We hereby on behalf of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, make an urgent call to the Buhari presided government to suspend the political administration of Kaduna State for gross violations tantamount to serial Crimes Against Humanity.
This call is made based on the admissions and confessions of officials of the State government at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the Zaria massacre sitting in Kaduna.
While the panel is recognized to be a kangaroo one, being contrived by the very administrators here declared unworthy of continued administration over the affairs of the State, the self-confessions in said self-constituted panel prompt an immediate strong recommendation for halting of the administration’s control over the affairs of citizens resident in Kaduna who remain at deadly risk, alive and dead.
A Summary Of the Facts And Events Are as Listed:
1. On November 27th 2015, suspected Boko Haram terrorists bombed a Shia procession of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Kaduna, in attempt to shut down their activities. At this same time, the DSS according to testimonies given in today’s panel hearings, also sent messages to the Kaduna government to in unspecified ways, “curtail” the activities of the movement. There is no report of the DSS or Kaduna government’s investigations into why the movement was attacked by suspected Boko Haram terrorists. Rather evidence shows the movement was a victim, coincidentally of both Boko Haram and the Nigerian administration’s desires to shut it down. On December 2nd, ten days before the Zaria massacre, Sheikh Zakzaky publicly accused the State security and foreign elements of being behind the Boko Haram attack, and the movement stated that no terror attacks will stop its processions.
2. In the early hours of December the 12th, the Nigerian army suddenly preemptively stationed troops with cartons of ammunition reloads, at the NNPC opposite the Hussainiyah movement complex. This move led to suspicion by the movement who had a year before fallen victims to an army massacre in which three sons of leader Sheikh Zakzaky were reportedly extra-judicially assassinated in cold blood along with 30 other members of the movement and passerbys. People around then chanted slogans and protested for the army to move back from their provocative stance in front of the center. There are several images of this “preemptive” stationing of troops at the center with citizens walking around them like a museum piece, taking pictures of them in bewilderment, well ahead of Buratai’s arrival.
3. In the later hours of the day, a convoy containing army chief Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai proceeded to ply the same rout where soldiers were already “aggressively” stationed. This was met by further suspicion on the part of the youth who had not yet gotten justice or the promise of it from the new administration. Several belligerent youth blocked the army chief and denied him passage protesting with sticks and stones and catapults. An edited clip showed the youth asking the military “why did you preemptively station your troops at our complex door this morning? You might as well kill us here.”
4. The military claimed that the youth threw stones at them provoking a fear that this was an assassination attempt. The military has not released video to prove this. President Muhammadu Buhari blamed the youth for tapping the chest of a soldier. However the military admitted that it killed those protesting on the road. Evidence shows the military did not stop there, killing only those blocking the way and handing over to the police authorized to address civil disturbances; but the military went ahead to lay siege on Hussainiyah complex, killing everyone inside and also laid siege and did same at several other locations occupied by the minority Muslims. Gyellesu residence of Sheikh Zakzaky fell under the onslaught as did Darul Rahma burial grounds. These locations experienced military massacres with sophisticated weapons and were also burned to the ground and demolished. The military claimed the victims were armed with guns, but did not typically display these “weapons” for the Press. In a court sitting the military failed to provide the weapons, claiming they were in Lagos.
5. While General Burati had claimed that only seven (7) Muslims were killed, the recent confessions of the Kaduna State government are that at least 347 Muslims and passerbys were killed in the events of December 12th to the 14th.
6. Worsening the tragedy, the State government confessed that along with the military they carted away 191 bodies of killed Muslims with the army and added these to 156 bodies of more victims from the ABU Teaching Hospital and carted these in Mercedes tippers to mass bury them secretly to cover up the crime. The Islamic movement has submitted names and pictures of 800 persons it claims are still missing in addition to 191 (including Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat) still in detention. [In February, we had exposed details of the mass graves discovered at Mando, but the government took no action to alleviate the pain and oppression and only admitted it this Monday.]
7. Kaduna State further confessed that it ordered the immediate demolition of the properties linked to the movement and Sheikh Zakzaky, The government claimed that a high-speed committee was constituted which found the buildings were of “poor standards and specifications.” This is impossible and an obvious cover-up for what can best be described as extremist and barbaric actions. There is no legal justification for the immediate demolitions of the properties of the victims and security wise, the demolitions make no sense as they tamper with the evidence which should have been maintained and scoured for evidence of weapons or other material.
The crimes committed by the Kaduna State government and Nigerian army are against humanity. There is no justification for the murder of at least 347 citizens in two days. There is no justification for the massacres in over three locations. There is no justification for the demolitions of the structures. There is no justification for the additional reported exhumation of graves of Shia Muslims killed by the Jonathan administration in 2014. There is no justification for the army usurping the duties of the police. There is no justification for the four-month illegal and extrajudicial detainment of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife since the December carnage.
Parents and children have been unable to bury and properly mourn their dead who were mass buried in secret. This crime confessed by the State declares the administration immediately unfit to govern the affairs of the living. The State has also violated the dead in various ways.
We call on the Buhari government to immediately retire the Chief of Army, Lt. gen. Tukur Buratai and Kaduna GOC, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade. We also call on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a State of emergency in Kaduna as it begins the urgent exhumation of the mass graves in Mando and prepares legal address of all those implicated.
There is no difference between the actions of the administration and army and the actions of Boko Haram with the mass graves found at Damask or the actions questionably attributed to IPOB “elements” with the mass graves reportedly found at Aba.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian