By I. H. Mshelgaru Ph D.
On the 25th July 2014, Zaria witnessed the bloodiest peaceful procession while protesting the murder of the oppressed people of Palestine. Dozens of armed soldiers unleashed their anger massacring 34 people and injuring 106 others in what looked more of a dream than reality in a broad day light.
The rally was organized by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sheikh Sayyid Ibraheem Yakub Zakzaky who lost 3 biological sons in the event. The protesters remained calm during the incident but everyone else was put to total confusion, imagining how the future situation was going to be, especially with the additional scaring scenario of the tight traffic jam simultaneously created by the soldiers.
Qud’s day procession is an old tradition in the movement and has never witness such a massive attack in its history. Supporters of the apartheid Israeli settler state might not be happy but no one has ever thought the Nigerian securities who were commissioned to protect lives, properties and honors of the citizens would be a die-hard in this business. The protest was only meant to express discontent and if it was only about resentment, one would have thought organizing a parallel rally in support of the Israeli atrocities in Gaza, as is done in some countries around the world would have sufficed. But actually it wasn’t the case. To clearly understand the motive of the actions of the soldiers one needs to examine both the political and social settings that preceded the incident.
Since some couple of months before, Sheikh Zakzaky has been exposing several forms of assassination attempts and threats to his life by the security advisers in collaborations with the Nigerian securities, some of which were whiskers near fatal. Few weeks earlier, two suicide bombs rattled Kaduna town some 75 kilometers away. One targeting a prominent cleric, Sheikh Tahiru Usman Bauchi and the other retired General Muhammadu Buhari, former Head of States and 3 times presidential candidate of different opposition parties by suspected hijab-girl-bomber. Down to dust curfew was imposed on Kaduna city and security was tightened in the entire state, including Zaria.
High speculations of likelihood of other hijab-girls bombing after the two Kano hijab-girl bombings developed few days before the Qud’s day.This led to postponement of a lot of activities involving the popular emirates’ Sallah rides ‘Hawansallah’ in all the northern states, Zaria emirate was not an exception. One can reasonably guess where the next target of bombing will be, as a good percentage of the participants of the Qud’s day rally are ladies in hijabs. At that particular time too, the media reported that the suspected killer of the Zaria based cleric, Lt Col S.O. Oku had 13 more names on his assassination list which he had to execute.
In addition to this escalating fear and uncertainties, the securities through the mass media issued an alarming warning that the ‘Boko Haram’ had planned to lunch a massive attack to seize Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger and Kogi states, including Zaria town. The announcement almost complicated the situation.
At this level of mind set, it was expected any catastrophe would occur and get blended into the mess without attracting much attentions and queries. This has been the usual technique preceding all the terrorist events in the country and the consequence has been: create hypnotic circumstances, mold and control public opinion to customize and welcome horrendous event and then finally lunch to accomplish the goal. Sometimes the goal may be a transition stage of predictive programming of the entire population towards a predicted situation in line with what will benefit the opinion programmer.
Certain recent examples of public mind control practices are;
Someone opened a discussion on the social media to discuss whether it was likely that the ‘Boko Haram could use the abducted Chibok School girls as suicide bombers. After a few days of thorough and wide discussions, the arrest of girls in hijabs with explosives was reported and few days after, hijab-girls lunched suicide bombings.
It was again published in the dailies in February that ‘Boko Haram’ abducted 25 young girls around Konduga area which was later found to be false, and then further false abductions, possibly fabricated to evaluate public reactions to prepare grounds for the subsequent fictitious abduction of 276 Chibok school girls that was used as a pretext for the inflow of the invading foreign imperialists in the name of rescuers.
Now, the Nigerian securities have surrendered a verse area of the territory they swore to protect to the ‘Boko Haram’ in order to assess public responses before finally completely ceding it to the foreign invaders, who have already prepared and rehearsed taken over process long before 2009, to dominate and loot our resources.
Coming back to what manifested in Zaria, one will observe that the above cited insecurity situations and manipulated public thought were intentionally put in place to serve as preambles for the unprovoked military actions on innocent unarmed civilians with impunity. The rally was widely published, yet, the attack came without any sign of misunderstanding or anger. All that could be heard was just heavy gunshots, coming out from concealed soldiers in the tall-grown sugarcane farm in which they took cover, sending barrages of bullets pierce through bodies of whoever the murderers could see in a similarity performance to Sylvester Stallone in action in his famous‘ Rambo 4’ movie.
At the end of the first day, dozens were murdered and dozen others narrowly survived with serious injuries, among who had over 5 bullet holes on them. Scores of others were then arrested, taken to the military barracks and subjected to inhumane torture that resulted to death in cool blood, and then releasing some few with life threatening injuries, such as the case of Ali, the fourth biological son of Sheikh Zakzaky. The following day was not peaceful too. An armed Armored Personnel Carrier arrived at Hussainiyya Baqiyyatullah, the epicenter of activities of the Movement in a bid to seize and raze it but only succeeded in murdering 3 more ‘Shiites’ and injuring several others.
The systematic order of the event, the quantum and the mode of murder, selection and targeting of Sheikh Zakzaky’s sons could not be coincident or justified by any mathematical permutations. It was clearly a mere preplanned act of provocation, as understood by the Sheikh himself. ‘It was a provocation for more serious bloodshed and destructions but we cannot be provoked to harm innocent people’ he expatiated.
Provocation is known to be a means of initiating wars in peacetime. It is used to incite anger, humiliate, irritate or annoy an enemy to serve as causal factor for reduction in rational and winding up of thinking, thus, making the enemy more vulnerable to enrage, derail and manipulate.
An example of provocation in practice is thus;
In 2009, when the governments wanted to eliminate their proxy –Mohammed Yusuf of ‘Boko Haram’ and his friends (Yusufiyya) after outliving their usefulness, an Operation Flush team consisting of soldiers and Police under the full control of the state governor, Ali Modu Sherif, fired at the peaceful unarmed Yusufiyyans while in their usual gathering in peacetime killing 9 persons in cool blood. It was certain there was no response from the Yusufiyyans. The same Operation Flush team tracked the group on their way to bury the 9 and there again killed another 19 on the pretext that they did not wear motorbike headgears. Furthermore, the leading figure, Mohammed Yusuf was arrested and executed in Police custody. The rest were incited but remained armless and helpless but yet, that was not the end of the matter because the objective of the provocation was still far ahead.
This information is contained in the letter written by the elder citizens of Borno to President Goodluck Ebelle Jonathan, published in 2011. The elders argued that the provocative murders were against the group’s constitutionally guaranteed right of assembly and called it extrajudicial. That provocation laid the foundation for the fabrication of the Sunni Frankenstein monster codenamed ‘Bokoharam’ after the murder of all the Yusufiyyans, their friends, relatives and associates, to attack security personnel and installations.
What followed was the faceless monster and it control masters in action- unprecedented light speed escalation of attacks, reprisal attacks and counter reprisal attacks, using heavy weaponry that consumed tens of thousands of lives and worth of billions of naira damage in addition to other war side effects.
In the same vein, the firebrand-military in Zaria intended to provoke in order to get a rise out of the leadership of the Islamic Movement to imprudently react in a way that can be explored and directed to greater advantage for further escalations. The choice of 4 sons of Sheikh for most brutal and inhumane murder and torture was inspired by this aim of instigating to create a higher version of ‘Boko Haram’.
The anticipated reactions were retaliations. If that had happen, however minute could have been sufficient for a license to catalyse and magnify, multiple and escalated forms of violence that would be blown into a full scale war which the military has already prepared for.
The position of the military was clear from the moves that followed the 25th August incident. In a situation report to the Headquarters, 1Div of the Nigerian Army a day after the incident, the commandant of the Nigerian Army Deport in Zaria, Brigadier General B. A. Fiboinumama categorically referred to the unarmed murdered citizens as enemy force and those arrested as prisoners of war (PW). What an irony, beating the drum of war against peaceful civilians?
To their dismay, the outcome of their actions did not match their expectations. Sheikh Zakzaky is quite extraordinary. He remained non-irritated and focused on his lifelong policies and principles of harmony, justice and tranquility for all and refused to be a party to crises.
