Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has laid blame for the recent Zaria pogrom that had as many as 1000 minority Muslims killed by the Nigerian army on the victims.
While the Attorney General has not yet initiated a probe for almost a month after as many as 1000 citizens of Nigeria were murdered in the tragic events of December 12th to 13th with many critically burned and otherwise injured and various properties demolished, the Attorney General made a presumptive conclusion placing the blame on the victims while failing to criticize the army even in the slightest.
His “religious” words as quoted in the Vanguard are as follow:
Educate your followers on good conduct
He further said that though he would not engage in blame games, it was necessary for clerics to educate their followers on good conduct and how to co-exist with their neighbours, especially the teachings on the right of way which the Muslim Ummah are compelled to respect.
According to him, “as Muslims, we know what is obtainable in Islam, especially in the area of individuals rights, especially rights of way. As Muslims, we have a collective responsibility to create awareness through our preaching on tolerance and compliance according to the dictates of Islam.”
While it is absolutely inappropriate for an Attorney General of a Circular nation like Nigeria to make official statements in religious context from his office, the statements transmitted by the Attorney’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Salihu Othman Isah, were additionally presumptive, partial and accusative.
Was he claiming that 1000 uncharged citizens were killed at various unrelated sites across Zaria rightfully as punishment for “violating Islamic rights of way?” and “not co-existing well with neighbors?”
Is the Attorney by his statement explaining that the murder of all the victims was due to the feelings of the neighbors and not an alleged “attempt on the life of General Buratai” as the army initially alleged?
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Does the Attorney General of Nigeria believe that the extra-judicial and unconstitutional application of excessive force by the Nigerian Army outside their jurisdiction in a brutal revenge pogrom event is “justice” for disorderliness not yet investigated? If not then why not a single word for the Army and Kaduna state government involved in the pogrom and demolitions? Are Nigerian Soldiers and Government officials above the law? Do Soldiers and the Kaduna State government have the right to be judge, Jury and executioner?
Does the Attorney General thus justify the torture of Sheikh Zakzaky, the carting of him in a Wheelbarrow, the mass burials and the illegal detention of him and hundreds of others deprived medical care, family visitations and legal due process?
According to observers, the statements by Nigeria’s Attorney General in the face of the second worst global tragedy for 2015 are morally and constitutionally bankrupt to say the least and demanding of his resignation.