The Zaria massacre was a calculated, coordinated and pre-planned attack that targeted Nigerian Shia Muslims. It was an agenda that was executed by the Nigerian government via the Nigerian Army. Since after the brutal Zaria massacre, the Nigerian government via the Nigerian Army have changed the reason for the massacre four times to justify the brutal slaughter of defenseless Nigerians.
Hundreds of Shia Muslims were killed in December 2015 when the Nigerian army attacked a peaceful ceremony in Zaria. It was then that pundits within and without Nigeria started to pose questions for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government and Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai’s led Kaduna State Government. The questions have succeeded in making the governments at both Federal and State level culpable of genocide among the Shia minority.
But, about five years after the Nigerian army’s massacre of the Shia minority of the country, not only there has been no prosecution of committers and commanders of the crime but also the spiritual leader of the Shia of the African country Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky is illegally imprisoned without trial.
Pre-planned attack that targeted Nigerian Shia Muslims
It is generally believed by observers and onlookers that the clampdown on Islamic Movement in Nigeria members in Zaria by the Nigerian Army was pre-planned and executed with a particular goal and objective.
It should be borne in mind that, the level of preparedness, mode of operation, manner of execution and the management and control of the attack by the Nigerian government, Army, Kaduna state government and some media outlets were never coincidental as they all point to the fact that everything was planned.
Many rights groups and organizations condemned the attack and killing of innocent civilians. However, Nigerian government sought to distort the reality about the Zaria crime and accuse the IMN of destabilizing the country.
The only statement coming from the Nigerian President on the matter coming after a fortnight when he was forced to comment by a team of journalists during a media chat.
And when he commented he affirmed the mischief theory even claiming that he saw the chest of a general being hit by members of IMN whereas the mischievous video edited and produced by the perpetrators of the genocide, the Army showed the opposite, Vanguardngr told.
Human rights violation by the Army on innocent unarmed civilians
Reports by the Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Islamic human Rights commission of London (IHRC) all pointed to the same human rights violation perpetrated by the Army on innocent unarmed civilians. Their reports declared that the Nigerian Army used excessive and unlawful force against members of the Shia community, even though they posed no threat to life or security. In addition, the military is accused of attempting to destroy evidence of the crime, Reliefweb mentioned.
Although the military has used several lies to justify the killings, a panel set up by the Kaduna state government to investigate the killings indicted the Nigerian army for the Zaria massacre. Specifically, the panel indicted Maj. General Adeniyi Oyebade, the General Officer Commanding the Nigerian Army’s 1st Division in Kaduna for authorising the operation.
Like a staff of Amnesty International wrote recently, “The Nigerian authorities’ failure to hold anyone to account for the killing of hundreds of women, men and children by soldiers in Zaria, shows the acceptance of a culture of impunity for violations for human rights in the country.” This is unacceptable. The killings are a crime against humanity and those responsible must be brought to justice.