The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (ISM) also known as Shi’ites, has accused the Nigerian government of killing over 2,000 of its members, and in the process, rendering about 1,866 of their children orphans since the government began a crackdown against their activities in Zaria since 2015.
While briefing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, Secretary of IMN’s Academic Forum, Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, alleged that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was responsible in an attempt by a foreign power to suppress the group in Nigeria.
Musa also claimed that about “500 brethren of the sect were arrested, while properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed since the crackdown began.”
In a statement issued at the end of the briefing and made available to Ripples Nigeria on Sunday, titled, ‘Buhari’s Silence over Riyadh’s Claims: A Conclusive Proof of His Guilt,’ ISM noted that the Zaria massacre had become the talk of the country but no one has called the President and the military to order.
“The ISM has been under attack and persecution since President Muhammadu Buhari came into power in 2015. As at the last count, more than 2000 of our brethren have been killed, 1,866 of our children have been rendered orphans while over 500 are still in detention while their properties worth millions of naira have been destroyed by Buhari and his military,” the statement reads.
Musa lamented that the savage killing of their members, the subsequent carting off and incarceration of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and the murder and arrest of their members have been a calculated efforts by the Buhari government to exterminate them.
“It all began on Saturday, December 12, 2015, when the commemoration of the arrival of al-Rabi’ul al-Awwal, the birth month of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), was merely some hours to commence.
“Then, there came the attack by the soldiers which culminated in unprecedented scenes of carnage that claimed more than a thousand people, including Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s three sons. Many alive with treatable injuries, some without the least bit, but were burnt, the Sheikh’s elder sister altogether.
“But for the Federal Government’s complicity, these could neither have happened nor even be considered.
“Instead of the Federal Government to make reference to, or rather, consult the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry constituted by the Kaduna State Government under the chairmanship of Honourable Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba to prosecute the perpetrators, it has dumped the victims in kangaroo litigation procedures and delay tactics.
“A lot of Nigerians do not know that Nigeria’s sovereignty was put up for sale by Buhari, then Riyadh and her allies grabbed the perfect window of opportunity to have their bidding done.
“We are warning Nigerians to be mindful of foreign interference in the internal affairs of our country.
“Shi’ites cannot afford to fold their hands and watch a foreign country try hard to eliminate their incarcerated leader. We condemn, in very strong terms, the role played by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Zaria massacre and in Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s continued detention.
“Shi’ites will continue staging protests in Abuja and across the country until our leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky, is released unconditionally. The case is already at the International Criminal Court of Justice and we will pursue every reasonablemeans to secure his release.”
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