‘Buhari’s Refusal To Probe; Buratai and el-Rufai’s Campaigns Of Calumny Made Us Take Them To ICC’

Nigeria's military this December killed over 1000 minority Muslims in a similar but unarmed civilian situation

The London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission ( IHRC ) has yesterday (21st March, 2016) submitted a 83 – paged report of last year’s brutal massacre of defenseless & unarmed Nigerians in Zaria who are members of the peaceful Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). In the IHRC report it was stated that “217 people were confirmed killed in the attacks, another 219 are in detention, and 482 are still missing. The number of injured is believed to run into many hundreds. IHRC’s filing to the ICC is largely based on eye-witness evidence of the army’s assault.”

“The International Criminal Court is being urged to investigate the massacre of nearly 1000 civilians in Nigeria last December at the hands of the country’s armed forces.”

“The assault over two days in the northern Nigerian city of Zaria left a trail of bloodshed and destruction including the shooting of the movement’s leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat. Both are currently believed to be in military custody, detained without charge.” The IHRC document stated.

IHRC has called on the international tribunal which has a mandate to prosecute people for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, to open a preliminary enquiry into the events in Zaria last year in which soldiers attacked the Islamic Movement of Nigeria’s (IMN) supporters, symbols and property.

In the filing submitted to the ICC, IHRC also writes: “The crimes committed between the 12th and 14th December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State, by the Nigerian army amount to crimes against humanity. The crimes committed by the Nigerian army meet all the necessary legal requirements to warrant a preliminary investigation by the ICC prosecutor.”

The #IHRC submitted this document to #ICC on behalf of IMN and IMN took this important step after the Nigerian government has clearly failed to institute an independent, credible and impartial Commission on Inquiry to investigate the brutal killing of nearly one thousand defenseless Nigerians. From all the actions and reaction of the Nigerian government and its various agencies since after the massacre, the intention of the Nigerian government is to use the instruments of the state to bury the brutal slaughter of members of IMN and that was why the Nigerian government was quick to destroy all the physical evidences of the Zaria massacre.

The Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari did not only stopped at the brutal massacre of IMN members, the Nigerian government launched a calculated smear campaigns of calumny and demonization against IMN by sponsoring faceless groups. The Nigerian government has also unleashed a Saudi – sponsored agenda to ban the programs and activities of IMN in various Nigerian states using the state governments.

The Nigerian government via the Nigerian Army also intensify its anti-Shia campaigns by sponsoring Wahhabi groups and using the institutions and media facilities of government that are suppose to promote unity among Nigerians for its anti-Shia propaganda. Terrorism and genocide all begins with hate – mongering and hate – campaigns, the Nigerian government is planting the seed of terrorism and genocide against Nigerian Shia Muslims.

As the IHRC stated in its submission to ICC: “Eyewitnesses have reported that during December’s violence soldiers were seen celebrating and chanting slogans against the IMN, such as ‘we have finished with the Shia and Zakzaky’ and ‘no more Shias in Nigeria’. Although the IMN has support among Nigeria’s Sunnis and Shias it is often portrayed by its detractors as a Shia organisation.”

From the brutal #Zaria_Massacre and the subsequent happenings, all evidences point to the fact that the Nigerian government under President Buhari is hell – bent on executing a foreign sponsored imperialist agenda that is aimed at fatally damaging or eliminating the IMN.

It was stated in IHRC report that “During the violence soldiers used automatic weapons, explosives and armoured vehicles against unarmed civilians. This, along with the destruction of places of worship, graves and other buildings associated with the IMN, appears to support the contention that the attack was aimed at fatally damaging or eliminating the IMN.”

Finally, all the steps taken so far by the IMN leadership from the #FreeZakzaky campaigns to dragging the Nigerian government to ICC are guided by the strong conviction that all Nigerians deserves to be treated justly and fairly. Practical steps that were taken to seek redress for the gross injustice and wanton human rights violations were to insure that the brutal Zaria massacre where Nigerians were brutally slaughtered in the most inhuman manner by the Nigerian Army that was suppose to protect them never happened again to any components of the Nigerian state.

Harun Elbinawi
[email protected]