OPEN LETTER TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY , FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
The Senate President, National Assembly Complex , Three Arms Zone,
We are the Members of the Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Shaikh Ibraheem Yaqub Zakzaky (H). We wish to remind you about the brutal crack down of Muslims in Zaria by the Nigerain Army.
Today, we are commemorating the one year of the genocide that took place in Zaria between 12th to 14th December 2015 which led to the death of over 1000 of our brothers and sisters.
On these days, armed soldiers of the Nigerian Army brutally massacred unarmed young men, women and children including an 18 months old baby on the pretext of an attempted assassination of the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), General T. Y. Buratai.
As a result of that, a day after the incident, the office of the COAS submitted a formal complaint to the NHRC, (as revealed by the commission’s publication in the dailies) alleging attack on his convoy by the Islamic movement in Nigeria (Shiite sect). In response to the submission this commission instantaneously called for memoranda within 10 days to investigate the incident giving only 3 weeks period within which to submit the memoranda. With all eagerness, after 7 days (20/1/16), public hearing was scheduled to take place. We wish this has been the trend of the working zeal of the NHRC.
While we sincerely welcome the move to investigate, we however, entertain fears whether our right would be ensured in line with the first stated term of reference of the NHRC Special Investigation Panel that is set to identify any human right violations that may have occurred during the "clash" by this hasty practice, because;
Over 700 hundred of those whose right may have been violated are still in the Army detention facilities
Another 200 or more of them are in prisons.
The COAS’s complaint is against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the best person to speak on account of the movement is its leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky (H) who is also a victim. We all know he is currently under state detention.
Another significant group is that of the injured that are receiving treatment in different undisclosed locations under the Army who are also eyewitnesses and victims.
There are also near extinct families who are victims and do not have anyone to stand for them at the panel e.g. 7 persons including the head of the family are incarcerated with the Army.
On 2nd of December,2016 Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the federal high court sitting in Abuja order the immediate release of Shaikh Zakzaky and his wife unconditionally but the government has turned deaf ears on the ruling, continuous detention of Zakzaky and his wife as illegal, unconstitutional and an infringement on their rights.
Despite all the frustration and intimidation on the movement, brothers and sisters remained calm, and peaceful.
We hope that our message and complaints would be given favorable considerations, we want to know the stand of the Senate on the issue of the Zaria Massacre .We want the Senate to facilitate the immediate release of Shaikh Zakzaky.
The Academic Forum
Islamic Movement in Nigeria
Hussainiyya Bakiyyatullah, Zaria
24 /01/ 2017