The responsibility to preserve and respect human life does not lie with the military alone. This is why we cannot spare Ibrahim Zakzaky despite the hurt inflicted on him. Why did Zakzaky remain locked in his house for over 10 hours – according to an alleged phone chat he had with an Iranian official during the siege – when he knew human beings outside were being mercilessly slained? Why didn’t he surrender until the killing machine reached him?
Why didn’t he and according to the practice of good and peaceful revolutionary leaders across history come out in white clothes holding white flag, presenting himself for arrest, suing for peace in order to prevent further loss of lives?
We have to say this because the number of lives lost are too many for what is being reported both official and non-official. Why did Zakzaky knowingly wish to lead these many into the dark history of the impunity and highhandedness of the Nigerian Army? Zakzaky could actually have helped us avert this tragedy at the very beginning or at worst midway into it when the death toll is under a hundred.
And then my good friend Bukhari Muhammed Bello Jega died there. My student Sumayya MishelGaro died. Also four children of my friend, Waziri Isa Gwantu also died in the carnage. As it is I am still counting lost lives from friends, relatives and collegues at office.
Shi’ites in Zaria are our friends and relatives. We grew up with the Ibrahim Zakzakys in the same neighbourhood in Zaria City. His younger brother was my classmate in primary school. Being that my family house is an advanced studies Madrassa, Ibrahim Zakzaky himself studied there. In his biography he cites my uncle Mal. Ibrahim Shuraihu as his foremost Islamic teacher.
As much as I am angry with the military for taking away my loved ones in such a merciless expedition I must also tell Ibrahim Zakzaky that we all did not sign for this. This is not the value upon which our grand parents lived. He surely could have helped averted this. The responsibility to respect and preserve life is not only with he who holds a gun.