Two months ago, precisely on Saturday 12 December, 2015, the Nigerian army carried out what can best be described as a massacre against unarmed civilians of the Islamic movement in Zaria Kaduna state. The horrendous nature of the atrocity carried out by the army is known to all and sundry, however it can be summed up by the fact that it is unprecedented in recent history, for nowhere around the globe has a regular army wiped out 1000+ civilians within 48 hours. Not only that, hundreds are in detention including the leader of the Islamic movement Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky.
We come out today to once again remind fellow citizens that the premeditated murder of innocent souls carried out in Zaria cannot just be wished away, because those killed by the army are not aliens, they are bonafide citizens of this country with their relatives and hometowns known, but whose constitutional rights were trampled upon.
In the aftermath of the attack, many reasons were put forward by the Kaduna state government and the army in particular, trying to justify the unjustifiable. However reading through the charges brought against brothers of the Islamic movement who are being detained in Kaduna prison, we stand vindicated in our view that what happened in Zaria has nothing to do with road blockade, but has everything to do with enmity harboured by some people against the Islamic movement. For those who believed the narrative of the Nigerian army, why is road blockade or assassination attempt on the life of the Chief of army staff not mentioned in the charges? The reason is simple, because there was nothing of that sort on that fateful day when the army attacked. These were just smokescreens to becloud the intention of the federal government against the Islamic movement.
And now two months have passed with the security agencies unable to even frame a single charge against Sheikh Zakzaky, while it is common knowledge to students of law that it is unconstitutional and illegal to detain suspects while the police are going about fishing for evidence that is not there. That is why we find it expedient to call on the authorities to release our leader since the police have no evidence that he has infringed on the law.
It is appalling and disgusting that those that are supposed to face trial are the ones pretending to be victims. Imagine the Kaduna state governor that ordered all traces of the atrocities committed by the army be obliterated by demolishing the crime scenes and clearing the debris, now saying he is committed to investigating the remote causes of what happened in Zaria. Imagine a whole army chief claiming that his soldiers killed only seven people against glaring video and photo evidences of the merciless killings conducted by the army.
We therefore once again call on well meaning Nigerians to stand up against the injustice perpetrated by the federal government in Zaria, because what happened if allowed to go unchallenged might be replicated on other Nigerian citizens somewhere in the country. Those who killed and maimed with impunity are not supposed to be trusted with the reigns of governance.
In conclusion, we call for the unconditional release of the revered leader of the Movement, his Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, other members of the Movement in detention and corpses of those killed by the Army.
Peace be upon those who cherish the truth.
Signed by
Abdulhamid Bello