Zaria Massacre: The Assessment of President Buhari in Power

By Saminu Azare

The Leadership in Nigeria, either Military or Civilian, always claim to uphold the liberty and spirit of Nigeria constitution which they have sworn with the holy books to protect, obey as well as the interest of all Nigerians irrespective of their political, religious, races and ethnic background, but in most cases the reverse is the case.

It is common in African countries to hear the President making false statement before the members of the general public, involve in looting public treasure, making inflammatory or provocative statement disrespecting the fundamental human right of their citizens, or the rule of law. One can confidently say that most of the African leaders do not protect the interest of the constitutional provision and the interest of their people.

The Zaria massacre which claimed the lives of over two thousand innocent Muslims faithful worshipping in their Islamic center “Hussainiyya Bakiyatullah” and resident of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky at Gyallesu on 12 and 13-December 2015 has really shown that the right of freedom of religion and peaceful assembly are not guaranteed and protected by the so-called Nigerian Authority which shocked millions of Nigerians to doubt if freedom of religion is secured in Nigeria secular system.

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sheikh Ibrahieem Zakzaky were being Extra-judicially killed, maltreated and denied the freedom of religion and freedom of association. It is not the duty if Nigerian Authority to either protect one religions group and favor one just for selfish interest. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right in most democratic with this right being jealously guard and protected, constitution in some African countries might actually guarantee this right, but in reality, this is an illusion. Religious freedoms in general have been under assault in recent years because of differences in the beliefs of people and the inability of most people to tolerate adherent of religious beliefs other than theirs. The right of Shi’ate Muslims to religious is indivisible and cannot be claimed for one particular group at the exclusion of others.

The influence of Western nations or Wahabi’s Government of Saudi Arabia on Nigerian government who are trying to frustrate Iranian government by inciting inflammatory statement against Shi’ate Islamic movement in Nigeria should not be a reason for Nigerian government to turn blind eye to the provision of the constitution and clamp down on Islamic movement in Nigeria and demolition of their worship centers.

It is not a duty of any legitimate authority to allow itself to be used by any religious group or nations to deny freedom of religions of any Nigeria even if he is an idol worshiper, what is the essence of swearing in with the holy book to protect the Nigeria constitution. Section 38(1) of the Nigeria 1999 constitution said every person shall be entitled to freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching and practice and observance”. Every Nigerian has freedom of Shi’ate belief, either alone or in community with others to gather during religious festivity of ‘maulud’, ‘Ashura’, or Eid Ghadest either it is against the wishes or interest of other Muslims groups like Wahabinism or their Government of Saudi Arabia, nobody will dictate to anybody how to practice his religious activities, it is a relation between man and his God the Islamic movement in Nigeria has right to manifest and propagate its religion and observance, if their beliefs say they should trek from one to two hundred kilometers in black dress no can stop them or deprive them as their obligatory right shall not be denied by anybody or Authority. Nigeria as a nation as a member of United Nation, the United Nation recognized the importance of freedom of religion or belief as a human right in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Right as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

Articles 18 of the Declaration states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief and freedom either alone or in community with others and in public or private to manifest his religion or belief in teaching practice, worship and observance”. In fact since the African leaders do not respect the rule of law of their countries as under developed nations, because their citizens do not know their fundamental human rights but the attack on followers of Islamic Movement on 12th and 13th December, 2015 was totally against the United Nations Universal Declaration of the Human Right which Nigeria was also a signatory to the treaty. Nigerian government should not allow itself to be a western puppet in terms of its internal affairs; the U.S and Israel are too small to be dictating to Nigeria on how to handle any issues among its citizens.

The Zaria massacre might not be unconnected with the expansion and expanding of the development of Islamic Movement in Nigeria which has over twenty million followers in cities, towns and villages across Nigeria, the Authority believes the movement pose a threat to its unjust system of governance, since it has strong connection with Islamic Republic of Iran ideologically. The only option left on the table is to use naked force to clamp down on it no matter how many innocent people will lose their lives since the African countries do not value the life of their citizens unlike the western leaders that are superior to them. It is shameful for United Nations and other arrogant Western powers that always make mouth on Human Right violation to remain silent on the atrocities of Nigerian Army without doing every humanly possible to condemn the incident and urge the Government to institute free and fair Independent commission of inquiry to investigate into the matter in order to show sympathy to bloods of innocent unarmed worshippers in their religious centers, the United Nation should urge international criminal court (ICC) to come into this atrocities and prosecute the murderers.

Every Nigerian has the right to worship, assemble and to establish and maintain places of worship, people are wondering why the Nigerian Army did not attack any religious center in Nigeria as they did to Islamic Movement, because the movement is criticizing western imperialism and also exposing any western plan against Black Africans and undeveloped Nations. Nevertheless the Zaria massacre will remain a bad history to President Muhammadu Buhari which has a strong political support in Northern Nigeria, over 98 percent of the victims of the Army atrocities were Hausa/Fulanis and every victims is directly or indirectly related to voters that strongly support him to be in power.

President Muhammed Buhari is a most populous politician in Nigeria who enjoys masses’ support of 90 percent of Northerners, despite the fact that former premier of Northern region late Sir Ahmadu Bello became the most respected politician in Northern Nigeria but he could not compete with Muhammadu Buhari in terms of majority votes from the region, it was a bizarre to hear any Hausa/Fulani in Nigeria accusing him unlike Sir Ahmadu Bello that had strong opposition group but the atrocities of Zaria massacre and his support on the Army murderers, millions of Muslims in Nigeria are now accusing him and praying for God Almighty to bring the end of his government since they realized that he is no more protecting the interest of the entire Nigerians and respecting the fundamental human right of every citizen as provided by Nigerian constitution.

Political analysts are saying the President Muhammadu Buhari will regret or is regretting his support on the massacre because he is losing political support from Nigerians less than one year of his government in power, he will not leave good legacy behind because no any Nigerian President that had committed abomination like that, compare to development of Islamic Movement in his home town Daura and Katsina State which is among the strong hold of followers of Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky, any effort of President Buhari to set fire on them will really affect his place of birth directly or indirectly.