The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has issued pieces of advice to the incoming government of President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly with regards to the security situation in the country.
Sheikh Zakzaky said, “it is time you reorganized and re-orient the Nigerian military.” This is because at the moment, “Nigerian army takes the citizens as its enemies,” the Sheikh observed.
This call came in June 2015, when General Muhammadu Buhari was taking over from Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as President.
The Sheikh’s prophetic warning was not however heeded as barely six months into the Buhari administration, the Nigerian army brutally killed over a thousand innocent citizens in just one weekend alone and dumped their corpses in mass graves, including three sons of the Sheikh.
The Buhari army didn’t stop at that, they sprayed bullets at the Sheikh and his wife, fatally injuring both with the Sheikh having lost an eye in the process. Both were further arrested and detained since then.
Nigerian army has indeed being taking Nigerian citizens as enemies while at the same time been unable to face armed groups, deserting the battle, fretting with fear. However, they vent their fury on innocent unarmed citizens, including women and children sleeping in their homes at night.
Such public display of cowardice and incompetence by the Nigerian army has continued to be exposed daily by a handful armed bandits spread across the North of Nigeria.
That national disgrace however didn’t seem to limit their murderous tendencies as they attacked unarmed citizens expressing their views on several occasions.
Nigerian Amnesty has on several occasions berated the army for its attacks on innocent citizens, including internally displaced persons. Similarly, several Nongovernmental organizations have collectively and individually protested the incessant killings of citizens by the Nigerian military. Nigeria mourns movement is one such group that has been in the forefront of fight against these incessant killings.
Last year, the Nigerian army killed over 50 mourners on a solemn religious procession over three consecutive days in Abuja. That caught international attention and the New York times used video evidence to show how the Elite Corps of the Nigerian army killed these religious mourners without provocation.
After living severally in denial, the Nigerian government set up a Presidential Investigation Panel in November 2017, but the panel turned out to be a kangaroo one. The essence of the setting up of the panel at the time was to convince the US government to sell weapons to it.