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Zaria Massacre: Violence against Women

By Muhammad Darazo

On Saturday, 12th of December, 2015, a massacre against defenceless women and children began around 12pm, Nigerian time, by the Nigerian Army. The massacre began with a preplanned attack at Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah Zaria, were some Men of the Nigerian Army appeared fully armed with dangerous weapons and bullet reload boxes for contingency.

As usual, Brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria were preparing for the flag hoisting ceremony to welcome the month of Rabi’ul Auwal, the Birth month of the holy prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAAW), while some children were in an extra moral lesson organized by Mu’assatu AbulFadl Abbas (as), then comes the Men of the Nigerian Army. They positioned them selves around Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah with much concentration opposite the Hussainiyyah gate. Some brothers went to inquire about the reason behind the unusual appearance, they said that they were there to protect their Chief against possible attack as they are holding a passing out parade at DepotNA.

The brothers told them that "we don’t have any plan to attack anyone as we have never been engaged in such acts, we are always at the receiving end of attacks". The Army refused to relocate from that area, so brothers had to insist because, IMN have being victimized by many attacks from the Nigerian Army. When the brothers insisted, the Army started taking shooting positions around the area living the brothers with only one option which is calling for Allah’s protection. The brothers started chanting takbeerats while the Army were shooting in the air and later on started shooting on the brothers. The Army pulled back for some mitres and later came back with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, claiming that they want to pass. They encountered some youths protesting for the killing of their brothers and sisters. The Chief of Army Staff convoy shoot through the protesters and passed successfully thereby killing more people. Later, another set of the Nigerian Army came back in order to accomplish the plan, that is when the real violence began.

At around 4pm, brothers and sisters were crying and mourning for the murder of their loved ones, then comes another attack. This time around, it was hundreds of mainly women and children standing helpless. The Army heavier armed that before appeared again, this time around including tanks, grenades, Rocket Propelled Grenades Launchers and other explosives. They sieged the building of Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah and kept waiting for command until night, they started invading the building by using everything at their disposal. They were shooting so barbaric, women were howling and bowling out of fear. Women of IMN were exposed to seeing their love ones die one after the other with no help from anyone. Women at Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah lived in fear and expectation of gun shot or explosion on them. Many of them were killed by gun shots and grenade explosion. I don’t wantbto remember seeing them going down one after the other, Fatima M Lawan was shot on her forehead by those bunch of cowards, What tribulates me the most is that Fatima did not die instantly, she suffered a lot before dying and there was nothing we could do, in fact, no body can tell whether Fatima is alive or not, because up to the time of Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah invasion, she was alive. Before dawn, some of the females were able to cross to a neighboring house in other to seek for refuge, but when the Army successfully invaded Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah, they went ahead to cross into those houses and only God knows what happened there, they killed as much as they could and arrested many of them with various degrees of gunshot injuries.

After arresting them, they beat them severely, most of them were blood but the coward Army continued beating them. The worst of all is that the Army removed their Hijab, tightened them and pulled them on ground before taking them to the Army barracks.

On the other hand, the attack was extended to Gyallesu, were the leader of the Islamic Movement In Nigeria reside and that is where the worst of all took place. In Gyallesu, after killing as much as they could, they burnt women and children to death. They raped many women, shot them in their private parts and watch them dying one after the other. They set fire on women and children and watched them burning to death. One of the victims from Gyallesu was shot in her private part and God in his infinite mercy, delivered her to tell her story and experience about the massacre, she is just 13 but her life was ruined.

Aisha Zaki, Fatima Abubakar Zaki, Mujahidah Abubakar Zaki and Batool Bukhari Jega are members of the same family, Batool is a daughter to Aisha while Fatima and Mujahidah are cousin sisters to Aisha. Bukhari Jega is the father of Batool and the husband of Aisha, it may sound odd and confusing, but all of them were killed by the Nigerian Army.

Fatima Ahmad, Nusaiba Yakubu, Nusaiba Shafiu, Fatima Yakubu, Khadija Yakubu, Maimuna Shehu, Fatima Ali Muhammad, Sumayyah Isa Hassan and many more were arrested and kept under detention to date, it is getting to 8 months but the Nigerian Army or the Nigerian Government is yet to say  about them. All of them are students of different higher Institutions across Nigeria, they have lost a complete session in their schools. Some weeks ago, the Commission of inquiry tasked to investigate the unfortunate incident, indicted some of the officers of the Nigerian Army for killing innocent people, but we are yet to see the Government’s decision over the report.