- SAUDI ARABIA IS FOOTING THE BILL FOR STOPPING ASHURA PROCESSION IN NIGERIA
The Islamic Movement of Nigeria has released a disturbing press statement accusing the Saudi Arabian government of collaborating with its Nigerian allies to disrupt its annual Ashura procession in Nigeria.
In a press statement signed by Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, for the Academic Forum of the Islamic movement in Nigeria, obtained by SuncityNews , the Islamic organisation said, “Reliable information reaching us revealed that the government of Saudi Arabia is prodding Buhari-led government into stopping the forthcoming Ashura procession which will take place on the 10th day of Al-Muharram. One of the strategies to be employed is through the use of Nigeria Police to attack the Ashura mourners across the country. In addition, the source has confirmed that directives have been given to the Police to issue a press statement in advance against the procession”.
For the past 40 years, Muslims have been conducting Ashura mournful processions in this country. Ashura is an Arabic word derives from Ashara which means 10, and in Islamic history it refers to the 10th day of the 1st month of the Islamic calendar. It is the day for mournful commemoration of the brutal killing of Imam Hussain bn Ali, the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S). Imam Hussain was assassinated by Yazid bn Mu’awiyyah at Karbala in 61 A.H. It is pertinent to state that Ashura is a religious programme which non-Muslims do participate, and the mourning is global.
In a counter affidavit spread to media houses through the Attorney General of the Federation, Malami Abubakar for the sole purpose of promoting its evil agenda, the government resulted to untruths telling. However, this has further exposed Buhari’s complicity in the 2015 Zaria-massacre, just like it proffered additional facts with respect to the case already filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Though our learned counsels are capable of responding magnificently to the mischievous counter affidavit, but it is apposite to uncover the scheme of these proxies as stage-managers of the most atrocious savagery against Sheikh Zakzaky. Perhaps the public is not unaware that sometime in March, 2018 Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Muhammad bn Salman granted an interview to an American weekly news magazine, Time, in which he gloated over the killings in Zaria as one of their big achievements in Africa, all as a sequel to what President Muhammadu Buhari himself had attested to Al-Arabiyya TV station when he arrived in Qatar in 2016, that they wanted to lessen the strength of the influence of Iran.
Barely three weeks in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, during his maiden presidential media chat, Mr Buhari put forward the ridiculous reasons as to why they approved the killing of children, women, men and the old; some pregnant women had their wombs cut open and their foetus or unborn babies killed, some were burnt alive, others abused using all sort of inhumanity: One, for creating ‘a state within a state’ and, two, for ‘hitting the chest of Generals,’ contrary to that of ‘road blockade’ and ‘assassination attempt’ touted earlier. Likewise, there is the leaked audio of a secret meeting in Kebbi State, where a leading Wahabi/Salafi cleric disclosed a secret pact with Buhari to clamp down on the Islamic movement as soon as he returned from Iran in 2015, and he did as he had promised them.
The Islamic movement under the leadership of Sheikh Zakzaky is a mass movement of conscious people who abhor injustice and oppression. Most of the supporters of this movement are Muslims, but there are non-Muslims who identify with it because of their love for justice as well as their contempt for oppression which is so prevalent in our society today. For instance, there is the Christian Forum of the Islamic movement which consists of Christian supporters of the movement.
To set the record straight; in 2016, Sheikh Zakzaky, through his learned counsel, approached the Federal High Court Abuja for the violation of his Fundamental Right. On 2nd December, 2016 the court presided by Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordered that the Sheikh and his wife be freed unconditionally and their fundamental rights be restored. The judge termed the continuous detention of the couple as unconstitutional, but the government refused to obey the court order with contempt. The court case instituted by the Kaduna State Government is a deliberate plot to keep the couple in perpetual detention.
It will forever go down in history that on 12th December, 2015 the Nigerian Army under the command of Buhari killed more than a thousand people, including women, children, infants, pregnant ladies and nursing mothers. In some cases, whole members of many families were exterminated and thus wiped out from the face of the earth. Most of those killed are followers and supporters of Sheikh Zakzaky.
All these atrocities and much more were meted out in less than 72 hours. The victims were buried in mass graves so as to obliterate conclusive evidences from the crime scene. Sheikh Zakzaky, his wife, Zeenah and other numerous followers were detained with life-threatening injuries without proper medication. The carnage left hundreds wounded, some of which are still battling with the effects of various degrees of wounds to date. Furthermore, the perpetuation of persecutions against us continues nonstop. The latest of such crimes was that committed in October, 2018 during Arbaeen Trek as well as July 2019, all in Abuja.
Obviously, Zaria massacre and continuous detention of Sheikh Zakzaky are the main reasons behind Free-zakzaky protests, and the general public is aware on how we have been conducting ourselves while protesting for a very long time in Abuja. The public is a witness to how we started the protest on Monday, 22nd July, 2019 before the police attacked it and disrupted everything.
The right to protest is inalienable. It is one of the constitutional rights of every citizen, because it is a vehicle through which complaints are lodged, and grievances voiced and demonstrated, particularly to those on whose faces other doors had been deliberately shot. Thus, no one, reasonable enough, should allow a breathing space for oppression and tyranny.