President Buhari through Kaduna State governor Nasiru Elrufa’i has finally dragged the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, to a Kaduna high court over 8 alleged charges including culpable homicide of an army officer.
The move was arrived at weeks after the Presidency has offered the Sheikh the tender of submission in return for an easy but conditional release together with hundreds of his followers wallowing in different prison facilities across the country.
The influential cleric refused the offer sticking to his ground of popular call using knowledge and sound reasoning. DSS Lawal Daura then gesticulated to the Shia scholar that the government has another way to dealing with the situation.
A week after this supposed but failed reconciliation with a detainee, the APC-led government via Elzakzaky’s home state government sent him court summons to appear before the court.
The government which acted in contempt of the court serially including a landmark December 2016 federal high court judgement which ordered for Elzakzaky’s unconditional release in addition to compensating him for damages is now trying to use the court for personal ends.
It is no secret the state through its various intelligence apparatuses is working round the clock to destablize, demoralize and terrorize the Movement. But the reality on the ground is that the masterminds of the Zaria massacre as well as their masters in power and foreign financiers have fallen short of their target.
The response which the government got from the Islamic Movement as a body in the wake of the Shia genocide was the exact opposite of what it anticipated and planned for. The government readied for an all-out war with the Movement which it expected to be tricked into a full-blown conflict so as to justify its actions and cover its crimes.The government then embarked on series of campaigns of calumny to demonize the group, present it as a national threat and rid it of public sympathy.
Contrary to intelligence calculations, the Islamic Movement rather opened multiple fronts of publicizing the state terrorism meted out to it by signing multiple petitions to concerned individuals, rights groups, the International Criminal Court of Justice and the United Nations in addition to taking its grievances to court. The Islamic Movement won the court in Sokoto, Plateau, Kano, Katsina and Kaduna states as well as in the Federal Capital. It then started to draw the attention of national and international human rights organizations which all compiled evidences against the government. The ICC documented the heinous state crime carried out against the Movement — a case which has now reached preliminary investigation stage.
Having enumerated chronology of events, let’s now think their thought and envison beyond their horizon.
Having failed to convince any right thinking individual, government or organization within and outside the country of the motive behind the blood stains of innocent, armless people on its hands, the government appears desperate to give up the eradicaton agenda of the Shiites more especially with shockers like Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman’s recent revelation that his kingdom is behind the Shiites’ plight in Nigeria. President Buhari too made it public in Qatar when asked about the Shia issue in Nigeria where he explicitly said that they killed the Shiites to minimize Iranian influence in the country.
The government wants to put an end to the unyielding face-off with the Nigerian Shia in two ways. One is to pacify the detained IMN leader by forcing him make concessions of his ideals in exchange for a cheap but conditional release under the guise of a one-sided reconciliation from the cleric’s detention facility.
That move woefully failed when the Shia scholar turned down the offer outright and without any hesitation by demonstrating consistency to purpose. The second method is through the use of the instrument of the court as a subservient arbiter.
The government has already succeeded in arraigning the Sheikh before a Kaduna high court last Tuesday. The government is now determined to hearing the case and pronouncing a softlander release verdict that would come with imposed, but legally binding conditions. Don’t you mistake that they will disrespect the court this time as they have serially done in the past.
The goverment is really fed up with the rising popularity of the Shiites at home and abroad and is prepared to end the matter at all cost as evidenced from government mouthpiece national dailies editorials pushing for Elzakzaky’s freedom which at some points painted the Shia black unjustly.
Either way, Elzakzaky is the victor as he did not bow before them for freedom, nor did his spirit break.
This piece was written by