Whereas the duty of an army should be the opposite, the Nigerian army has engaged in a well sponsored mission to promote sectarian hate and incite extremists against the Shia minority in the country and potentially initiate a sectarian war.
Deliberately cooked media campaigns broadcast on the national television and radio channels and payments made to extremist Sunnite sect, Wahhabi and Salafi Saudi-linked radical scholars have also been part of the plot that is succeeding in creating much hatred among two groups that have lived in peace for decades.
Since the Zaria massacre where the army went building-to building on a mission of “honor killings” and hundreds of Shia Muslims and their friends and families went missing or were killed by the army in a globally condemned extrajudicial action, to save the necks of the leadership, the Nigerian army and implicated Kaduna State government have invested millions in propaganda to paint the Shia Muslims as demons. Fabricating videos that attempt to even associate government-kidnapped Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Zakzaky with Sunnite-sect “Jamaatul Sunnat” Boko Haram. Meetings of extremists have been sponsored and handouts given to them to further the hate and violence agenda. Faceless citizens in Kaduna have been chartered and liberally sponsored across the media to paint the millions of renownedly peaceful Shia adherents and friends in bad light like monsters and foster nationwide hate against them.
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Nigeria has typically been known for its northern radical extremist violence against Southerners and Christians. Years of protests typically called for by the likes of prominent northern Sunnite sect elites like Sheikh Ibrahim Datti Ahmad left dozens of Churches burned and hundreds of Christians and Southerners killed or maimed. In a biography publication in the Vanguard, Ibrahim Datti Ahmad the leader of Supreme Council for Sharia proudly accepted his role in orchestrating these deadly protests. Datti Ahmad and similar radicals like him have today been recruited by the Nigerian Army and Kaduna State government to lead the strike against the Shia minority.
Observers say that the army is trying to turn this deadly northern Sunnite-extremist riot machine on the Shia Muslims.
Today as a result of the well sponsored campaign to promote sectarian hate, Shia Muslims and friends receive death threats and warnings from Sunnite extremists promising them their complete annihilation. Such behaviors have been unknown in Nigeria since inception.
Nigeria must be thankful that the Shia have demonstrated exemplary tolerance since the deadly massacre and through the open agenda against their freedom and respectful living in Nigeria. One must agree that such a massive population of millions if under any other banner in Nigeria or outside, would by now have violently erupted under the State-sponsored campaign of calumny and deadly provocation.