The Presidency has invoked a severe rebuke from the public following a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on his Principal’s behalf, that the President would not be able to interfere in the court process involving the leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, and that Shiite members should “desist from needless violent street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.”
What the President and his clownish Spokesman fail to realize is that Buhari’s cruel complicity and approval of the entire evil scheme that is now aptly termed Zaria Genocide is well documented and is undeniable.
We will remind them of some of these documented pieces of evidence (in series) since memory is failing them – a fatal mistake of shameless liars like President Muhammadu Buhari and his cronies.
The Attacks & Presidential Denials:
From the outset, there were tail-tale signs that the momentous attacks of that black weekend in December 2015 had the footprints of Presidential blessings. While the large scale onslaught on unarmed citizens by the Nigerian Army for an alleged traffic offence lasted (over 72 hours), which resulted in the untimely extra-judicial murder of over a thousand lives, the President was in Kaduna, very close to the crime scene. Yet, he claimed he was not briefed. He also didn’t make any queries as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Maybe he didn’t care? Who then commandeered the army on a massacre mission for over 72 hours? Did President Buhari lose control or lack the competence, will or ability to discharge his functions like he swore to do? Does this then tally with common sense? The body language of the President since the attack leaves no one in doubt about his complicity in it from start to finish. It is not something that a Special Assistant would just wish away.
When expectations to hear from the President mounted however, a statement from the Presidency tersely said it was “a military affair.” A military affair in which the enemies are citizens and the C-in-C was not even briefed, and he didn’t care!
Again, during his maiden Presidential Media Chat a few weeks after the commencement of the genocide, it was only natural that the killing of over a thousand citizens by the Military would substantially be the subject of discussion by the journalists. The very moment the topic was introduced, we saw a President whose countenance changed completely. He was trying to hide his anger, not at the perpetrators, but at the victims. Although he still claimed he was not briefed, he virtually justified the attacks. He could not even hide his hate and hurt deep in the heart, which even his facial expression manifested. He tried to justify the attack by levelling some spurious allegations. He said he was shown a (video) clip where some excited youths were hitting the chest of an Army General. He also alleged that the victims had constituted themselves into “a State within a State” and didn’t have a good living relationship with their neighbours, especially in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Zakzaky.
When the alarmed journalists further asked whether these alleged offences justifies the massacre and whether police would be made to investigate, President Buhari swiftly said, there was no way he would ask the police to investigate what the Army did! When further pressed on the question of inquiry, he remained as evasive, saying that it was an affair that had to do with a state, Kaduna. Having poured his venomous comments during the media chat, he then urged people to wait for the report of the commission, knowing that they have since schemed how to blame victims and absolve the assailants. The frustrated journalists had to leave the topic as it is. That the President wasn’t aware.
Indicators of Presidential Pre-knowledge:
However, the first clear indication that the President indeed had prior knowledge of the attacks and even gave his blessings came only a few weeks after that Media Chat. He embarked on a series of foreign trips to the Middle Eastern countries of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In Saudi Arabia, he was accompanied by all the vocal clerics and traditional rulers who are known to be opposed to the Islamic Movement and its leadership, who openly supported the massacre justifying the attacks.
But it was in Qatar that Buhari clearly left even the cynics no longer in doubt that he indeed gave the order. Responding to questions of Journalists, this same President who had all along feigned ignorance, now came out to show his clear complicity as he told Al-Arabiyya TV station in Qatar that his government had to clip the wings of the Islamic Movement in December because they were getting too close to Iran.
A further proof that the President indeed not only had a pre-knowledge of the attack but actually ordered it came from a leaked audio recordings during a secret meeting in Kebbi State, where a leading Salafi cleric disclosed an earlier secret pact with the President to clamp down on the Islamic Movement as soon as he returned from his trip in Iran. And he did exactly as he promised them.
Neither the President nor his media aide denied that. Does this still not tally with common sense that the President is fully involved in the Zaria massacre of innocent unarmed civilians?
Shameless liar without a good memory:
This was not the first time that the Presidential spokesperson was making efforts at absolving his boss from blame in the matter.
The Guardian newspaper of 12th August 2016 reported that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, “distanced President Buhari from the travails of El-Zakzaky, saying it was purely a matter within the jurisdiction of the Kaduna State government.” It further quoted the Presidential mouthpiece as saying “the matter has nothing to do with the President, it is a state matter and the President has no hand in the matter. Does it really make any sense to believe that the President is blocking the release of their leader when the President has, as a matter of policy, refused to get involved in it? Let them take their case to Kaduna State government.”
This is, however, a clear evasion of responsibility and the Presidential spokesman needs to have a quick rethink and a check of reality. The JCI has given a damning report of the Nigerian Army’s role in the massacre. It stopped short of pointing accusing fingers at the presidency when it became glaringly clear to them that the massacre was indeed ordered directly by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces as required by the Nigerian constitution. Denial in itself does the Presidency no good because if truly he had no hand in it, and for the last nine months he failed to take any action against those who violated the Constitution of the Federal Republic with impunity and also usurped his constitutional powers, it is more than enough proof of his incompetence and ineptitude.
A further question for the Presidential spokesman would be why are both Shaikh Zakzaky and his wife being detained by the Department of State Security (DSS) if the presidency was not involved? Is the DSS now an agency of the Kaduna state government or what? Why did it have to take the involvement of the then Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) before anyone, even the Kaduna state established Judicial Commission of Inquiry at the time, could access Sheikh Zakzaky if it was purely Kaduna state affair? The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs under the Sultan of Sokoto had similarly gone through the office of the Inspector General of Police, then through the AGF and DSS before they were allowed to see the Sheikh at the time. All these are agents of the Federal government and not Kaduna state government. How would the Presidential mouthpiece explain this?
If any is still in doubt on the neck-deep complicity of President Muhammadu Buhari, we advise him to look at the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman’s self confessions last year in April, when on a visit to America. In an interview with the American Times Newsmagazine, he let the cat out of the bag! He said the brutal and inhuman Zaria genocide and the continuing illegal detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was part of his major foreign policy achievements. According to Salman, it was the Saudi’s major effort at checkmating Iranian influence in Africa.
Now, more than one year after that definite confession, there have not been any denials from the Nigerian authorities. Rather, this only goes to definitely establish the President’s complicity. After all, it perfectly rhymes with what Buhari said himself while on a visit to Qatar to a Television News channel two years earlier.
It also explains the increased diplomatic activities between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia from the time of the Zaria genocide. It explains the gathering in Mecca of Buhari and all those who supported the genocide in Zaria. It explains the honour accorded to the then Nigerian Defence Minister, Dan Suleiman, by the Saudi authorities. It explains the frequent shuttle between clerics from Nigeria known to be supportive of the massacre and Saudi clerics and the National conference held in Abuja, with President Buhari in attendance. It also perfectly explains why the Saudi King was the first to call the President in December 2015, soon after the Zaria genocide, to congratulate President Buhari for what he called a victory against terrorism. It would explain why Buhari wanted to smuggle Nigeria into a Saudi-led military alliance at the time in the name of fighting terrorism.
Clearly, President Buhari’s criminal complicity in the genocide in Zaria and subsequent killings of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria since December 2015 to date is beyond doubt. His cruel approval of the massacre of Sheikh Zakzaky’s followers is glaringly obvious, especially the killings in Abuja last October of 50 members of the Movement over three consecutive days by the Brigade of guards, who are answerable to Mr President alone.
The continued illegal detention of Sheikh Zakzaky and the attempts at poisoning him in detention is all with the direct knowledge and expressed approval of President Buhari. We are not deceived by any denial by a spokesman.
To be continued…