Following the recent unfortunate massacre of brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, subsequent arrest of the leader of the Movement, his Eminence Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, arrest of hundreds of other brothers and sisters, destruction of properties, perpetrated by the Nigerian Army in Zaria under the watchful eyes of the Nigerian government and the propaganda instituted by Army and the government, seeking to cover up their crime against humanity, the Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria presents as follows:
THE ATTACK ON HUSSAINIYYA
On the morning of Saturday 12th of December 2015, soldiers were stationed directly opposite the Hussainiyyah Baqiyatullah (Center where teaching sessions and other activities are held) located along Sokoto road, close to the polo pitch.
On that day, the Movement was to commemorate a flag hoisting event. The event was to mark the beginning of the Month of Rabiul Awwal, the birth month of the holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) where a green flag is to be hoisted replacing the black flag.
Some people from different places have started attending the event which was to commence in the evening. Those in attendance were inside the Husainiyyah while the organizers were busy putting the place in order.
At about 12:30 pm, some of the curious organizers went to confirm why the Army in such numbers were stationed in front of the Hussainiyyah and were informed that they were having a passing-out parade. They said to the soldiers that they have had passing-out parades in the past, but they have never stationed soldiers there and that their presence was generating tension considering what they did in 2014 where they killed 34 brothers and sisters of the Movement. The soldiers started shooting in the air. This was what made those inside the Husainiyyah to start coming out on the road.
In the midst of this, the soldiers started taking position and all of a sudden there was siren of the purported entourage of the Chief of Army Staff which was blocked as a result of the presence of people in front of the Hussainiyyah and on the road in front.
That was when the Army took advantage of the situation and took video of the tension and part of what ensured between some people and the Army. When the tension persisted, the entourage shot some people and passed through.
About an hour later there was reinforcement of the Army carrying heavy arms and box of ammunitions that resumed killing indiscriminately. Eye witnesses saw Nigerian Army killing small children who were confused and running for refuge outside the Hussainiyyah.
They remained in that situation killing any of the members at sight, while the brothers and sisters of the Movement, who are also armless, took cover inside the Hussainiyyah.
The soldiers called on those inside the Hussainiyyah who are in their hundreds to come out of the Hussainiyyah with their hands up which some of them did, but were shot by the soldiers as they went out and this prevented the others from conceding.
Later that night the Nigerian Army threw grenades at the Hussainiyyah putting down part of the wall to gain access. Those inside were taking cover as the soldiers have surrounded the entire building and were shooting indiscriminately and there was nowhere to go to.
Hundreds of unarmed civilians were murdered by the Army at the Hussainiyyah that night amongst who were children. They cordoned off the entire area and took away the corpses of those they murdered. Some of the corpses at that time were deposited at the Mortuary of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Shika near Zaria.
They later brought down the frontage of the Hussainiyyah and later leveled the entire structure on Sunday 20, December 2015.
ATTACK ON SHEIKH IBRAHEEM ZAKZAKY’S RESIDENCE AT GYALLESU QUARTERS IN ZARIA
Just as the Nigerian Army was on its killing spree at the Hussainiyyah on that fateful Saturday, brothers and sisters of the Movement that were trooping to the house of the leader, his Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) to contribute in the anyway they can to protect him. This was what gathered all the people at the Gyallesu residence of the leader of the Movement.
At about 9:00 pm, the Nigerian Army in about nine trucks carrying heavy arms and ammunition arrived Gyallesu area registering their presence by bombing a tea joint and setting the shop on fire.
They took position outside the walls of Congo Campus of ABU facing the road leading to the house of his Eminence Sheikh Zakzaky using the fire they ignited to see the unarmed citizens of protecting the house of their leader and shooting indiscriminately at them.
They kept on killing people indiscriminately wanting to reach the house of the revered leader which was shielded by brothers and sisters but could not disperse the them.
Brothers and sisters of the Movement continued chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is great) and ‘Labbaika Ya Rasulallah’ (We answer to you Messenger of Allah) and charging at the direction of the soldiers who fearfully stayed away but continued shooting and killing.
Whenever they shoot down a brother or sister, as others rush out to pick him or her they shoot at them and kill them as well. This situation lasted for hours with the soldiers taking a break from their shooting only for 10 to 15 minutes and resuming again.
