The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites, yesterday marked the 8th anniversary of the Zaria massacre in Kaduna State. Over 1000 IMN members were killed in clashes with the Nigerian military in December 2015, an event that continues to cast a long shadow over the nation.
In a statement signed by Prof. Dauda Nalado, the IMN called on President Bola Tinubu to address this historical injustice. They specifically demanded the prosecution of former President Muhammadu Buhari, former Chief of Army Staff Tukur Yusuf Buratai, and former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai for their alleged roles in orchestrating the killings.
The IMN emphasizes that prosecuting those responsible is not just about retribution, but also about essential steps towards healing and reconciliation. They believe that only through genuine accountability can the pain and suffering of the victims and their families be truly assuaged.
To mark the anniversary, the IMN organized a peaceful protest in Abuja, starting at Wuse Market and concluding at Berger Roundabout. This public display of remembrance served as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for justice and a call for the Nigerian government to uphold the rule of law.
The statement read, “Today is exactly 8 years after the infamous Zaria Massacre initiated by the tyrant Buhari, jointly executed and supervised by the duo of retired General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and former Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, among other top actors.
“We gather here today to commemorate this massacre and reiterate our call for justice to the victims of the massacre, as well as assert to the world that the Islamic movement is actually the victor at last.
“Our revered leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Ya’qoub Zakzaky (H), has mentioned and reiterated severally that ‘truth can never be crushed with a gun’ and that ‘guns are for the cowards and the foolhardy.’
“Yes, we have lost more than a thousand of our dear and loved ones to the dastardly act of the state forces, yet we eventually emerged victorious.
“To the glory of the Almighty Allah, the glaring successes recorded by the steadfastness and perseverance of the leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and his followers during this period cannot be overemphasized.
“One of the major success stories as we are living witnesses today is that all the key actors in the massacre have now become history, with their powers and influences perished or degenerated, to say the least.
“On the other hand, Sheikh Zakzaky (H) and the Islamic movement have continued to wax stronger, and his ideology is spreading spontaneously. To say the least, despite all the persecutions in the aftermath of the massacre and over the years, none of the activities of the movement stopped.
“Furthermore, the noble message of justice is getting more entrenched into the society by all standards.
“Again, the spirit of struggle and resistance showcased by the adherents of the movement during and after the massacre has permeated beyond the shores of Nigeria, as we witnessed appreciable sympathies and echoes across the continents of Asia, Europe, and Latin America, in addition to other countries in the African continent.”
Nalado recalled that Buhari’s administration and El-Rufai’s government in Kaduna “embarked upon campaigns of calumny and filed concocted court charges against the leader and the movement”.
“All these had woefully failed. Today, it is crystal clear that the Zaria massacre was nothing but an unprecedented and unjustifiable injustice in the history of Nigeria, meted out to our leader by the Buhari-led regime,” he said.
He said, “It is on record that several competent courts of the land have either dismissed or discharged numerous cases brought before them by security agents against the disciples of the leader.
“In fact, in some cases, compensations for damages were awarded by these courts for violating the fundamental rights of the Sheikh, his wife, and some of the followers.
“We will like to once again reiterate our call for justice: that the masterminds and executors of the Zaria massacre be brought to account. We wish to extend our appreciation to all those who stood by us during the trying moments,” he added.