News ID : 57365
Publish Date : 2020/12/13 12:15
Five Years After Zaria Massacre: Still In Search of Justice
BY: Najeeb Maigatari, Jigawa State

Five Years After Zaria Massacre: Still In Search of Justice


The injustice meted on the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his followers between 12th- 14th of December 2015 will go down in history as one of the worse human rights violation in Nigeria. The unfortunate events that occurred in those black hours were horribly shocking and have broken the heart of anyone with blood of humanity running through his veins.

NOURNEWS/Nigeria - The injustice meted on the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his followers between 12th- 14th of December 2015 will go down in history as one of the worse human rights violation in Nigeria. The unfortunate events that occurred in those black hours were horribly shocking and have broken the heart of anyone with blood of humanity running through his veins.

More than thousand innocent civilians were massacred in cold blood under the pretext of alleged road blockade to the convoy of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Buratai Tukur Yusuf.

In a statement made available to men of  press few days after the massacre, the Nigerian army initially claimed that only seven members of the movement were killed in the attack. This [claim] was later refuted by the then Secretary to Kaduna State government Alhaji Lawal Balarabe in a testimony before the Kaduna State-established Judicial Commission of Inquiry (set up to investigate the incident) where he attested that at least 347 members of the movement were killed.

On the other hand, the victims of the massacre- members of the movement: whom parents, children, brothers and sisters were attacked, arrested, disabled and killed; have documented not fewer than thousands of their brothers and sisters who were either killed or have gone missing since the attack.

Several families have been wiped out of existence and the breadwinners of several others killed thus turning hundreds of wives into widows, and children orphans.

Pregnant women were tortured, children molested, and young girls were especially captured, insulted, some of them raped, shot in their most private parts and stabbed with rifle bayonets on their breasts. Several others were tortured to death, while the whereabouts of some of those captured and whisked away alive is still unknown to this date. It is believed that the Nigerian military are holding them illegally in various detention facilities.

Another heinous crime the Nigerian army committed was how they went to as far as burning people alive including the sister of Sheikh Zakzaky, Malama Fatima Yaqoub whom they locked in a room and set ablaze, she yelled for help while they stand to watch her die painfully as the fire guts every part of her body. They also buried in mass grave all those they killed in a bid to cover up their heinous crime. The burial was headed by some top military officials secretly in midnight hours along Mando, in the outskirt of Kaduna.

In addition to all these, the Kaduna State government demolished all properties belonging to Sheikh Zakzaky including his residence and teaching centers. His mother’s house was also demolished and her grave and that of her grandchildren (the sons of Sheikh Zakzaky) alongside other martyrs of the movement exhumed.

It is exactly five years now and the families of the victims are living in unimaginable pain and inconceivable anguish. Not knowing the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones.

Notwithstanding, the Nigerian government is still holding Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife in illegal detention. Despite the continued deteriorating health condition of the duo owing to the improper medical attention they are receiving in the dilapidated Kaduna Central Prison.

The Sheikh had lost his left eye from gunshot which is further worsened by improper medical attention. Severally, he suffered from stroke and other emergency health complications while at the illegal detention; and his wife Zeenah, suffering from osteoarthritis is currently confined to wheelchair.

On December 2nd 2016, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ruled that the Sheikh and his wife should be released and compensated. To this date, the government is still holding them illegally in flagrant contempt of this valid court order. The members of the movement have since then embarked on peaceful processions and sit in vigils to demand the release of the Sheikh which most of the times end up with the Nigerian security operatives attacking, arresting and killing the protesters.

The Massacre in Zaria and its aftermath, the persecution of the members of the movement, have gained global outcry and condemnation especially from human rights organizations within and outside the country. The persecution according to the organizations is a violation of the rights to liberty, freedom of speech, peaceful gathering, expression of opinion and religion. People of conscience have come to the conclusion that the alleged road blockade was all a hoax primarily staged to serve the military’s interest which is synonymous to giving a dog a bad name to pave way to hang it and therefore have been mounting pressure on the government to end this impunity and release the honorable Sheikh, his wife and all detainees of the movement for the greater good of the country.

The question that is often asked by people of conscience around the globe is, would justice be served? If yes, when will justice be served to the victims of Zaria Massacre and its perpetrators be brought book?


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