Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State is on a destructive show of power against the leading Shi’ite sect in Nigeria by ordering that all properties, worship centres, schools, tombs, and even a cemetery belonging to the Islamic Movement of Nigeria be demolished and destroyed by the Kaduna State Urban and Physical Development Agency (KASUPDA).
Following a street clash, earlier in December, between the sects members and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, following which the army conducted a house-by-house raid on the sect, killing over 800 members in cold blood, Nasir El Rufai went on television and declared the group guilty and promised to “end this problem once and for all” as he repeated the dubious claim by the army that there was an assassination attempt on the life of the Chief of Army Staff.
In a statement signed by Ibrahim Musa, president of the Media Forum of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, El Rufai ordered KASUPDA to “demolish all the properties belonging to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria” in the state. On December 23, the group alleges that under the protection of Nigerian Army and the Nigeria’s Secret Police, the Department of State Security Services (DSS), officials of KASUPDA “razed to ground” what remained of the sect’s Husainiyya Islamic centre.
“We are particularly irked by the demolition of our newly bought property adjacent the Husainiyya Baqiyyatullah, a former NTC compound, which they did yesterday. That compound has been in existence since the colonial times,” the statement said.
“Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai didn’t stopped at that, his government’s KASUPDA demolished our Fudiyya Islamic centre, where we were holding our Islamic programmes before relocating to Husainiyya about five years ago. That building was also duly occupied by us and was built by the owner over thirty years ago. It was in the midst of other people’s houses.
“KASUPDA also demolished the family house of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky wherein the remains of his mother who died a year ago lies. The house is located in Jushi Qtrs of Tudun wada Zaria.
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“We condemn this act of brutality against the Islamic movement. This atrocity is a pointer to the fact that, while the government is busy telling the public that they want peace to prevail after the massacre, but at the same time it is out to provoke us more.
“We believe if the government is truly searching for avenues for peaceful resolution to this crisis, the government should be seen by all to be following due process in whatever breach they are accusing the Movement,” the statement said.
The group called on El Rufai “to desist from exploiting our patience and endurance and stop further destruction of our properties”.
According to the Nigerian Army, it’s chief of staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buraitai was trying to make his way through a procession of the Shi’ia sect when an assassination attempt was made on his life by followers of El-Zakzaky who is the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. In an attempt to repel the attack by assailants who “brandished dangerous weapons”, Nigerian troops opened fire on the crowd and killed an undisclosed number of people. According to some reports as many as seventeen people were killed.
In an attempt to win the hearts and minds of Nigerian by justifying the killings of Shi’ite faithfuls in Zaria, the Army authorities released a video showing its officers negotiating with followers of leading Shi’ia cleric, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
But the video released by the army doesn’t prove its claim. It only shows some of Buraitai’s men negotiating for passage, presumably for their boss, and being declined. It doesn’t show the arrival of the army boss to the scene, neither does it show the alleged assassination attempt. It doesn’t show the troops engaging the unruly youth.
Following the street clash between the army and followers of the sect, the Nigerian Army proceeded to invade the home of El-Zakzaky, kill his son and wife, shoot him four times, drag him out from his house like an animal, bloodied, disrobed, and dump him in a wheelbarrow. The Shi’ite cleric’s whereabouts are sketchy as the Chief of Army staff claims he has “handed him over to appropriate authorities”, and the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase has refused to disclose his location to interested parties.
In a two-day rampage of unrestrained violence, Nigerian soldiers allegedly killed 800 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, demolished buildings including a mosque belonging to the Shi’ite sect, and destroyed properties. Associated Press reports that the Nigerian Army has secretly buried their victims to cover-up their crimes against humanity.
The Emir of Kano, Sanusi II has issued a statement on the incident saying that the Shi’ia sect “insults relatives of Prophet Mohammed” and said that the sect’s ideology is “unacceptable to all Muslims”. King of Saudi Arabia congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on phone calling the brutal crackdown on the minority sect as “fighting terrorism”.
Human Rights Watch has released a report which says that Nigerian soldiers murdered over 300 Shi’ite members and buried them secretly in mass graves to cover up their crimes.
Two videos have emerged showing the extent of human rights abuses committed in Zaria by the Nigerian Army. Unlike the ‘promotional’ video shot through the eyes of the troops which has been traced to Army Spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, these videos paint an unsettling picture of a siege on unarmed civilians by a bloodthirsty army, these videos are those recorded by eye-witnesses to these crimes.
In one of the videos, shared by Reports Afrique, soldiers are seen laying a firing squad around a Shi’ite shrine. in preparation of an onslaught on the sect. The second video shows soldiers going house-by-house committing acts of murder as the victims scream in helplessness.
Watch the videos below: Viewer discretion is advised.