On the 27th of November 2015, two suspected Boko Haram terrorists allegedly mixed in a Shia procession crowd trekking to Zaria. The terrorists were accused of having and killed no less than 21 faithfuls and injuring dozens of others. One was caught and described how he had been recruited and transported for the act.
“Our procession came under a suicide attack,” said Muhammad Turi(now killed by soldiers), who was leading thousands of people from Kano to Zaria, in the neighbouring state of Kaduna. We lost 21 people and several others have been injured. We are not surprised that we’ve been attacked because this is the situation all over the country. This will not deter us from our religious observance. Even if all of us were bombed the last person will carry on with this duty.” See more on theGuardianUK
Under the previous administration, Boko Haram had never bombed a Shia procession though it had bombed members at Mosques. The military had however likewise attacked a procession in July of 2015, extra-judiciously killing three of the leaders’ sons and 31 other members.
Zakzaky Blamed Nigerian Security Department For Procession Bomb Attack
After the attack, the leader of the Islamic Movement made a surprising statement. Sheikh Zakzaky said, it was not Boko Haram that attacked them but agents of foreign forces working in Nigeria with the Nigerian State security service.
“We know the names of the contractors and those contracted to commit the massacre, their identity is not hidden from us. Therefore we cannot be cowed by an imaginary Boko Haram tale, let them tell it to the fools and ignorant. They should know that they are dealing with those with foresight, wisdom and intelligence, and above all with the real religion.”
Sheikh Zakzaky went further to accuse the Nigerian Security services of being behind the bombing of the Islamic movement processions as with many in the past.
He said, the perpetrators were sighted on Monday in 2 Hilux vans burying explosives along Kano route, but it was averted.
“Now they are targeting the mass entry into Zaria at the peak of the Arba’een trek”.
He further explained that, the announcement by the Department of State Service (DSS) that there were going to be attacks on places on mosques and churches by female insurgents have given them away.
“How did they know about it and where it will happen? It clearly means they are accomplice to the atrocity”.
Sheikh Zakzaky further explained that the perpetrators of Kano bomb attack were the same people that seven years ago in broad daylight attacked us and killed 2 people, attacked Ashura procession and killed people in Potiskum and killed 34 people during Quds Day procession in Zaria in 2014. “In most cases, these killers carry out the offensive under the watchful eyes of security operatives, sometimes escorted by tinted glass vehicles”. Source
Zaria Massacre Followed Two Weeks Later
Two weeks after this attack where Sheikh Zakzaky blamed the Nigerian security department of a chronic ploy to kill its members directly and through Boko Haram, on December 12th the movement reported with images that the Nigerian army had stationed troops provocatively with extra ammunition at the NNPC station in front of their Islamic center on Sokoto road.
Irked by the stationing of the troops with boxes of ammunition, the members present rioted and blocked the road as they saw more soldiers approach. An edited clip of the happenings provided by the Nigerian military showed angry faithfuls challenging the military as they denied them passage, saying, “you might as well kill us here, why did you station troops at the door of Husainiyyah.”
This was the last time those member protesting the military presence with sticks and stones were seen alive.
Over 1000 faithfuls were reported killed in the events that followed with the military surrounding the Islamic center and killing everyone inside.
More faithfuls were massacred at the house of the movement leader at Gyellesu. More were again killed at a burial ground in Darul Rahma. The buildings were demolished and survivors burned alive inside.
This was followed with more demolitions of other properties of the Islamic movement including the family house of Sheikh Zakzaky’s mother and the exhuming of their Darul Rahma burial grounds.
Sheikh Zakzaky’s three of four remaining sons were killed in cold blood according to reports and the leader was shot six times and then severely beaten, dragged on his behind and carted in a wheel barrow. He has since been kidnapped by the security agency along with his wife and about 700 members according to the movement. All have been denied bail and legal or family visitation.
An investigation is being conducted by the Kaduna state government, also implicated in the massacre and demolitions.
Featured image: © Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters