Ibrahim El Zakzaky

EL ZAKZAKY: Another danger looming?

The nation’s statistics on casualties of terrorists attack is over 10,000, a billion more has been lost property wise. Innocent children, aged, adults, teens, infants.

This menace has spared no age bracket. Muslims, Christians, atheists have all met their death through terrorism. No tribe has been spared, either Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Efik, or Ibibio. Terrorism has been the cause of death to anyone and everyone unfortunate enough to be at the scene of attacks.

From sporadic shootings, to suicide bombing, from pipeline vandalism, to ethnic/religious clashes, to herdsmen killings. The nation has suffered a great ordeal in the hands of the perpetrators of this inhumane act. Millions have lost their homes, children has been separated from their parents, maims and brutality at it’s peak, a disaster that could’ve been contained if taken serious from the start.

When the former Boko Haram leader Muhammad Yussuf was first arrested on the 13th of Nov 2008, for being the leader of a sect that attacked a police station in Maiduguri (an attack that led to the death of 17 Boko Haram members), he was released to walk freely by an Abuja high court judge without much investigation or probing. His sect went on to cause 300 more deaths, before he was arrested again on the 29th of July 2009. Few hours after Yussuf’s arrest, he was killed in custody an act that further fuelled the fire of inhumanity burning in his followers, after their leader’s demise, they’ve went on to cause more than 10,000 deaths and series of bombing (including the united nation’s building) and kidnapping (majorly young females) till date.

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But it seems our government does not learn from the past, perhaps they’re too busy to learn from history books. This is because another danger is looming, one that might even rock the nation more than the Boko Haram sect and that’s the shi’a/Islamic movement of Nigeria’s group.

There has been an unjust treatment and infringement on the human rights of this group since its inception in Nigeria.

On Friday the 26th of July 2014, when Islamic movement group held their Quds day rally (a pro-Palestinian procession that comes up every last Friday in the month of Ramadan) the Nigerian army opened fire on an harmless, fasting group of people having their rally, 35 members were shot dead including three sons of the movements leader in person of Ibrahim El Zakzaky.

There were no form of provocation from the sect, they were having their peaceful rally but the Nigerian army took it upon themselves to kill 35 innocent citizens

“I am appealing to my followers to be patient and remain calm. After the burial of those killed, we will decide what action to take. I have communicated with the authorities, and they are all claiming not to be aware of the operation. It is my belief that the operation was ordered from Abuja.”

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That was the speech of a man who had just lost three of his sons as at then, he never instigated any act of war or violence as a means of revenge or personal vendetta. He portrayed what the religion he believed in commands, Peace.

On Saturday the 12th of December 2015, under the rule of President Muhammad Buhari, the Nigeria army carried out another massacre in Zaria, Kaduna state on the Shi’ites/members of Islamic movement in Nigeria. Over 348 members were killed including another three of El Zakzaky’s surving six sons, Zakzaky was injured an arrested along side his wife. The army alleged that the harmless group were planning to kill Gen. Tukur Buratai (the chief of army staff).

International demonstrations were held across different countries to condemn this act.

“In January 2016, the Kaduna State Government formed the Commission for Judicial Inquiry into the causes of clashes in Zaria between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Nigerian Army in December 2015, under the chairmanship of Justice Mohammed Garba (the presiding justice of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal)

On 1 August 2016, the commission of inquiry found out that the army gunned down 348 Shiites and urged the prosecution of all those involved in the killings.

According to the judgment of the high court of Nigeria on 2 December 2016, Ibrahim Yaqoub El Zakzaky was ordered to be released from Department of State Services detention into police custody within 45 days. El Zakzaky and his wife were to be paid the sum of 50 million Naira ($164,052) in compensation. On January 13, 2018, Zakzaky, detained at an unknown location without charges since December 2015, made a short public appearance, his first in two years, being allowed to see his doctor.” (source: Wikipedia)

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After increasing and incessant protest from the members of IMN ( Islamic movement of Nigerian), the government slammed El Zakzaky with an 8 count charges of homicide On the 26th of April 2018, a crime allegedly committed by him during the Dec 2015 clash. After almost three years of detention with no charges.

We can only pray for El Zakzaky not to die, before he regains his freedom. And also pray for his lawyer (Barr. Femi Falana) for God to help him represent the leader successfully when the court hearing begins. If not no one knows where this followers might swing their pendulum of revenge, even though we don’t pray for such. Another terrorist attack might start in form of vendetta. Enough of blood spillage, the government needs to be wise in dealing with this matter.


O. Olanrewaju Trimiziu (OOHTEE)

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