By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
MEMBERS of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria also known as Shi’ites, on Friday, said an estimated 1,866 children in Nigeria were orphaned as a result of the Federal Government’s alleged clampdown on their activities following the 2015 Zaria massacre.
They also revealed that over 200 brethren of the sect were arrested and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed since then.
Briefing journalists in Abuja, the Secretary of IMN’s Academic Forum, Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, blamed the government for the situation, claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was complicit in an attempt by a foreign power to suppress the Muslim group in Nigeria.
The text read by the IMN scribe was titled, ‘Buhari’s Silence over Riyadh’s Claims: A Conclusive Proof of His Guilt’.
He said, “From its ruinous execution to date, the Zaria massacre has become the talk of the country.
“The savage killing of brothers and sisters of the Islamic movement; the subsequent carting off and incarceration of our leader, His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky; the arrest of over two hundred brethren and the destruction of property owned by the Sheikh have rendered 1,866 children orphaned.
“It all began on Saturday, December 12, 2015. On that day, 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 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. Apparently, Nigeria’s sovereignty was put up for sale, then Riyadh and her allies grabbed the perfect window of opportunity to have their bidding done. Nigerians should resent and be mindful of foreign interference in the internal affairs of our country.
“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.”
While condemning the alleged role played by Saudi Arabia in the Zaria massacre and in Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s continued detention, the Shi’ites said they cannot afford to fold their hands and watch a foreign country try hard to eliminate their incarcerated leader.
“We have been staging protests in Abuja and across the country as well. It will continue until he is released unconditionally, as the case is already at the International Criminal Court of Justice,” the Shi’ites added.