The recent crack down on Arbaeen trekkers demonstrated a latest level of extremism in the behaviour of the Nigerian authorities.
As many as 100 Shia Muslims and others participating in the trek were gunned down by the Nigerian police in Kano. Among the victims was an 18 month old baby, Zainab.
Their crime was walking.
Several bodies were hurriedly taken to unknown destinations by the police. About 80 bodies in two batches of about 40 were taken to the mortuary and later carted away to unknown locations by the police, likely to be secretly buried in a mass grave as happened last year December during the Zaria massacre.
The Nigerians, mostly of the Shia Muslim extraction had decided to walk from Kano to Zaria in remembrance of the Martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Muslim prophet Mohammed who was killed at Karbala by a tyrant leader, Yazid.
As the Buhari government establishes bonds with anti-Shia wahhabi Saudi Arabia, its hate for Shia Muslims and anything related has become most glaring.
Water cannons or rubber bullets are never used for Shia Muslims with the police and army hungry to release live rounds and kill as many as possible.
Since a massacre of hundreds of Shia Muslims last December in zaria, Shia Muslims have come under increasing persecution. The leader of the Islamic movement of Nigeria and his wife have remained detained without trial since December. The movement has been banned and civilians have been ferried by police to attack and kill Shia Muslims across the northern states and burn their properties.
The attack on walking Shia Muslims making their walk to Zaria is the latest attempt to repress this minority sector. Some say the moves are being made in brazen fashion to receive more praise and donations from the Saudi government. The reasons for the open repression is unclear but there is little doubt of a sectarian aspect to the actions of the Nigerian government.