Yesterday, the 7th day of September in the year 2018, marked the 1000th day since that gruesome massacre in Zaria of 12-14th December, 2015, when battle-ready soldiers, on orders of President Buhari, descended on unarmed civilians in Zaria, Kaduna state, on the false pretext of blocking the path of the Chief of Staff on the Nigerian Army.
This type of injustice and maltreatment meted on Sheikh Zakzaky is not hidden to foes and friends, Clerics and politicians, the masses and the rich and the local or international communities alike.
Nobody is denying the brutal military attack, which was glaringly done with so much impunity. The ultimate judge in this flagrant abuse of power is the Almighty Allah. Indeed, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has witnessed such gross injustice that none in recent history has suffered.
Buhari’s regime killed additional three of his sons before his eyes, in his residence and also further killed hundreds of his other supporters. Soldiers brutally fired several shots at his wife and himself, having killed over a thousand of his supporters. Some of them were burnt alive and afterwards were secretly buried in mass graves at Mando, Kaduna.
As if these were not injustice enough, the government also bulldozed his residence, Hussainiyyah and Fudiyyah Islamic centers as well as the house hosting the final resting place of his late mother and the Dembo burial site of his other sons and martyrs thereby desecrating the later two places in the process. These were the peak of all injustice of all times!
Sheikh Zakzaky was taken and is being detained in the most terrible conditions without access to medical care despite sustaining life threatening injuries during the military onslaught. Yesterday marked the one thousandth day since that day.
In his one thousand days of detention, he has been denied proper medical care, even with his health situation deteriorating fast. He continued to be held in the most humiliating and inhuman conditions even after a verdict of a Federal High Court had declared his detention as unconstitutional and ordered his unconditional release.
As pressure mounts on Buhari’s regime mounted, especially with the incessant peaceful protests Abuja and several Nigerian cities as well as globally, the Kaduna state government came up with a ploy to keep the Sheikh perpetually in detention by filing spurious charges against him including that of culpable homicide.
Just as all previous ploys by oppressive regimes, likened to a spider’s web, this one isn’t any different and will ultimately fail.
Where are the human rights groups, lawyers, journalists and other international civil right groups and activists? It is high time they stand up to be counted in this struggle for justice to the victims of state-sponsored terrorism in Zaria. This brutal and inhuman Zaria massacre is not something that can simply be ignored or be made to look as if it only concerns some people. Injustice to one is injustice to all.
To those who perpetrated these gory acts of vandalism and killings in Zaria, believed to have been contracted by some foreign governments, they should know that killings, detention, hate speeches, intimidation, hatred, humiliation, and campaign of calumny by paid clerics cannot weaken our resolve for this quest for justice. We cannot be deterred or cowed into submission. The tremendous progress being witnessed by the Islamic movement across the nation is a pointer to this. It is left to them to continue with their despicable acts and die with anger or stop and save themselves of anguish.
On a final note we reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of our leader Sheikh Zakzaky, his wife Malama Zeenah and other hundreds of detainees since December, 2015. We believe that all those involved in this inhuman massacre should be brought to book and prosecuted.
SHEIKH ABDULHAMID BELLO ZARIA