My names are SSY(Names withheld for obvious reasons). I am 13 years old. We lived in Gyellesu close to Sheikh Zakzaky’s house. Please this is the story of what happened to me during the brutal Zaria massacre by some animals called Nigerian army.
I was home along with my younger ones on that the 12th December, 2015. My parents went to Sheikh’s house to give him cover because we were aware of what was going on in Hussainiyyah earlier in the day. Before they left, my mom told me to complete the cooking she started so that I could feed my younger ones.
We couldn’t eat the food knowing that our brothers, sisters and friends in Hussainiyyah were in dire situation. We didn’t know what was about to befall us too in a very short while. I consoled the very young of my brothers who were crying to sleep. I then prayed the Maghrib and Isha prayers. All of a sudden I heard a loud bang and people chanting “Allahu Akbar! Ya Mahdi!” Before I could get up from my prayer mat, I saw my younger brothers, Baqir and Malam who were sleeping, suddenly woke up and went out of the house. The youngest of my brothers who was about 4-year old then also woke up and went for the door. I was confused. I held him back and brought him back to bed and laid him. He looked perplexed. He asked me, “Sister S, are they shooting? May the curse of Allah be on the oppressors.”
I left him in the company of my younger sister of about 8 years as I ventured to go out to fetch some information of what was going on. As I went out I saw my friends including one Zainab all crying and saying “they have come to kill Sheikh Zakzaky!” I moved on towards the Sheikh’s residence. I saw brothers ferrying those shot by the military in tens, some injured and some martyred.
All of a sudden, a very loud blast sounded somewhere up the street. The soldiers had thrown an explosive and it set some shops on fire. The bonfire lit the entire street and everywhere. I saw hundreds of brothers lying on the ground. Were they killed or they just took cover? I wondered. Then I noticed some brothers were trying to put out the fire. I rushed to pick up a bucket of water to help them. I was with some of my friends, all young girls. We did all that as soldiers shot incessantly and indiscriminately. Eventually, the fire was put out.
It was a shower of bullets all over. As one stood with someone, before long he will be hit and fall to the ground. If you talked with someone one moment, the next moment he too would fall dead. Nobody was sure who next was to be hit. It didn’t matter whether or not you are a man or woman, adult or child. Everyone you see he was soaked in his own blood that day!
That was the situation that eventful night till about 4:00am of Sunday 13th December. At dawn that day, we noticed that more military vehicles were coming to reenforce those already there, including armoured personnel carriers. Some came from behind where we were and we took cover by lying on the ground. They are ferociously shooting in all directions. When their vehicle came too close as if it would go over us, we stood up, and we were face to face with them. We heard gun shots from behind us but an officer shouted at them, “don’t shoot! They are young girls I will handle them.”
But before he could do anything further, there were chants of “Allahu Akbar!” That distracted their attention and they turned their guns in that direction. We seized the opportunity to get away. As we left that scene, we saw one of the brothers shot that was alive. Along with my friends, Ruqayyah and others, we were able to take him into one house.
However, just as we got out of the house, we were again face to face with another contingent of soldiers. They didn’t hesitate as they opened fire at us without warning. They smashed Ruqayyah’s head into pieces right before by eyes! The other sister I was with also fell to the ground as she called out to me that she has been shot. I stopped running and tried to help her up. But I felt my arm was heavy. I was crying over her, urging her not to go and leave me. She said to me, “they have shot me!” I felt the soldiers coming towards us and I stood up. I realised that I have myself lost so much blood from the wound on my arm. I felt dizzy and fell to the ground.
The soldiers reached where we lay. They dragged us on the ground including the sister, who at that point had already died.
One of the soldiers then removed my Hijab and removed my gown and made me naked. They tied my hands behind me. ( Sobs).
When they were done, they took us to their barracks and further molested us. They denied us food. They refused us opportunity to even pray because according to them, we are Shiites. One soldier slapped me. Another stepped on me with his boot on my chest. They thoroughly beat us. Another requested that he should be allowed to “use” us.
After all these harassments, they threw us into swimming pool along with some males. We were yet naked!