The New Zealand Terror Attack: A Trauma Memory Trigger of Buhari’s Zaria Massacre

The world is shocked by a recent recorded video clip in circulation of one terrorist in the name of Brentan Tarrant who was seen shooting Muslims worshippers at a mosque(s) in Christ Church city of New Zealand. Not fewer than 49 were reported to have been killed and several others injured.

For many other people I find it difficult to believe my eyes in the first place, how on earth is such a thing possible? How could somebody’s conscience allow him to go on killing another individual who is not only innocent but also promising and peace loving?

But suddenly the memory of the gruesome massacre of Muslim faithfuls in Zaria by the Nigerian military creeped into my mind. And there it is, my heart skipped a beat as tears started rolling down my cheeks. God, the painful memory I wish my limbic system (the part of the brain responsible for memory, emotion and pleasure among other things) could one day forget.

Elite Nigerian Soldiers shoot at unarmed citizens in peaceful procession in Abuja

The tearjerking memory still remains vivid in our hearts: As a survivor of the attack, I could still remember how innocent people were killed extrajudicially in cold blood some of them even before my very eyes. I horribly watched how brain matter splashed all over people’s clothes and how blood flows on the ground as water flows the river.

Before embarking on his barbaric attack Brentan was heard on the video recorded saying: “Let’s get this party started”. I have to ask myself, is this a Dejavu or just my brain traumatized enough to remember every very horrible things that happened during the Zaria Massacre like the trigger-happy Nigerian army shouting and chanting: “No more Shi’a, no more Al Zakzaky” as they shot women in their most private parts, stabbing them with ripple bayonets on their breasts. Subhanallah, could you Imagine this much a level of coldheartedness by the same Nigerian military who have sworn to protect the life of every Nigerian citizen? These two different but yet conceptually similar statements by the Nigerian military and Brentan is nothing less than being proud of their crimes against humanity.

I could still remember how a 2 years old little girl whose parents were already gunned down, was happily walking towards one soldier as she called out: “Baba, ba-ba” before one could realize, this toddler who doesn’t even know her left and right was gunned down as well, and was left there lying in the pool of her own blood. Another 3 yrs old toddler was denied a drinking water till he breathes his last. His mother tried to offered the water but was insulted, beaten and dragged. She was left with no option but to watch her loving little angel bled out to death.

Have someone ever heard of where people were gathered in a house and burned down to ashes in the 21st century? Yes, and I could tell you when and where: On the 16th of December 2015 in Zaria at the residence of Sheikh Zakzaky (H) which is several kilometers away from the location of the alleged road blockade. All those injured in the residence of Sheikh Zakzaky were burned alive, they yelled for help as the fire keeps gutting their fleshes and unsparing their bones. The Nigerian military as did Brentan, were so happy that they have to video record the carcasses of those they set ablaze.

In Husseiniyah Baqiyatullah (a teaching centre), not less than three hundred innocent people were gathered in their most colorful dressings. It was the 1st day of Rabi’ul Awwal, which marks the hoisting celebration of the white flag of “Muhammadur Rasulallah” on the tomb of Baqiyatullah. So many children were gathered, playing and celebrating the joyous month. Not knowing that they couldn’t return to their mothers that day, and certainly not today, not tomorrow and not ever; as many children were equally snatched the opportunity to bid a warming goodbyes to their mothers for one final moment on that very day.

Those captured alive were tortured in the most brutal manner, women were scrapped off their Hijabs which is an insult to their modesty. Not only that, they were also tied, beaten and dragged on the ground as they call out for help. So many young men were hanged and tortured cruelly and many of them were even electrocuted to death.

Along Jos road, in Dembo an outskirt of Zaria where so many innocently killed people were laid to rest; their tombs were desecrated. Could you now come to reason how not even the dead were spared during the Zaria Massacre?! So many a people did not hear about the Zaria Massacre while others were wrongly informed about it. Having said all these, which a crime among all crimes in Nigeria deserves this much a tormenting, traumatizing punishment? I will now let you be the judges. ALLEGED road blockade?!

What is more agonizing is despite the fact that the families of those killed during the massacre were not given the chance to arrange proper burial for their loved ones as per Islamic stipulations, Justice is not yet served to them. The only justice they have been receiving is the continued demonization and ill justification of the massacre by most of the people in Northern Nigeria specially and military bullets whenever they peacefully protest and ask for it (justice).

This week has been traumatic enough. From the Ethiopian Airline Crash in which 150+ individuals were reported to have lost their lives, to the Lagos building Collapse which scores of pupils were painfully lost and now the Mosque attack in New Zealand; I couldn’t help fight my tears as I remember my intimate friends, brothers and sisters killed and dumped in mass grave. I wish I could just get the chance to see them one more time to tell them how much I miss them.

My heartfelt condolence to the families of the Boeing 737 Max 8 crash and that of the Lagos building collapse as well. I pray that the departed souls of those killed innocently find peace and may that of their killers be hunted eternally for their inhuman actions, wherever. May the victims families find justice. Ameen Summa Ameen!

Written by Najeeb Maigatari who could be reached at:

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