Editorial: Soldiers And Shooting Shiites In Zaria

Share this story.

President Buhari
President Buhari

The tragic killings of scores of Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) members recently in Zaria by soldiers, once again, brings into light how Nigeria deems the lives of its citizens cheap and dispensable.
The premise that the group blocked and stoned the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, that IMN processions and related activities have constituted nuisance to Zaria residents levelled against the group by many in official quarters, including Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru el-Rufai, etc, are at best hollow cants that betrays the government’s cluelessness over the years and till date on how to rein in deviants of society in humane, lawful manners.
The Dream Daily has on several occasion witnessed the IMN processions and activities in Kaduna State and attests to their disruptive tendencies. However, we condemn the Army and Government’s resort to honcho attacks on the group and the extra-judicial murder of its members in Zaria, uncivilised and gross violation of their fundamental human rights. Those supporting the government’s heinous action against the IMN should look themselves in the mirror and asked: When does two wrongs make a right?
Although Governor El-Rufai has insisted that IMN Spiritual Leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, would be prosecuted, we are of the view that the Government has lost the moral high ground on this tragic event with how its agents handled the Zaria incident. Prosecute him or set him free, the government has equipped El-Zakzaky and his followers with the moral arsenal to assail it with the ignoble conduct of the Army against IMN. True, irascible IMN members may have illegally impede the free movement of a high-raking Army chief and even disturb the public peace in Zaria, but, as the Emir of Kano, His Eminence Muhammad Sanusi II, asked: what happened to the use of non-lethal means of opening up that blocked highway with to “rubber bullets? What of teargas? What of water cannon? It is inexcusable to use maximum force when other deterrent means have not been used!”
The Zaria incident, we reckon, could become President Muhammadu Buhari’s Odi and Zaki Biam, two despicable use of state power to violate the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens for which former President Olusegun Obasanjo should one day be held accountable. If the killers of former Burkina Faso revolutionary Leader, the charismatic Thomas Sankara, could be answering to the charges of his murder 30 years after the fact of the event, let no leader today hold himself unaccountable to the Nigerian People for violating their fundamental human rights.
Be as it may, we want to tell Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his IMN members that there are at least three levels of sovereign powers in Nigeria to which all resident in this geographical enclosure must obey insofar as those exercising authorities at the three tiers of government and their agencies do so within the ambit of our laws. El-Zakzaky and his followers must accept these secular authorities; it is quite divine and to so act.
We support the calls for a judicial inquiry into the Zaria killings of IMN members, which had emanated across religious divides in the country, for justice to be done on the matter.
However, we condemn the attempt by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) to draw a parallel between the traffic disruption caused by the IMN in Zaria “with the notorious blockage caused by the Redeemed Church on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.” This an unintelligent and unhelpful comment, and a dangerous subliminal assault on the fragile inter-religious relationship in this country. No group should seize on the Zaria tragedy to advance its cause, however genuine its claims are.

Share this story.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.