In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 28th, June, 2020

Nigerian Govt Has Killed 6 Of El-Zakzaky’s Kids, Leaving Solely three Of Us

Nigerian Govt Has Killed 6 Of El-Zakzaky's Children, Leaving Only 3 Of Us

Ibraheem El-Zakzaky

Photograph credit score: The PUNCH

Muhammad Ibraheem Zakzaky is likely one of the youngsters of the chief of the proscribed Islamic Motion in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who alongside along with his spouse, Zeenah, have been incarcerated by the Federal Authorities since 2015. Muhammad tells GBENRO ADEOYE in a web based interview, his views about his dad and mom’ incarceration, proscription of the organisation and allegations towards them

Your father, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, has been within the custody of the Division of State Companies since 2015, and never a lot has been heard of his case not too long ago. What can you say in regards to the progress of the case?

Final 12 months, the presiding decide was away for electoral tribunal responsibility. It was throughout this time that his (my father’s) authorized staff submitted an software for medical depart to India. After my dad and mom’ return from India, the presiding decide, Justice Gideon Kurada, returned to preside over the case. In the course of the first sitting, his authorized staff complained to the decide that entry to their purchasers was being restricted. For this motive, the decide ordered the DSS at hand over my dad and mom to jail authorities, an order which they promptly complied with. In the intervening time, all official requests that the decide ought to proceed with the case have been ignored by the courtroom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stories in February 2020 mentioned a excessive courtroom in Kaduna granted El-Zakzaky and his spouse, Zeenah, entry to their private physicians, have they been granted entry to their docs?

Though the controller of prisons within the state initially imposed a number of obstacles within the first few months, we have been finally capable of have their docs go to them. And when the docs required that they ought to be taken to medical services, this was additionally completed. Nevertheless, with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the docs suggested that no additional journeys to the hospital ought to be organized in the intervening time.

When was the final time you noticed your father, El-Zakzaky?

I noticed him a number of weeks in the past on the Kaduna Jail on Independence Method.

What did you speak about?

I advised him about present occasions since he has no entry to information from the skin world. And he advised me about his wants relating to well being and private issues. I advised him about new births and deaths within the household and those that concerned family members. I used to be not allowed to see him and my mom on the similar time.

How would you describe their well being situations the final time you noticed them?

When the Nigerian Military attacked us in December 2015, my dad and mom suffered a number of gunshot wounds. My father misplaced an eye fixed, and the opposite eye was additionally severely injured, affecting his imaginative and prescient to the purpose that he at the moment wants glasses with lens thickness of +10 in addition to a magnifying glass to learn. He has additionally suffered two strokes throughout his time with the DSS. In response to the docs who carried out checks on him, his blood additionally exhibits traces of lead and cadmium poisoning. That is the results of shrapnel embedded in his head and left hand.

He can actually be thought-about to be legally blind. After the ultimate operation was carried out on his different eye, his imaginative and prescient deteriorated. Again then, the DSS refused to grant us entry to their medical outcomes regardless of attempting for months throughout which era they didn’t enable him to see a physician. Later, an impartial ophthalmologist was lastly capable of study him. The outcomes confirmed that his different eye was creating glaucoma. The attention strain has additionally been fluctuating erratically. Each situations include a excessive threat of irreversible harm that may result in blindness. He’s at the moment on medicine designed to stabilise the state of affairs, however his imaginative and prescient has not improved.

My mom was shot no less than 5 occasions and periodically suffers from extraordinarily painful episodes of belly ache because of the presence of massive bullet fragments in her belly space, which ought to have been eliminated way back. She additionally suffers from superior arthritis and may have had knee substitute surgical procedure no less than three years in the past. The refusal of the DSS to permit the process to be completed has made her to nearly lose perform of her knees. It’s truly a miracle that she continues to be ready to face, although she is usually confined to a wheelchair.

However some Nigerians initially opposed their continued incarceration have been confused after they went to India and returned with out getting any remedy as a result of El-Zakzaky refused remedy over there. Shouldn’t he have accepted the remedy supplied if he was really sick?

Previous to our software to have them go on medical depart, a staff of docs from outdoors Nigeria had come and carried out thorough examinations on my dad and mom. After finishing their examination, they wrote a complete report that included suggestions. Since three out of the 4 docs have been Indians, they really useful India for the listing of procedures that have been wanted. Additionally they really useful various hospitals in India.