The army was highly disappointed by quality of leadership exhibited, especially when Sheikh Zakzaky publicly declared that he was going to seek legal redress. However, the Securities remained adamant, passionate and highly motivated to take their predetermined evil and diabolic task to ‘illogical’ conclusion of destabilizations and so had to look for all favorable possibilities. They kept sustaining tension and tempo of insecurity and scare at high levels, hoping to upgrade them further.
On the third day, two local newspapers, ‘National Daily’ based in Lagos and ‘The Polity’ based in Kaduna- home state of the Movement, published an inciting fabricated report, purportedly from Sheikh Zakzaky captioned “My Sons’ Blood Cry for Vengeance – Zakzaky” with the intension of shift away or at lease cast doubt in public opinion regarding the earlier circulated stance of seeking legal redress and at the same time facilitating a leeway for the military to commit more atrocities and blame it on the Movement.
The National Daily claimed to have learned that some Islamic faithfuls close to Sheikh Zakzaky are allegedly working on plans to take violent actions reminiscence to the present ‘Boko Haram’ insurgence in the country having seized the initiative from the leadership of the Movement. Ever since the Movement resisted incitement to be violent, they decided to forcefully manufacture violence out of it comparably to what they did with Yusufiyya in 2009. The source of that report was apparently clear because it contains some highly diplomatic materials which only the Federal Government is in position of it. That was re-joined and diffused immediately.
With much enthusiasm, the perpetrating securities still went ahead, arrogantly supposing that the foregoing plots had made the required impacts and built on it. They issued another fabricated security warning to security outfits, requesting them to be on red alerts. According to them, they received an intelligent report that suggests Shiites were planning to lunch attacks on security installations. The 1 Div. Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Col Abdul Usman on a telephone interview denied receiving any related warning message, despite the publication of a copy of the instruction letter. The entire security bodies might deny involvement in the whole scheme, but the prevailing indecisiveness seems to be all round smearing and implicative. If the intelligent report does not have an authentic source as claimed, could it then be an intelligent scam? Or is it likely the kind of intelligence sharing the US and EU countries promised to assist Nigerian with in the Paris Summit early this year? Anyway, this was also quickly and promptly neutralized by the Islamic Movement. The interpretation of these acts, according to some security analysts views within the Movement is that ground is being prepared as usual to enable false flag operations on the security formations and blame same on the Movement to create a new war front with the ‘Shiites’, that will lead to crack down on the entire Movement in the Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger and Kogi states–mercilessly, massacring and destroying at will and unabated.
If the reports are truly scams, it would be interesting to know who creates and disseminates them in order to coercively persuade public opinion in a devious way. Who is responsible for fishing out the devious perpetrators and possibly bring them to book?
In February this year, the premium time newspaper exposed Mr Reno Omokri, a presidential aide on media for being involved in fabrication and posting of a political inciting mail in a fraudulent style. The editorial on its own part, demanded for Mr Omokri’s immediate sack.
In mid-July, a graphic image of hundreds of charred bodies was circulated on the Facebook and twitters bearing the heading, ‘Boko Haram burns 375 Christians’ possibly to instigate Muslim Christian unrest. This was later proven to be a fabricated report. The bodies were not Christian victims of Boko Haram but are of that the 230 victims of oil tank explosion which occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010.
Other fabricated and manipulated information include, footages of Myanmar massacres presented as ‘Boko Haram’ carnages in Nigeria and also the nearly daily posting of voices and featuring of the fictitious cropped, photo-shopped, ‘robo-man’- Shekau. There are also tens of other fabrications going on at various echelons in this country, all operating freely unchallenged. Their intentions are the same and are devious but the inactions and silence of the government do not only frustrate and incite Nigerians but also aid perpetrations. One would wonder why government and the securities should formulate public thought control reports to justify false operations on own installations. T hey may name what they are doing advanced combat best practice but in reality they are ethical and professional decadence tantamount to ruining civil-military cooperation and defense professionalism. Or what is it to you?
