FIVE YEARS AFTER ZARIA MASSACRE

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The injustice meted on the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his followers between 12th and 14th, December 2015, will go down in history as one of the worst human rights violations in Nigeria.

The unfortunate events that occurred in those black hours were horribly shocking. The Nigerian army killed innocent civilians under the pretext of alleged road blockade to the convoy of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.

Due to the attack, breadwinners of several families were killed, thus turning their wives into widows and children into orphans. The whereabouts of some of those captured and whisked away alive are still unknown.

The Kaduna State government demolished property belonging to Sheikh Zakzaky including his residence and teaching centres. His mother’s house was also demolished and her grave and that of her grandchildren (the sons of Sheikh Zakzaky) alongside other martyrs of the movement exhumed.

It is exactly five years now and the families of the victims are living in unimaginable pain and inconceivable anguish. Not knowing the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones.

Notwithstanding, the Nigerian government still illegally detains Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife despite their deteriorating health conditions.

On December 2nd, 2016, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ruled that the Sheikh and his wife should be released and compensated. To this date, the government is still holding them illegally in flagrant contempt of this valid court order.

The massacre in Zaria and its aftermath, the persecution of the members of the movement, has gained global outcry and condemnation especially from human rights organizations within and outside the country.

The question that is often asked by people of conscience around the globe is, would justice be served? If yes, when will justice be served to the victims of the Zaria massacre and its perpetrators be brought book?

Najeeb Maigatari, Maigatari313@gmail.com