By Muhammad Darazo
Eleven months after the unfortunate #ZariaMassacre, I’m still searching for our conscience. The army that suppose to protect the lives of civilians, turn to killing machines. During #ZariaMassacre, innocent and defenseless civilians were extra judicially killed by uniform men of the Nigerian army. To some degree, it will be understandable if the Government remain silent on the issue, this is because the Government itself is culpable in this crime. But to my greatest surprise, Nigerian masses and international activists also choose to remain silent over the issue. This is the worst of all. If we remain silent when such crimes were committed, how long do we live with it until it reach our turn?
#ZariaMassacre recorded the killing of infants, women, children and the sick. It also put to record, burning humans to death. I still can’t imagine how heartless one can be to set fire on fellow human and watch him die like that. The Nigerian army had the guts also to video the corpses of the burnt humans and release online, what a heart! Standing as an eye witness, the Nigerian army used explosives on us. I can recall seeing innocent and defenseless friends of mine, exploding into pieces due to Nigerian army’s RPG at Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah. The #ZariaMassacre took place at three different locations which belongs to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, #IMN. I still can’t figure out the justification for such crime by the Government, but the only reason they can give is “road blockade”. It is important to understand that the said road blockade wasn’t the beginning of everything. One needs to ask, why the road blockade?
#ZariaMassacre was a deliberate act of murder/massacre, committed by the Nigerian Government through its army. I will not fail to mention the involvement of the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari and some members of his cabinet. Poor media coverage of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria’s side of the story still make the immediate cause of the massacre untold. For you to get what actually happened that day, you need to inquire from the members of #IMN.
After successfully accomplishing what is undoubtedly a massacre, the Nigerian army abducted some girls of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. It is getting to a year now, no credible information reveal the fate of the girls. It was reported that most of the girls were abducted with injuries of rape, gun shots, fire and torture. It wouldn’t be hard to believe that #IMN girls were raped by the army if one is current about what is going on at the IDP camps in Borno state. The unanswered question about this abduction is why are we silent about it?
The parents of the abducted girls were left in pain. It is 11 months now, neither the criminals nor the Government tell them anything about their daughters. When pressure is mounted by some few activist that stands for justice, the only answer from the side of the Government is “we are still studying the report”. I doubt if studying a report will be compromised or affected if the girls are released, at least let them enjoy their constitutional rights which include the right of visitation. I wonder how the parents of these girls are surviving this oppression. One of the abducted girls is the only daughter to her mother. She was brought up in good moral and education by the mother. Only God knows what the lonely mother is going through.
All of the abducted girls are students. Nigeria has become a lawless country which those in authority can decide what to do and when to do it once it suites their interest. How can students of higher institutions be abducted by uniform men of the Nigerian army and be kept in the army’s facilities for a complete year? Among them are future Doctors and Engineers, but their academic carrier has been completely ruined as they lost complete session from their schools. Most of them cannot rejoin their programs due to the policy of their schools. Yet, we all choose to remain silent and let normalcy prevails in favour of oppressors.
I want to crave the indulgence of all human rights activists, feminist and freedom fighters to consider the issue of the abducted Zaria girls as its a call for humanity. “No one is free when others are oppressed”. We don’t need religion, tribe or such to stand against oppression. What we need is humanity which already exist in us. For the oppressors, you should understand that “Enough Is Enough!”.
Muhammad Darazo is an activist and member of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
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