At about 5:30 am on Sunday, there was another reinforcement of soldiers in about 20 trucks with Armored Personnel Carriers forcing their way through.
brothers and sisters of the Movement maintained their position chanting ‘Allah is Great’ while the Nigerian Army engaged in continued bloodshed breaking the barrier made by unarmed brothers and sisters of the Movement.
This took another two hours before they could successfully reach the fence of the house of the leader and another one hour before they could get to the gate of the house. Prior to this they had already brought down the side wall of the leader’s house and the remaining members continued with efforts to repel them but all to no avail.
That was when many of the leading brothers including Sheikh Muhammad Mahmud Turi were martyred. Also they killed 3 children of Sheikh Zakzaky, namely Hammad, Ali and Humaid, while shooting their mother Sister Zeenat Ibraheem severally in the womb.
At that point the Nigerian Army went round the surrounding area killing those that were injured to make sure they finished everybody. They cordoned off the entire area killing those injured. Prominent among whom they finished off was Alhaj Ibrahim Usman a journalist working with KSMC.
They then set part of the frontage of the house on fire and invited thugs who stole money, phones and other belongings from the corpses of the innocent citizens and also mutilated dead bodies, in fact a number of the injured were also killed by the thugs invited by the military. They mutilated the dead bodies and cut some of the brothers and sisters by the throat and cut the bodies of others into pieces all in the presence of the soldiers.
They were at the same time inciting sectarian hatred and phobia to justify their crimes as they shoot and kill anyone identified by the thugs as a member of the Movement.
The soldiers were celebrating and jubilating, saying ‘we have finished with Shia and the Zakzaky! No more Shia in Nigeria!’ as if the Nigerian government was fighting against the Shia faith while the constitution allows freedom of religion and worship.
THE ATTACK AT DARUR RAHMA
Darur Rahma is a park, a graveyard and a film village owned by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. Towards evening on Sunday, some of the brothers and sisters of the Movement have taken refuge at the place following the military attack on the Hussainiyyah and the house of the leader at Gyallesu.
The Nigerian Army in a further attack went to the DarurRahma and shelled the buildings down using rocket launchers and later opened fire at the brothers and sisters of the Movement there present killing many of them while some others escaped narrowly.
The dead bodies from that place were also taken to the mortuary of ABU Teaching Hospital at Shika near Zaria where corpses deposited by Nigerian Army from Hussainiyyah and DarurRahma numbered over eight hundred. This does not include those killed at Gyallesu.
Finally, the Kaduna state government took over from where the Nigerian Army stopped and completed the destruction of all the structures owned by the Islamic Movement across Zaria. These include the Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah (Study Center and other gatherings) at GRA area of Zaria, Fudiyya Islamic Center at Dan Magaji and Darur Rahma (Graveyard, Park and Film Village).
Among those killed at the various points of attack are members of the Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria AFIMN. Members of the forum are made up of students and lecturers of tertiary institutions. So far the forum has compiled a list and profile of 68 (sixty eight) of its members gruesomely killed by the Army in the attacks.
The Kaduna State Government had set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the pogrom during which the Secretary to the state government confessed that 347 corpse of IMN members were buried in a mass grave in the middle of the night. IMN had officially declared 850 members missing since the pogrom while 191 are being held in Kaduna Central Prison facing charges that include possession of firearms, culpable homicide and illegal assembly.
Several human rights organizations around the globe including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Islamic Human Rights Commission of London have condemned the extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the Nigerian government. The Islamic Human Rights Commission had taken the matter before the International Criminal Court, ICC at The Hague seeking justice on crimes against humanity committed by the Nigerian government and it’s Army.
More so, the IMN had instituted a case before the Federal High Court in Abuja and Kaduna seeking for the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of the leader of the Movement Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). The IMN leader and his wife Malama Zeenat Ibrahim, have been kept in detention without any charges for the past seven months since the pogrom.
In view of the above submission it will clearly be seen that the Nigeria Army operation was preplanned and executed accordingly. There were no such things as plans to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, or deliberate blockage of the entourage of the COAS. It was only an oppressive act of impunity displayed by the Army with an already planned intention of genocide against the over 20 million brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria by the government.
The Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in this occasion of Eid- al -Fitr hereby calls on peace lovers in Nigeria and the international community to rise against this form of tyranny perpetrated by the state in other words rise against state terrorism. We should denounce these acts of oppression and impunity perpetrated by those in power, and in unison call for the immediate and unconditional release of the revered leader of the IMN, his Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
- By S.I Ahmad