Sheikh El-Zakzaky Rejects Jonathan’s Apology
Frontline Islamic cleric Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky has rejected President Goodluck Jonathan’s apology for the killing of his three sons and 31 other members of his movement.
El-Zakzaky is the leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria. Members of the group were on a procession on July 25 in his Zaria, Kaduna State base to mark the annual Quds Day when they clashed with security men at the P2 Roundabout in the University town.
At the end of the clash, 34 members of the sect lay dead; 106 were injured.
Yesterday, the cleric told visiting Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, in Zaria that he expected nothing but justice from the government.
He said President Goodluck Jonathan called him on the telephone to apologise to him on the killings but he rejected it.
“You don’t commit murder and say sorry,” El-Zakzaky said, adding: “If that is the case, there is no need for legislation. Whenever one commits a crime, all he needs to do is to say sorry. Why do we have the police, courts and prisons? These murderers are known. I am not blaming the entire military, but I know the killers. They are individuals who answer names. I know their commander is a Lieutenant Colonel who personally shot my children. He stamped on their bodies and stabbed them with knives. This is clearly a crime committed.”
Zakzaky said it is only when criminals are punished that the society acknowledges that a crime was truly committed. “My children were identified as my children before they were tortured to death. This is a crime. I can’t imagine how callous and cruel one can be to murder three children simply because he hates their father. They did nothing,” he said.
However, he said, the Islamic Movement had cause to rejoice over what happened to its members, as they were killed on the path of God. “You as a Christian believe that Jesus Christ was killed for no offence, but just because he was good. This has been the fate of all good people, such as the Prophets. This is a certificate on our own little way that these people were good, but the corrupt society feels that we should not exist.”
Zakzaky praised the NHRC boss for the visit and the concern shown, maintaining that the movement would not fold its arms and accept what happened without any effort, but will seek redress through the right channel.
Odinkalu pledged that the Commission would seek all legal avenues and employ all legal mechanisms to ensure that the law takes its course over the killings.
Odinkalu added: “We are all children of one country and one Nigeria. None of us chose to be here, but we are all planted here by God for a reason. No parent wants to lose three children at a time. These children could be children of any parent. But it got to a point in this country where losing people no longer matters, where young people can die and nobody cares.
“We will ensure justice is done without undue interference from any quarters, as vanguards of citizens in their demand for justice and fair play. We pray God for the repose of the souls of those killed and give to Sheikh the fortitude and strength to bear the irreparable loss.”
Zakzaky said the perpetrators of the act intended to isolate the Islamic Movement as another “Boko Haram” to create hatred between the group and the public.
“This is why they are referring to us as ‘Shi’ite sect’. We are never a sect, and will never be one. I personally do not recognise a sect; we have never called ourselves a sect. we have never been a sect and will never be. All my life, I never even recognised a sect,” he said.
The Sheikh went on: “They indiscriminately and sporadically shot at everyone and everything, including nearby banks and shops, smashed cars. We also realised that the soldiers used special tiny bullets on the protesters that were not easily detected during first aid treatment on the injured.
“An announcement had already been made that any person injured and discharged from hospital, should go back for cross examination.”
El-Zakzaky said the military created the Boko Haram sect.
“It has become obvious that the military has created a faceless and anonymous sect called Boko Haram. “We have never seen a Boko Haram member nor their schools, mosques or newspapers. All we hear of them are bomb blast and videos issuing threat of attack, promoted by the government as the only source of information.”
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