In continuation of our commemmoration of the brutal state-sponsored terror attack of July 2014 by the Nigerian military, we continue with our reflection on the series of events that kickstarted what has now been known to be the begining of a well-orchestrated plot to wipe out the Islamic Movement, its leadership and structures in Nigeria.
Outpour of Condolences:
The response of the World to the July 2014 massacre was unprecedented. Condolences poured in from all nooks and crannies of the World. Friends, well-wishers as well as sympathizers were not left out. They came from far and wide to pay condolences to Shaikh Zakzaky and the Islamic Movement. Others sent letters or emissaries. Some called or sent SMS and many more came in person. Muslims, Islamic scholars, Christians, Christian leaders and organizations, Community leaders, Politicians as well as top government functionaries present and past all came calling. Others included diplomats, foreign dignitaries, Media, Human Rights groups and other non-governmental organizations.
A few notable examples are as below:
CAN, other Christians commiserate with Sheikh Zakzaky
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) extended condolence to the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky over the shooting of over 30 members of the Movement, including 3 of the Sheikh’s sons. The CAN President, Ayo Oritsejafor, in a telephone call extended the association’s sincere condolence and sympathy over the murder, which he described as unfortunate.
Mr. Ayo prayed Allah to grant the deceased eternal rest and Sheikh Zakzaky the fortitude to bear the huge loss.
Condolence message from the Youths wing of CAN was also received. In a letter signed by the Chairman of the Youths Wing Christian Associatioin of Nigeria (YOWICAN) North -East Zone, Evang Musa D. Misal, the young Christians expressed their condolence on the killings. “Your excellency we send greetings and salutation to you with heart full of grief and at the same time condoling you over what happened to your students among them your three sons,” the letter stated. The Christian youths also commended the matured way Shaikh Zakzaky handled the situation with patience and vision even in the face of extreme provocation.
Over the course of time, many other Christians and their leaders paid condolence visits. Rev Ishaku B. Halilu of Nasara Baptist Church Tudun Wada Zaria was one such person. Accompanied by church members, he sympathised with Sheikh over the lost which included three of his sons. He further prayed for God to give the Sheikh the fortitude to bear the loss while praying further for God to take revenge. His eloquent speech at the time trended for a while.
Top Nigerian politicians among whom were former Speaker, House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’abba, former governors Senator Ahmad Mohammed Makarfi, Col. Lawan Gwadabe, and Mahmud Shinkafi were among those who paid condolence visits. Representatives of Kaduna State Government led by the SSG, delegation from the Katsina State House of Assembly all also paid separate visits to commiserate with Sheikh Zakzaky at his Gyellesu residence. A legislator with the Kaduna State House of Assembly Muhammad Ali, Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i.
Arewa Consultative Forum also visited Shaikh Zakzkay in his home in Zaria to offer their condolence.
Veteran Journalist Adamu Adamu and Group Chairman, Leadership Newspapers, Mr. Sam Nda Isaiah, among others paid condolence visits to Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky at his Gyellesu residence. Sam Nda Isaiah, who was accompanied by contingent of press men, described what happened as a national tragedy that calls for global concern and response. He explained that, the unfortunate event was openly challenged by even a non-Muslim, whom in the event lost his life while another non-Muslim girl was receiving treatment.
He specifically commended the exemplary and rare leadership attribute displayed by Sheikh Zakzaky in the face of the tragedy. “We commend your leadership attribute and dignity you exemplified. We wonder how many leaders could contain this and remain calm, even when they lost 3 of their children this way. We are very proud of this attribute. If leaders were like you, the world would be a better place to live”, he said.
He pointed out that, the government must see this as a challenge, stressing that they would never keep quite in the face of this atrocity, saying that it is dangerous to keep quite in this situation.
The renowned publisher therefore called on the media to press on the issue through continuous update of the situation until justice is done. “Even during the Abacha period there was right to peaceful demonstration and we said we are in a democracy. It therefore very dangerous to allow this passed on as so many have passed in this country”, he added.
In the meantime, Weekly trust on Saturday July 26th further exposed who Col. Oku was and the animosity that is bottled up in his chest.
The international news magazine Crescent-online in its edition of Wednesday July 30 wrote that “The zionists are slaughtering innocent Palestinians in Gaza while their agents around the world are busy killing those that protest such crimes. This is what happened in Nigeria when the army opened fire on Quds Day rally participants killing 25 instantly. Another 12 people were arrested and executed at an army compound. The dead included three sons of Mallam Ibrahim Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic movement in Nigeria.”
The Igbo community in Zaria was severely affected in the brutal attack by soldiers as well. Among the killed was one Chief Julius Anyanwu, the chairman of the Electronics Traders Union on Park road, who questioned why soldiers were shooting at defenceless civilians. He was gunned down by a soldier for poke-nosing in their affair. His abdomen was ripped open and he died before he reached the hospital. The soldiers then rained bullets on the shops as the terrified salesmen scampered for cover. Chibuike Chibueze, a 21-year old salesgirl was not as lucky. She was hit by a bullet piercing through the metal door where she took cover and into her arm and chest. She survived after hospitalization. The Igbo traders on Park road also incurred heavy financial losses through damages to their goods by bullets.
Nevertheless, the Leader of Igbo Community in Zaria Igwe Chief Unogu the Sixth and members of his Council paid Shaikh Zakzaky a condolence visit. They sympathised with the leader over the killing by Nigerian soldiers of 34 people including his 3 sons and their kinsman. Chief Unogu explained that what affects Mallam really affects them, because of his invaluable contributions to the peaceful co-existence of Igbo Community in Zaria. “Your grief is our grief,” he told the Sheikh.
To be continued