RE:Shiite/soldiers clash: we’ve no apology – Army

By Haruna Elbinawi

My attention was drawn to the press conference held by the General Officer Commanding, (GOC) 1 Mechanized Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, on Wednesday 6/01/2016 in Kaduna on the Zaria massacre by the Nigerian soldiers under his command.

This is yet another desperate attempt by the Nigerian military authorities to cover up their reprehensible & indefensible brutal killings in Zaria that is undoubtedly a war crime against fellow Nigerians they are paid to protect against foreign threat.

The GOC claimed that the “army cannot fold its arms and watch any group or sect threaten the peace and stability of the country.” We challenge the GOC to come up with a single occasion when the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of His Eminence Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky ever threaten the peace & stability of Nigeria in its entire 38 years history. IMN has never engaged in any violent activities in whatever form or guise no matter the provocation. This was clearly evident when the military murdered in cold blood 34 members including the 3 biological sons of our leader. Furthermore, the IMN has never been part of any inter-religious or other forms of conflicts, which have plagued Northern Nigeria in recent years. That is why other Nigerians irrespective of religious beliefs or tribal background feel safe to flock to his residence for shelter during such crises. This we have seen on several occasions, so much so that no amount of military propaganda would deceive Nigerians into believing that IMN and its leadership are dangerous or violent.
Since the Zaria massacre the Nigerian Army only three weeks ago, the military has been struggling to come up with a rational reason for their heinous crime. They have changed reason for the wicked, brutal & inhuman actions in Zaria four (4) times already.

The GOC claimed that “the Nigerian military has no issue with the Islamic sect”. This claim is spurious and superfluous. The GOC should explain to the world why they should be targeting the IMN and its leadership. It is on record that in the last 18 months, they have killed six biological children of Shaikh Zakzaky, his elder sister and over a thousand of his followers. Yet you want to convince the world that you have no issues with the Islamic Movement in Nigeria? Mr. GOC you are not convincing!

The GOC further stated that “Even in the military, we have Shiites members, but there is no issue with them because they are law abiding citizens.” If by that you are trying to suggest that IMN and its members aren’t law abiding, perhaps you need to consider how in sane and civil society law and order is enforced. First, it isn’t the duty of the military. It is police matter. Secondly, if anyone is adjudged to have broken any law of the land, he is arrested and arraigned before a competent court, charged and if found guilty, he is appropriately punished. Mr. GOC can you see that there is no place for your own crimes and illegality?

Thus the GOC now parroting the lies the Nigerian authorities are spreading of “state within a state” can not ever justify the genocide in Zaria. But your statement that “but we have issues with those who create a state within a state” give you away.

The GOC was truthful on only one occasion when he stated that they “know the business of violence… “. This was what they displayed in Zaria and the whole world is shocked by that brazen display of brute violence. In the past it was thought that only murderous terrorist groups such as #ISIS, #AlQaeda, #BokoHaram etc commit such massacres, but with what happened in Zaria on the 12th & 13th of December, 2015, it is clear that the Nigerian Army belongs also to that circle of notorious gang.

Yet another false claim by the GOC was that the “Army remains the guidance of Nigerian democracy”. We are all Nigerians for God’s sake, how many times did the Nigerian Military engage in election rigging to subvert the popular will of the Nigerian people? How many times did the Nigerian Military connive with corrupt politicians to kill innocent law abiding citizens & rig elections. The most recent are the EkitiGate & OsunGate. In those elections military commanders were seen in video clips leading election rigging & malpractice. Mr. GOC sir, the custodians of the Nigerian democracy are the oppressed Nigerian people. They are the rightful custodians of the Nigerian democracy. Nigeria people are the ones that make all sacrifice to sustain the Nigerian democracy & not the present corrupt & cowardly Nigerian Army.

From the rumbling of the GOC it was obvious that he is just a messenger of the war criminal Nigerian Army Chief Buratai. By these fraudulent propaganda Nigerian Army Chief Buratai thinks he can save himself from the ICC for his war crimes against defenseless Nigerians. No matter how long it takes the long arm of justice will eventually catch up with the perpetrators of the Zaria massacre.

Peace be upon those who are seekers of Truth & Justice!

#GodProtectZakzaky