Zaria Massacre: Four-Year Anniversary, Police Open Fire in Abuja

Abdullahi Muhammad Musa

The protest kick-started at the flyover on the way from Banex to Wuse market, and terminated at the Berger Bridge. Soon after Sky Memorial, around Total Filling Station, police started teargassing as well as shooting at protesters in a completely indiscriminate manner.

It is glaring that the Nigeria Police Force has taken over the cruel baton of what the Nigerian Army had started earlier on Saturday, December 12, 2015. However, protesting against a perceived outrage from a government is a right inalienable from every citizen of the state, let alone innocent victims of the crimes that are so conspicuous even by a quick rub of the blind.

Unfortunately, the police are involved in the wanton bloodshed, the vicious results of Saudi-cum-America-sponsored state terrorism against a people whose honest contributions to peaceful coexistence can never be undermined. As obvious as this is, Sheikh Zakzaky and his followers have become targets for elimination, and we cannot fold our arms, seeing our rights being trampled upon.

Exactly four years ago, the Nigerian army attacked the Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah and, above all, Sheikh Zakzaky’s residence at Gyallesu and Dar al-Rahma at Dembo village. They massacred over a thousand people: 297 women, among whom 23 were heavily pregnant; 548 men and 193 children. Within a very short stint, 39 families were wiped out from the face of the earth. The army committed heinous crimes which included setting buildings and other properties ablaze, burning people alive, dumping their bodies in mass graves. They demolished all the fire-damaged buildings. At Dar al-Rahma, where many martyrs had been buried, after pulling down the structures, they exhumed some of the graves.

These atrocious atrocities were carried out, the Army claimed, in response to an alleged assassination attempt on the Chief of Army Staff. By now, it is obviously clear more than ever before that it was an orchestrated plan to kill Sheikh Zakzaky and as many of his followers as possible, all in connection with the attempt to end the Islamic movement.

Prior to the Kaduna High Court travel permit, 38 poisonous pieces of bullet-shrapnel were observed around Sheikh Zakzaky’s eyes, nose and even his skull through series of tests and scanning carried out by qualified medical personnel, and the trip was granted. But, a directive from Buhari made the DSS to sabotage everything in collaboration with the NIA, and the cruelties continue to loom larger and larger.

Since their return over four months back, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife haven’t been, and are still not, receiving the cure and care of which they are in need, and access to their legal counsel and doctors have been blocked. To make matters worse, instead of the government to, at least, release them to appropriate medical facilities, disturbingly the same court that confirmed the urgency of their health care has now made a ruling to transfer them to the Kaduna Central Prison on 5th December, 2019. This is an extremely alarming turn of events to decide to move them into the harsh conditions of a prison from which several inmates have been moved out of, on account of their much less severe health conditions.

Our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky together with his wife should be released immediately and unconditionally.

Abdullahi Muhammad Musa
For the Academic Forum of the Islamic movement
12th December, 2019

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