Nigerian authorities have been quite jittery since the news of the publication of the book on Zaria Massacre on the World stage entitled: “DECEMBER 2015 MASSACRE OF SHIITES IN NIGERIA: SURVIVORS ACCOUNTS”. The reason for this unease is that the book contains testimonies by survivors of the heinous war crimes by the Nigerian authorities against unarmed civilian citizens, who are a minority religious community, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. The book vitally adds to the body of evidence that the International Criminal Court at The Hague, which announced recently that they have commenced investigation on the matter, may find invaluable. The government has also recently intensified its smear and blackmail campaign against members of the Movement. It has also commissioned some fake individuals to challenge the publication of the book in court. The question is, why is the Buhari government so desperately desirous of burying this story?
We bring to you an excerpt from the book, in which one of the survivors, Hajiaya Ramatu Abdullahi, graphically detailed how she was shot at pointblank range, without warning by the brutal Nigerian army.
How a soldier shot me
“We started hearing sounds of gunshots at 8:00 p.m. in Gyallesu after they had surrounded Hussainiyya in the afternoon. They shelled the building, and they killed a large number of our members. All the four streets leading to the residence of our leader, Zakzaky were blocked. They kept shelling us and the wounded were being evacuated in droves. We were busy evacuating wounded women, and by 2:00 a.m. on that eventful day, we had lost count of the number of people wounded or killed. We kept on evacuating, waiting for when it would probably be our own turn to be evacuated. Among the earliest to be martyred was the commander of the volunteer unit, Malam Hamza Yawuri.
Before then, we learnt that there were mass street protests being held in other towns and cities across the country. We had been calling people to enquire from them about the protests and to update them on the situation in Zaria. We were at Gyellesu, the leader’s residence. The Nigerian army continued to shell the entire area as if it was a war zone like we see in films, and they never stopped till dawn.
After the Early morning (Subhi) prayers, they pressed ahead with the shelling and by that time it was even more intense than it can be imagined. They simply kept shelling us. During the night, they were shooting from the direction of Kongo area since barricades were quickly erected along the road leading to Gyallesu by members of the movement to slow them down, and it was still so dark with no electricity supply at the time. When power was restored, we had to smash most of the bulbs to keep the area dark so that the soldiers could not spot our positions to shoot at us easily. However, they had powerful light sources that illuminated the whole area. Besides, they had set two kiosks ablaze and used the light to further spot our positions from afar. The fire was however later on extinguished.
At down, they had crossed over the barricades that were used to slow down their rampaging advance. People made some great sacrifices until they met their demise in the hands of these soldiers. We had no weapons to fight with apart from seeking divine help. We could only chant takbir, Allah is great and occasionally some youths threw stones if they found any. They kept on killing and pushing forward towards the main residence of Sheikh Zakzaky until they reached the gate where some volunteer guards (Hurras) were. They blew off the gate, and continued to shell the area, advancing in three directions at the same time. By that time, they had already killed so many beyond any imagination. The shelling, which I later learnt was by rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) never stopped and was indeed so intense that we the survivors of that ferocious attack were only destined to survive.
HOW I WAS SHOT
I was shot adjacent to the residence of the Sheikh, where we had parked our car thinking that it would shield us from the attacks. Some two young girls were shot dead just in front of us. I thought they stooped and lied down to escape being hit. It was later that I realized that they were killed by bullets when I found out that they were lifeless. It was while I was trying to assist one of the girls that I was also hit by a bullet. I tried and dragged the girl to one of the neighboring houses. Later, two male members, who were also shot joined us in the house.
I was about to get out again for the other girl when I learned that my elder sister, with whom I took cover behind the car earlier, was also shot. She fell down shortly after she had limped to the house and blood was profusely oozing out of her body. She was shot four times at her back. When the soldiers realized people were taking shelter in the house, they came after us! I had wanted to carry my sister and leave with her, but I couldn’t because she was too heavy for me, and I could not do it alone. I asked some women with us to assist us, but sadly we all also couldn’t, women not being as physically strong as men. I therefore had to drag her into one of the bedrooms in the house.
As I tried to sneak out, I spotted a soldier entering the house. There were two males and a lady in the building at the time and some ladies who were all shot, either on their legs or their hands. Another woman was shot at the back and at her thigh. I his myself and watched in horror as the soldier shot them dead one after the other! When he walked out, I tearfully rushed over to find they were lying lifeless in the pool of their blood.
THE REASON THEY COMMITTED THIS ATROCITY
I consider this to be an unjustified premeditated massacre. There was no reason to justify this genocide. All the excuses they offered cannot explain the extent of the heinous killings. They were simply trying to look for an alibi to justify these gross misdeeds. If anyone had blocked their convoy, why did they not limit their punishment on those alone, instead of proceeding to commit genocide in different far locations from were the alleged block took place? Why were they in Sheikh Zakzaky’s residence located several kilometers away with an intent to kill him? Why were even remote places associated with the Islamic Movement and the Sheikh targeted and destroyed having killed everyone within sight? Clearly, it was clear cut preplanned massacre. They only hid under the cover of road blockade to justify these atrocities. They had an ulterior motive, so they were looking for a reasons to justify their action.
My message to this murderous government is that we will never be wiped out of existence. They cannot ever defeat our faith even if they were to massacre us altogether.
Obtain your copy here