Mu’allim Ibrahim Jalo trekked 330 km to Abuja to demand for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky

Mu’allim Ibrahim Jalo Abubakar trek for about 330 km from Soba in Kaduna State to Abuja (Capital of Nigeria) for seven days, to demand the immediate release of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). Below is the text of the letter he submitted to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Abuja, Nigeria.

The Chairman,
National Human Rights Commission,
Aguiyi Ironsi Way,
Abuja.

Dear Sir,

A CALL FOR UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF SAYYID IBRAHIM Y. ZAKZAKY (H) TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION AT HIS DISCRETION AND A PETITION AGAINST THE HEINOUS ATROCITIES COMMITTED AGAINST HIM BY THE NIGERIAN ARMY IN DECEMBER 12-14, 2015.

I embarked on this journey – walking a distance of about 330 km from Soba in Kaduna State to Abuja for seven days, traversed towns and villages in this rainy season to express my agony, deep resentment and absolute disagreement with the atrocities committed by the Nigerian Army against Sayyid Ibrahim Zakzaky (H), his family and his followers - the massacre of nearly 1,000 innocent lives, infliction of injury, destruction of properties and illegal detention without adequate care against all national and international human right conventions.

I am sure the unfortunate action of the Nigerian Army in Zaria on December 12 14, 2015 and its aftermath of gross human right violations is unprecedented in the history of this Country is an information that your respected office must be aware of. But I deemed it most necessary that I give my contribution as a concerned citizen of this great Country who believe in social justice and equity by creating the awareness and call the attention of all relevant stakeholders to exercise their institutional mandate to ensure that justice prevails in this unfortunate, regrettable but avoidable incident.

The injustice committed by the Army against Sayyid Zakzaky (H) in my opinion has never occurred in the history of the world. Even in the history of the Prophets, none of them has ever experienced such inhuman behavior from their adversaries.  It is noteworthy to mention that the Army was established to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Country – primarily for the sole objective of protecting the lives and property of the citizenry. But the Army in total disregard of their primary responsibility violates these values without slightest regard to Sayyid Zakzaky’s fundamental human rights, the vulnerability of harmless infants, children, women, the elderly and the sanctity of religious institutions.

And after all these, the remains of the victims whom were murdered unjustly were dumped in a mass grave without recourse to their families or observing the requisite burial rites as prescribed by Islam; basic rights that even persons convicted of criminal offence punishable by death are entitled to. Equally important to mention is that, despite the claim by the Army that the incident which informed their action is civil, any sane and objective persons will discern their reaction was disproportionate and inhuman, used military hardware that should only be used in war situation of international magnitude.

Available information reveals that Sayyid Zakzaky (H) has lost one of his eyes and is also in grave risk of losing the second one. One of his hands has also lost its motor function coupled with other minor injuries. His wife, Malama Zeenat Ibrahim has also sustained injuries from gun shots. Both of them are not receiving the adequate medical attention they deserve. In fact, it is a strange irony to expect the government that failed to protect Sayyid Zakzaky from the evils of one of its most primary institution such as the Army for a clearly murder attempt and to some extent support the Army, to give him the necessary medical care. It is therefore only rational and objective to demand the unconditional release of Sayyid Zakzaky and his family to seek effective medical attention at their discretion.

The action of the Army was a disgrace to the Country and has belittled the nation in the international community, attracting condemnations to the institution that already has a bad record for human life regards, worsening further its reputation for human right violation as observed in the cases of Zaki Biam and Odi just to mention a few.

NHRC should therefore ensure that all the personnel involved, both Officers and Men, in committing these atrocities are prosecuted and made to face full wrath of the law. This is the only way for establishing a just society and entrenching the rule of law. The Country should also make these personnel to pay for damages caused to the reputation of the service and the nation at large in order to forestall future occurrences. Furthermore, Sayyid Zakzaky (H) should be given appropriate compensation for violating his fundamental human right, killing of his 3 children – Ali, Hammad and Humaid, desecration of his mother’s tomb, destruction of his house and religious centers in Husainiyya, Darul Rahma and Fudiyya.

Sayyid Zakzaky has made conscience the hallmark of his evangelism and made us to pay particular attention to value of life and the right of our fellow brothers. This we all hold in high esteem to both Muslims and Christians, without discrimination against tribe, sectionalism or other sundry affiliations. He promotes peaceful co-existence in this Country and lived in harmony with fellow countrymen for the more than 4 decades. But the Army seems to be aiming to bring about conflict and disharmony among the citizenry in order to achieve their personal whims and caprices.

The Army released a video clip that showed some people wielding clubs and cutlass which every person with an IQ can understand to be a plan they hatched and a cheap propaganda to justify their heinous crimes. Sayyid Zakzaky has never in history under no circumstance made us to bear arms, not even razor blade as a means of propagation nor even for self-defense. Honestly, I strongly believe those people in the video clips wielding arms to be Army undercover agents, disguised as members of the Movement wearing clothes and imitating our slogans to deceitfully assume our identity. Else, they should have been arrested and prosecuted. In a similar vein, 3 children of Sayyid Zakzaky – Ahmad, Mahmud and Hameed were murdered in cold blood by the Army along with other 31 followers in July 2014 at Zaria.

These issues and other related petitions were brought to the attention of NHRC but no tangible action is taken yet to prosecute the perpetrators. This is another primary reason why I felt strongly important that I present this petition to the Commission. I will also want the Commission to particularly not that, these issues have assumed international dimensions going beyond national borders, with submissions made to International Criminal Court (ICC). More importantly, the delay of the Commission to do the needful in the first instance has by the Commissions inaction, regarded to be one of the remote causes of the last incident. It is therefore expedient for the Commission to conclude its report and make necessary recommendations that will champion the cause to restore the fundamental human right of Sayyid Zakzaky, his family and his followers in line with the mandate of the Commission. 

Finally, I wish to request the noble Commission to as a matter of urgency to consider the following:
1) Demand the relevant authorities to release Sayyid Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife to seek effective medical attention at his discretion in line with his fundamental human right as a bonafide citizen of this Country.
2) Prosecute all people involved in committing this atrocity that resulted in the death of about 1,000 innocent citizens to forestall future occurrences.
3) Recommend payment of adequate compensation to the families of murdered, injured, abused, and detained and all properties destroyed.
4) Release the followers of Sayyid Zakzaky in detentions with the various security formations for their freedom and proper medical care.

Ibrahim Jalo Abubakar, 
Ahmadu Bello Way, 
Tashan Jirgi, Soba, 
Soba L. G. A., 
Kaduna State.
August 8th, 2016.