We’re all brothers in hu­man­ity – Shi’ites

Daily Trust - - TRUST ISLAMIC FORUM - By John Chuks Azu

Aday be­fore the fed­eral gov­ern­ment de­posed that the leader of the Is­lamic Move­ment in Nige­ria (MIN), Sheik Ibra­heem Zakzaky is be­ing held at his own wish, mem­bers of the sect ad­dressed the me­dia where they gave con­di­tions over the De­cem­ber 12 and 14, 2015 killing of their mem­bers.

When even­tu­ally the counsel from the of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), Ti­j­jani Gaza­lli ap­peared be­fore an Abuja Fed­eral High Court on June 14 to ar­gue the re­ply to the fun­da­men­tal rights en­force­ment suit of the Sheik, who was be­ing held with his wife, Zeenah Ibrahim, it seemed a déjà vu.

The del­e­ga­tion from the Free Sheik Zakzaky Com­mit­tee who came on a visit to Me­dia Trust Ltd head­quar­ters on June 13, said they have come to de­mand jus­tice for the vic­tims of the clash and pun­ish­ment for those who car­ried out the killings.

The group led by the chair­man of the com­mit­tee, Ab­dul­rah­man Yola, said they have filed a com­plaint to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity specif­i­cally, the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC) at The Hague, for re­prieve for their losses.

The del­e­ga­tion re­it­er­ated the stance of IMN that it shunned the ju­di­cial com­mis­sion of in­quiry set up by the Kaduna State Gov­ern­ment be­cause its con­sti­tu­tion was bi­ased against it.

Con­se­quently, the sect de­mands the un­con­di­tional re­lease of Sheik Zakzaky, the re­turn of corpses of slain mem­bers for proper Is­lamic burial rites, re­lease of all those in de­ten­tion over the al­le­ga­tion that 256 mem­bers and a two-year-old baby of the sect killed a sol­dier, and an in­de­pen­dent ju­di­cial panel to be set up to de­ter­mine what hap­pened and bring cul­prits to book.

Re­call­ing the clash, Yola al­leged that dozens of faith­ful were in­dis­crim­i­nately killed in Zaria, while the sect’s Hus­sainiyya was de­stroyed by the army.

The IMN claimed that 950 mem­bers are still un­ac­counted for, 347 peo­ple were buried in mass graves, and 181 de­tained in the Kaduna Cen­tral Prisons, among them are stu­dents, a two year old baby, the ill and the aged.

“All that hap­pened we be­lieve they were stage-man­aged. Firstly, they at­tacked the Hus­sainiyya un­der the pre­text that the con­voy of the Chief of Army Staff was blocked. In ac­tu­al­ity, three hours be­fore the com­ing of the Chief of Army Staff, a con­tin­gent of the mil­i­tary was sta­tioned, fully armed with ex­tra am­mu­ni­tion, in front of the Hus­sainiyya,” Yola said.

“After clear­ing the road, re­in­force­ment was brought in whereby they cor­doned off the whole premises from 3 o’clock in the af­ter­noon up till 12 mid­night when they started bom­bard­ing the Hus­sainiyya where there were women and chil­dren. They moved away from the Hus­sainiya to the res­i­dence of the sheikh where they again opened fire.

“There are sets of rules and reg­u­la­tion gov­ern­ing the ex­is­tence of hu­man life. The life of ev­ery hu­man be­ing is sa­cred. We do not be­lieve in the spilling of the blood any hu­man be­ing ir­re­spec­tive of who he may be be­cause ev­ery hu­man could be ei­ther your brother by re­li­gion or a brother in hu­man­ity,” he said.

The Nige­rian Army re­leased a state­ment after the in­ci­dent claim­ing that it acted in self-de­fence in the in­ci­dents, while main­tain­ing that the sect mem­bers acted vi­o­lently.

With the in­ter­na­tional up­roar cre­ated over the in­ci­dent, the IMN said their 10 point de­mands, if faith­fully im­ple­mented, will bring clo­sure to the sect’s agony. He said the sect has re­mained non-vi­o­lent even when the sheikh’s three sons and dozens of the sect mem­bers were al­legedly killed by the army in July 2014; and sui­cide bomb at­tack, which killed many of the sect mem­bers in Novem­ber, 2015 in Kano. “We have never taken vengeance for even one of those killed,” he said.

The del­e­ga­tion in­cluded the chair­man, IMN Re­source Arm, Yusha’u Shuaibu; Imam and mem­ber of Global Foundation in Nige­ria, Ibrahim Mo­hammed Ga­mawa; and the Abuja Bureau Chief of Pointer Ex­press, Samir Azare.

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