Zaria Massacre: Nigerian Army Gave Boko Haram Three Warnings But Gave Zakzaky None
By Peregrino Brimah
“…let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.”
The Nigerian army urged Boko Haram to surrender in three distinct public announcements. The army said, “we know where you are and advise you to surrender, this is your first warning.” Again they repeated this message, urging terrorists who through their five year pogrom, had murdered as many as 100,000 Nigerians, abducted and raped thousands and displaced 3 million, to surrender a second time. In October they issued the “third and final” warning to the terrorists. It was a show of extreme compassion for these “Sunni” affiliated terrorists.
Lt. General Buratai described how he narrowly escaped assassination by Islamic Movement youth on a “mission to kill him.” For some reason he knew or strongly felt that they were not on a mission to simply kill soldiers but on one to take his life. But what he left out of telling Nigerians was why they would want to do such a thing to him if indeed it was so.
A video clip was released that showed the angry Shia Muslims arguing with Buratai’s men. Pictures also showed the youth with weapons, ready to fight a suicidal battle. Later, images were shown and a story told of how the leader of as many as 10 million Shia followers in Nigeria was dug out hiding in a ‘bunker’ at his house. Again left out was the reason Zakzaki was hiding.
Pictures showed burning tyres, a sign of protest, but we did not know what they were protesting and why they were suddenly so angry. Their processions that occupy roads are never accompanied by burning tyres and the like. Something was definitely amiss here.
Now let me explain what I have found out and probably why the Shia Muslims of Nigeria were ready to “kill” Lt. General Buratai and blocked the General and his men from driving down Sokoto road, even sitting on the ground to do so and why Sheikh Zakzaki was hiding instead of turning himself in to discus the critical situation. Note: This piece is based solely on the accounts and evidence of the victims and videos and images.
In the afternoon of December 12th, at about 12 noon, the Islamic Movement were prepared to celebrate their after-Muharam special Maulud month occasion. As they do the same time each year, they had changed their most Holy house, the Hussayniyah Baitullah Islamic Center flag from Gray to Red.
As they prepared for an occasion which we have the video of the same event last year that showed military vehicles plying the road during it, soldiers with tanks and armored vehicles suddenly arrived.
The soldiers entered formation surrounding the Islamic Center on Sokoto road. There was no road block at this time, there was no provocation and no attempt on the life of General Buratai, who by the way, I believe is meant to be based with the Military command in Maiduguri, not so? We have seen the videos from the soldiers surrounding the center and laying on the ground with guns pointed at the center ready to attack.
As the story goes as narrated by victims who lost loved ones, some said the soldiers opened fire on the Islamic Center, killing 7 faithfuls and wounding several others. This was the first story we heard…that the Nigerian army had killed 7 Shiites. Other accounts including the official release on the Islamic Movement website have it that the soldiers were only confronted and asked why they were provocatively stationed around the Holy center, to which the Army responded that they were there to protect their leader from possible attack by the movement. This was surprising? Perhaps there is some intel we are yet to find out about.
Next according to the Islamic Movement side, they successfully drove the army off from their frontage and they re-stationed not too far, at the PHCN yard opposite Post Office junction.
Lt. General Buratai and his men were plying the Sokoto road in the direction of the Islamic Center towards their function. But by this time many members of the Islamic movement who had heard of the provocative posture of the Nigerian Army at the Islamic Center had recognized that a massacre was eminent. They knew the ominous signs of one from recent experiences. It was the same way that in July last year the Nigerian Army had massacred dozens of their members including three sons of their leader; and nothing had been done towards justice. They remembered that as they described of the event last year, many of those killed including the Sheikh’s three sons were taken alive and exterminated in cold blood by Nigerian soldiers.
The members were indeed suicidal. Their mantra is, it is better to die brave on your feet than to be killed cowering. They have a covenant never ‘again’ to retreat in the face of an enemy. They were going to defend the Islamic Center from what they suspected and rightfully so, was going to be a wave of murderous attacks, or ‘happily’ die trying. We have seen the pictures of them armed and denying the military passage toward the center.
We watched the very essential piece of evidence in the sliced video the military side released where they were having a heated verbal confrontation.
The Shia Muslims were saying, “And today that’s how you brought soldiers to Hussainiya…” “We may just as well die here.” And the Military men (spokesman) with General Buratai as can be heard from the video said, “Wallahi Bamusani ba,” meaning, “I swear to God we did not know.” The Shiites also complained about two of their members who were also killed in Jos village, Zaria the day before.
