a state within the state of the nation if that is so how many state do we have in Nigeria, for instance some religious group in Nigeria established hundreds of schools and universities like Catholic Church has university not only catholic church , others churches have universities, hospitals, companies, Orphanage houses, charitable organizations investment which their followers sponsor.

Islamic movement of Nigeria did not reach a standard of other religious group in Nigeria like Catholic Church or NASFAT that have investments of millions of Naira. The organizationsdoes not have any higher institutions of learning only few secondary schools with small libraries and inadequate laboratories their Islamic center “Hussainiya Bakiyahllahi” had few structures that could only accommodates less than twenty thousand worshippers at a time, the self-sponsor followers that did not defend on foreign financial aids like others.

Government is the instrument that provides mechanism in determining, formulating, and implement that policies of the state. It is the essential instrument or machinery of the state that carries out its will, purposed and objectives.

There is no any religious group in Nigeria either Islam or Christianity that performs the functions of government, no religious group that is responsible for formulation and implementing public policies, the functions of government and religious group are different, the religious group only conduct their religious activities based on the teaching of their beliefs, and their followers participate in every governmental activities, not only Islamic movement of Nigeria all religious groups have followers in different Ministries,Departments,Agencies, private sectors, human right activists media and legal practitioners and abides by rules of law of the Nigerian constitutions.

If Mr.President believes that there is a religious group that creates a state within a state let him tell the Nigerians if there is no followers of any religious group that does not have followers in the sectot that I mentioned. I wonder if hatred and hostilities of President Buhari made him blind and forgot that only Nigerian government not religion group that have Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers, does Islamic movement has its own supreme court, court of Appeal, High Court, Customary, Sharia Court and upper Area court?

I could remember in 2001 when the then President Obasanjo inaugurates Oputa Panel to investigate the human right abuses of Military rules, the Islamic movement had recognized it and reported human right abuses of its members under late Abacha’s regime.

There is no element of truth with the statement of 73 years old President Muhammadu Buhari alleging Islamic movement of creating a state within a state, because many IMN members who were killed by Nigeria Army are students of various Universities for example, Muhammed Awwal Muhammed 200 level student of Petroleum Engineering ATBU, Fatima M. Lawal 100 level student of Biology Umaru Musa Yar’adua Katsina, Majahid Abdulqadir Pharmacy student of University of Maiduguri, Ukasha Idris Ibrahim Diploma of Accounting Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi, Buhari Bello Jega PHD student Department of Political Science University of Abuja, Nusaba Abubakar Zaki 200 level student of Geography department University of Abuja, Fatima Abubakar Zaki student FCT College of Education, Hassan Isah Waziri and Fatima Isah Waziri both of them were children of Dr. Isa Waziri Gwantu a lecturer of University of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, the above were members of Islamic movement of Nigeria whom are under graduate of various Universities in Nigeria that were extra-judicially killed by Nigeria Army on 12 and 13 December 2015, if the above named students did not recognize a constitute authority of Nigeria government as alleged by Nigerian Authority they would have not gone to their to study and comply the school rules and regulations.

But unfortunately the Nigerians President neither condemned the Zaria killing nor condoles the families of the victims as a gently man of 73 years old, family man with children he should have value the lives of thousand innocents Nigerians, as a President that is enjoying the mandate of electorates, having sworn with the holy Quran on May 29, 2015 to protect the spirit and liberty of Nigerians constitution and the interest of Nigerians irrespective of their ethnics, religions and political background.

Nevertheless, Nigerians and the world would never forget the atrocities of Nigerian Army and the silent of President Buhari on the matter the man whom Nigerians jubilated when he was announced the President elect of the most populous black nation in the world.

President Buhari has really surprised Nigerians who were hoping of seeing positive change in government not change of shedding blood of innocent Nigerians who had gathered to attend Islamic activities, should the Christian President do this to Christians? Should the Ibo President do this to Ibo people? Or Yoruba President to Yoruba people or the Northerners don’t values of their people, that’s why 98 percent beggars and “Almajiris” are begging in the streets in the name of religions someone who is seeking knowledge of holy Qur’an would be seeing with rag cloth, no accommodation, no medical care, no food to eat but the so-called Islamic scholars and Northern elders are not ready for positive change in the society.