A witness and survivor of the horrendous Zaria massacre, Musa Muhammad Waqia, has described that from the frontage of Sheikh Zakzaky’s residence alone, the military evacuated at least 3 large truck-filled load of corpses.
Musa Waqia, who said he came to Zaria from Lafia in Nasarawa state, arrived Gyellesu much late when the military had already started the shooting spree mainly from the main road leading to the Sheikh’s residence. He therefore used one of the numerous footpaths from the back to gain access to the house.
“At that time they were just a stone throw from the residence,” he said. According to him, they had killed so many already and corpses littered everywhere in heaps along every stretch of road around the residence.
He said as dawn approached, they were only a few left alive in front of the Sheikh’s residence. “We were forced to enter the compound as shooting intensified.” Musa said within the compound, there were hundreds of corpses of those killed and brought in by volunteers. There were hundreds also of those with gun shot injuries – men, women and children – apparently waiting for their own death.
“It was clear we would suffer the same fate,” he said. “We therefore offered our last prayers and decided to step out one after the other saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ loudly. But anyone who did go out was shot repeatedly until he no longer showed any sign of life.”
I ventured out and was sprayed with bullets. I fell to the ground as I was hit on my thigh. As I went to the ground, they didn’t stop the shooting. Fortunately, most missed me. They came and surrounded me to be sure I was dead. So I lay motionless and they went on to others.”
It was very cold morning as harmattan wind blew that early morning breeze. He said he was barely able to endure the uncomfortable blend of excruciating pains, the extreme harmattan cold and the wetness from his own blood.
The soldiers started speaking through a loud speaker, “where is Al-Zakzaky, come out! Zakzaky come out! We will kill you today!”
At that point, three large military trucks arrived and they filled them all to the brim with corpses. “That I am a witness to,” he categorically stated. “They reenforced and engaged the services of thugs to help them load the corpses into the trucks. It was at that point they realized I was still alive,” he said, and so kept him aside along with some others equally found to still be alive.
He also witnessed the torching of Sheikh Zakzaky’s house. “They used the fuel of his generators to spray the house and set it ablaze with people still inside!” He stated that at that point, the house was still populated with women and children, as well as a few men. There were also corpses and the injured who could not move away. All those were burnt. “I could hear the wailings of small children as they burnt alive!”
“After all these, they picked us and took us to their barracks. They tortured us, verbally assaulted us and threw us into a swimming pool after tying our hands from the back. They were not mindful of our injuries at all.”
“When they have had enough of the torturing, they took us to one large hall and we saw hundreds of others, men and women similarly treated, some with small babies. They then brought us to the Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital and just dumped us outside the Emergency room and left!”