Listen 1:10 “Ama Yaw sai kukawo soldiers kofar Hussayniyah…baa wani bayani; duk abun da za ku yi, kuna dayawa mutane.”
“But today you brought soldiers to the door of Hussainiyyah…without any warrant/reason, every action you are taking, you used to inform people.”
The rest is history. There were no witnesses alive to tell the story. At least 172 corpses were reportedly deposited at the ABU hospital alone. Some estimate that as many as 1000 members who came to “protect” their beliefs and those they hold dear, were killed. These videos are the last captures of these youth alive, many, students in ABU. This video shows how much the life of Buratai was at risk as the military walked freely within the ranks of angry youth. Perhaps one of them threw a stone. The video was cut to cover the part where the massacre started at that point on Sokoto road. We have seen images of similar non-Shia riotous youth in Nigeria’s north, armed with sticks and daggers and NEVER have we heard of the military called in tho mow them all down as happened to these Shia Muslims. The after-math of the 2011 elections is a similar case fresh in our memories, where the government did not order a massacre of armed, civil disobedient youth.
In what bore the hallmarks of a vendetta, the army continued on to Hussainiyah Islamic Center and killed everyone they could there. They destroyed the building. They then went on to Sheikh Zakzaky’s house at about 11pm that fateful night. We are not sure if they had an arrest warrant and if it was their duty to continue this military attack or if this should have been the duty of the Nigerian police. We do not recollect Marshal law or a State of Emergency being declared in Kaduna those fateful days. There was no standoff and none of the typical hours of negotiations where many civilians, women and children are involved as seen in civilized nations; it was a raid and destroy mission. We have no reports of evidence of immediate risk and the need for sweeping military or police action on the various religious and residential buildings. The Nigerian army fired shots into the house killing the many in there who would rather die than leave their leaders. As more members poured in as a human shield, the army happily delivered death to them.
They then burned down Sheikh Zakzaky’s house, burning whoever was still alive inside it. They threw grenades and used bulldozers in full, deadly wartime military action. From their actions, they had hoped to kill Sheikh Zakzaky as they obliterated his home. Many died including three more of his sons. The army later found the leader who had sustained about four shots, hiding, saved from their extermination attempt on his residence, in a bunker. From his appearance with swollen eyes dripping blood, it appears they beat the life out of him, possibly butting his face with a gun. They pulled him by the legs and pushed him on his behind on the ground as pictures hint; they then loaded him into a wheelbarrow to transport him.
So you see, the dead Muslims did not simply run mad and decide to mount road blocks, burn tyres and hold swords to stop the army from passing Sokoto road. They did so because they believed, and perhaps rightly so from experience and as we now know with hindsight of 20:20 that the army had assumed an extermination mission on their center earlier in the day. The army said, “we did not know.” So who ordered the initial Hussainiyah ambush? Was the full massacre also ordered by this same foreign entity or spirit who has command over Nigerian troops? Why did the army after dissolving the armed protester presence on Sokoto road, go to Hussainiyah center and massacre everyone there? Could they not do a normal standoff and ask them to surrender?
Now again, we have a clue why Zakzaky was hiding. This was not an arrest. This was not the fulfillment of a search warrant. This was most evidently a find, eliminate and destroy them and their houses of worship, mission. This was a mission to get rid of the anti-Zionist West African Shia headquarters in Nigeria. This was a mission to clean-up Kaduna of its Shiites following the clean-up of the State of its destitutes. Based on the accounts given by the Shia Muslims, there are few other explanations. Explanations for GRENADES? I cannot come up with many more.
One must thank the Almighty that ‘Shia’ Muslims are perhaps the most patient and tolerant of humans on earth. Had it been the Sultan of Sokoto or even CAN president that lost three of his sons last year to military arrogance, Lord knows what hell would have broken loose on Nigeria’s streets then. Now also, in spite of seeing their most Holy sites destroyed and their leader on point of death, shot, beaten and humiliated in a wheel barrow, the millions of them are demonstrating what it means to be human. We must thank God. We pray for the souls of the departed and the three more of Zazaky’s sons. The death of children is the biggest pain to bear. Of nine children, three sons killed by the Jonathan government last year and three more this year by the Buhari government leaving him only one son and two daughters.
In light of the evidence thus far, I leave everyone with the quote I started with, from the Holy Quran in Chapter 5 and verse 8: “…let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.“
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: firstname.lastname@example.org