Reflections

Intimidation, Threats & Molestation – How Nigerian Army Sought to Gag a University Don to bury the truth about a massacre

Early in the course of the systematic brutal suppression of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria by the Buhari administration, the Nigerian army resorted to threats, intimidation and molestation to completely bury the truth as they did bury their victims and other evidence in mass graves.

Signs of this appeared early after the horrendous attacks by the Nigerian army in Zaria between 12th and 14th December 2015, and in Kaduna on 15th December, 2015 with a ridiculous press statement by one of the principal executioner Commanders of the Zaria attacks, then Colonel Sani Usman Kukasheka, the Acting Director Army Public Relations trying to gag a University Don, Prof. Abdullahi Danladi of ABU Zaria whose wife and three children barely escaped the bullets and RPGs used by Kukasheka at the Hussainiyyah centre by a whisker!

Two of Prof Danladi’s University children, (a postgraduate and an undergraduate student) are till this day languishing in prison two years after the incidence. The third child, an 8-year old Narjis, was taking extra lessons at the centre while Professor Abdullahi Danladi was out of the country when the army struck!

 Col Kukasheka directs the Hussainiyyah massacre as soldier cameraman films it

Read below the threats issued by the Nigerian Army and the reaction of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

The Army Press Statement:

The Nigerian Army is aware of clandestine campaign of calumny and misinformation on the incident of 12 December 2015 in Zaria by a group of high ranking members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) led by one Doctor Abdullahi Danladi, a Lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

Earlier today he was at the University soliciting for support and telling lies about the circumstances surrounding the incident and the incident itself. He also went further to make false and unfounded allegations of casualty figures and desecration of burial grounds. It is preposterous and shows lack of concern and respect for peace and tranquility.

So much as the Nigerian Army has reported the matter before the appropriate agencies and action is being taken, it would not sit back and allow some mischievous elements in the society to further create unnecessary tension and disaffection in the society.
This attitude will not be tolerated where people abuse their privileged position to mislead the public, create disaffection.

Therefore, Nigerians and indeed all well meaning people are please enjoined to be patient and await the outcome of the various enquiries instituted by various government and Non-governmental agencies.

Additionally, Doctor Abdullahi Danladi and like minded individuals should be warned to desist from telling lies and misrepresentation of facts capable of misleading the general public.

-Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director Army Public Relations, 23rd December 2015

The reaction of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria

You can’t intimidate us! The army bent on trampling on our right to freedom of speech

This is a response to the press statement issued by the Army Spokesperson, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, in which he accused the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and in particular Dr. Abdullahi Danladi of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria of campaign of calumny and mis-information.

Not satisfied with the terrifying and followup incessant violation of human rights vividly displayed by the Nigerian Army in its indiscriminate killing of armless civilians, including women and children, Colonel Kukasheka Usman is now further engaging in another round of violations of citizens’ rights and freedom of expression.

Whatever Dr Abdullahi Danladi might have said that is provoking a threat to his life by the Army Spokesperson would not be anything less than what several human right groups especially the Human Rights Watch have already established and widely reported. This is because the Army, in its efforts to cover-up its mess, had earlier underestimated the responsiveness and pro-activeness of the Islamic Movement. Now that everything is coming out to the bare, the Army is jittery with the outcome.

All that is left for the Army and the government is to threaten the lives or even eliminate those they could blame for letting the world know of their crimes instead of taking corrective measures. We call on all well meaning individuals and groups to stand up to this gross violation of human rights and remind the Army that Nigeria is under a democracy and every person has the right to express himself and give account of what he knows especially of the military atrocity on the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

It is the duty of Nigerians to say no to impunity and misuse of office by the Army Spokesperson to threaten lives of individuals especially those who stand against injustice.

Finally, we see this as a signal of the army’s intent to silence anybody that dares to say anything that does not portray the Army in good light in the light of the atrocity committed.

Signed by IBRAHIM MUSA

President of Media Forum of the Islamic Movement 24/12/15

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