The idea that there was a “blueprint” for a massacre of members of the Islamic Movement had long been exposed by the leader of the Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky many years back. However, there was no mention of the author of what would come to be the roadmap to this gruesome killings and wanton destruction of properties of such a scale to warrant a preliminary investigation by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.
Looking at the way the Zaria massacre was executed, one could not but agree that the scripts were carefully crafted and meticulously executed. But for the special grace of God, it could have gone unheard of, or buried in the archives and long forgotten.
But who could have authored such a devlish plot? With the benefit of hindsight now, we can conveniently say it is no other than PROF. UMAR LABDO, who authored books that, on the surface, will seem only to spread hate messages against the Islamic Movement and Shaikh Zakzaky, but a further look will show these books as nothing but the blueprint followed by the Buhari administration.
Prof. Labdo’s books in several places had called for a clampdown on Zakzaky and his Movement. In his book: ‘YAN SHI’A DA AKIDOJINSU’ (Shiites and their beliefs), on the page 3 he wrote:
“Nothing will usher in peaceful coexistence in this country like the Muslims acquiring dangerous weapons similar to those of Christians or even more sophisticated ones, and they should train their youths in handling such weapons so that they can use them in times of need. Only if the Muslims wreck enough havoc like their Christian counterparts (at each other’s throat like dog and monkey fight), will peace reign supreme. But a situation where only the Muslims are at the receiving end while the Christians go Scot free, the much needed peace will remain elusive.
This Professor, an extremist to the core and an unrepentant religious bigot sat as a commissioner in the KadunaJudicial Commission that investigated the Zaria genocide executed against a group he so much hate with a passion – a group he repeatedly called for their annihilation. It is with such similar venomous animosity against the Christians in Nigeria that he recommended the following measures be taken against the Shiites on page 74 of the same book:
“Shiite schools should be closed because it is from there they spread their deviant beliefs. Shiites should not be allowed to teach in public and private schools including universities. Their properties should be confiscated, like their houses. There should be investigation on their finances especially from foreign countries like Iran and Lebanon.”
It is noteworthy that in the present pogrom carried out by a combination of the Nigerian Army and Kaduna State government officials, all of these points he raised were touched and even more. Our schools were not only closed but were demolished completely. There were threats and molestation to our students and staff in public schools. In addition to the scores of students killed extra-judicially, others were arrested and are being detained incommunicado denying dozens of them opportunity to register and write their various final examinations. A member of the Movement who is a university professor was threatened by no less than an army spokesman in an official press statement. Several of our properties were not just confiscated, but were utterly demolished. In the wake of these atrocities, a panel of inquiry was set up and charged with the task among others of investigating our assets and finances as prescribed by Professor Umar Labdo. Perhaps to ensure that all went according to script, Professor Labdo personally sat on the panel to execute his venomous prescription.
Soon after his prescription was rehearsed in Sokoto, Professor Labdo quickly authored another book “Bacin Tafarkin Yan Shia da Akidojinsu” (The unsuitability of Shiah Creed and their beliefs), in which he wrote on pages 2 and 3:
“After dispersing the Shiites from Sokoto state, where they wanted to make their West African headquarters, they have now fled to other states, especially Kano State, where they now wish to make their new centre. It is obligatory on other state governments not to wait for a time when there will be mass shedding of blood in their cities and towns before they act.
“To the generality of Muslims, the duty over their heads is to ensure that they all contribute, each according to his strengths, in fighting this group… Those in authority, Scholars, masses, the wealthy, each must all contribute his quota to check this spread of Shiah.”
It is noteworthy that in the course of execution of this script, the Sokoto state Police Commissioner had alleged that a grand meeting of Shi’ah adherents was to be carried out in Sokoto, which he said they had instructions to forcibly stop, hence the banning of all shiah religious activities in the state. Clearly, it was in reference to what Prof Labdo falsely wrote.
Again, he called on other state governments to emulate the Sokoto government in brutally persecuting the Shiahs. That call was heard by the Kano state governor (another Umar) Ganduje, who confessed to being responsible for the giving of orders for the extrajudicial killings of Arbaeen mourners while peacefully and solemnly engaged on their religious annual trek for two consecutive years now.
To bigots like Professor Labdo, it does not matter that the Sokoto incident had long been settled in courts with the members of the Islamic Movement being discharged and acquitted of all malicious charges against them in suit No. SS/7C/2008. At the moment, the real victims of the flagrant attacks in Sokoto are awaiting payment of compensation by the Sokoto state government for the destruction of lives and properties of Sokoto members of the Islamic Movement. Only recently, the Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto ruled that Shi’ah adherents in Sokoto have every right to conduct all their religious activities peacefully without molestation.
This Professor believes that only he and similarly minded persons are rightly guided people in Islam. On page 74 of the earlier cited book, there is a sub topic titled ‘THE SHIITES AND THE SUFIS ARE TWINS’. By implication, he believes that just as the Shiites are deviant, so also are the Sufis who are known as the Dariqa followers. It also means that perhaps the treatment he prescribed for those he called Shiites can as well be extended to Dariqa followers (Since they are twins). Thus, Christians, Shiites and Dariqa followers don’t deserve to live according to this extremist.
It is noteworthy that Prof. Umar Labdo remains with these myopic views since he authored those books, and to date he hasn’t refuted his ‘dissertation’.