A closer look at what happened in Zaria scene that day; one would have noticed a mini-model of the besieged Gaza at 19th day of Israeli bombardment. The only differences between the two were the colour of skin of the victims and demolitions but not even the mode of murder, intensity and techniques used. This is an indication of the roles played by the Israeli contractors; (one of the major security contractors and advisers employed by the country)and everything else on the scene is quite comparable to Israeli war attitudes. The blockage of the major roads in Zaria to deprive the injured reaching hospitals to maximize casualties is also identical to the sealed Rafah crossing in its entire objectives.
The method of incitement used in the incident was American by nature. Some year ago, when the United States of America wanted to open a new war front with the Taliban in Pakistan in Pakistan, it adopted the same provocation technique. First, the US deliberately lunching attacks on the Taliban Positions, murdering scores and when the Taliban failed to retaliate, it further bombarded their funeral sites murdering much more until they were force to engage in a war. Compare this to the operations of the Operation Flush team in Maiduguri on Yusufiyya group in 2009 to know the main brain behind their actions.
Neither the Nigerian government nor the Israeli government who was being drawn in its crimes in Gaza genocide commented on the incident in the first few days, but barely 3 days after, when it became apparent that the ploy had failed, the US commented. Through its Secretary of States, John Kerry, it slammed the Nigerian Government instead of its Security generals on the ground, saying that the Nigerian government had failed for its inability to adequately equip and train security forces to contain extremist groups in the Northern part of the country.
It is a well-known fact that the Islamic Movement and the fictitious ‘Boko Haram’ are the only extremist groups in the North to the US. The Movement is an extremist group to both the US and Israel just like the Hamas and Hizbullah in the Middle East because it stands against their illegitimate interests on this continent and so, is a number-one enemy.
The onslaughter in Zaria was not in any way an error and neither did the military claim so. The military from the situation report, said it was fighting a war. Even though, war is fought between two aggrieved enemies and it was not known when the Government declared this Movement an obvious enemy which must be annihilated by all means but the actions, utterances and relations suggest existence of deep secret and wicked feelings towards the Movement. Or could it be translated to mean it was an extreme loyalty to foreign scripts from the imperial masters and or mean motivations of regional concerns at the detriment of national interest? The country lost 34 innocent lives to military brutality in this incident but its President could not find a single comforting condolence word for the families of the victims, yet he could gather a full diplomatic condolence package for an Israeli soldier killed, about the same time massacring Palestinian civilians. How is the feeling then, so strong that the Government could afford to ignore and destroy such a significant portion of its citizen at a very low price?
The reasons are not farfetched. Corrupt government elites, especially the political bigot have traditions of eliminating their rivals in order to consolidate powers and this country has a long list of such assassination cases which none has ever been resolved.
The Islamic movement is not a political movement neither is it an army but it possesses a lot of bones and qualities of contestations which drag the belligerent privileged minorities into enmity. The leader of the Movement, Sheikh Zakzaky on different occasions recounted some of the outstanding qualities as thus;
a) True religion,
b) Best quality of leadership,
c) High sense of maturity and wisdom,
d) High integrity,
e) Patience and perseverance, and
These golden qualities are essential ingredients in making a complete and ideal human or a society and they are totally lacking in the government, its domestic and foreign masters despite their keen yearnings to own them.
Nothing else than the possession of these qualities that makes the Movement a worst enemy. To fight it, a covert approach was opted for fear of condemnation and distrust. This calls for the creation of another stronger faceless ‘Shiite’ Frankenstein monster similar to the earlier Sunni –‘Boko Haram’ to do the dirty work behind it, when the limitations of the latter was discovered. This is evident through their war rhetoric language and continues use of the word Shiite! Shiite!! Shiite!!!
Despite the huge investment and the ‘decades of distance’ covered, the covert operations still failed without a monster of any kind in place and yet the threat is emboldened both in Nigeria and Palestine. This is the third goliath defeat. Common sense should have been able to differentiate between chewable nuts and a daring diamond-hard one. It is not always true that all man-made can be destroyed by man, because some makes are Godly.
Profitable wars are not open-ended but this ‘war’ does not have end in sight, will never seize as long as the items of contentions remain with the Movement alone and the tasks before Lt Col S.O. Oku and the likes also remain unaccomplished.