The report and the suggestions have been submitted to the courtroom, which granted them medical depart, stipulating that the federal government ought to ship representatives for supervisory roles. Nevertheless, upon their arrival in India, the reception they obtained was reasonably hostile. First, they have been taken to the hospital underneath armed guard of the Indian police. Their docs, who had additionally travelled to New Delhi to watch and supervise their care, have been denied entry to them. They have been denied even essentially the most fundamental varieties of privateness such that anybody may merely stroll into their rooms and bathrooms which had had their locks eliminated. Additionally, the hospital well being staff appeared extra inquisitive about administering medicine to them with out finishing up even a verbal examination. Naturally, my dad and mom turned suspicious.

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Curiously, we have been shocked on the pace with which officers of the Nigerian Embassy determined to purchase return tickets for them reasonably than rebooking those already purchased by us. In the end, I imagine that the authorities intentionally designed the journey to fail. It’s unclear what it’s that they advised the Indian authorities and the hospital.

Beneath regular circumstances, while you go to hospital, you don’t count on a physician to easily come out with medicine and needles with out a lot as asking what’s unsuitable with you. Additionally it is towards commonplace observe for a hospital to disclaim licensed medical practitioners permission to watch what they’re doing. When these docs got here to Nigeria, they went to native hospitals and used native tools underneath the supervision of native Nigerian docs. Nevertheless, on the Indian hospital, the docs who’re additionally Indians, weren’t even allowed on the hospital grounds not to mention the ground the place my dad and mom have been being held.

What do you concentrate on the Federal Authorities’s proscription of the Islamic Motion in Nigeria and place that it’s a terrorist organisation?

This is only one in an extended line of shamelessly blatant acts of persecution by this authorities. The designation – IMN – was created by the regime of former Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) after December 2015, when the Nigerian Military launched an unprovoked assault on locations of worship, a cemetery on land owned by my father and my father’s home, amongst different places. In the course of the assault, over 1,000 folks went lacking, and about 300 folks, together with ladies and youngsters, have been later found within the custody of the military. The ladies and youngsters have been later launched however as many as 150 folks have been despatched to Kaduna Jail and charged with the homicide of 1 soldier, later proved to have been killed in what they known as pleasant hearth. Furthermore, not one of the accused individuals have been current on the scene the place the soldier died. But, they spent about three years behind bars. In the meantime, over 1,000 persons are nonetheless lacking. Because the incident, the Kaduna State Authorities has solely admitted to burying 347 of them in mass graves. After the December bloodbath, the state authorities demolished residences, companies and colleges owned by Shiites within the state regardless of being duly registered and licensed, and we’ve got paperwork to show this.

There have additionally been fixed harassment and arbitrary arrests of folks recognized as Shiites. Regardless of the 1000’s of arrests, demolitions, looting and different acts of terror visited on the group over the last 5 years, the federal government has but to show a single case of crime dedicated by a Shiite or IMN member. Even final month, two individuals have been arrested in Zaria and slammed with numerous trumped-up costs in a Kaduna courtroom.

The narrative that IMN members are harmful, extremists, secessionists, possibly even anarchists, was borne out of a need by this authorities to justify its atrocities and proceed with its persecution towards a group, easy and quick. You and everybody who disagree can test all information shops and publications previous to December 2015 for any reference to an organisation that known as itself IMN. The acronym was designed by this administration to facilitate and assist impunity, and sadly, many individuals inside and out of doors Nigeria have been largely fooled by it. To me, IMN is nothing greater than a grandiose spooky acronym designed to allow mass oppression.

However many individuals, particularly in Kaduna and a few states have described you as fanatics, saying in these days, they might not go out throughout your processions as a result of the ambiance was often tense. How would you react to allegations?

The motion has been energetic for over 40 years, and through all of the seminars, processions and in latest occasions, the protests towards the homicide and mass burial of over 1,000 folks and the destruction of properties and arbitrary detentions, there has by no means been any report of vandalism or violence. The problem is in regards to the coverage of a authorities that’s decided to answer any and all gatherings with brute power. For the previous 4 years, protests have been held throughout the nation and the one situations the place violence occurred needed to do with when the military, police and different arms of the federal government have been despatched to assault peaceable demonstrators with power. There have been instances, most particularly in Kaduna, the place native thugs have been armed and despatched to not solely assault protesters, but in addition ransack properties and enterprise shops.

The police and military usually say they shoot at IMN members since you assault them throughout your processions and someday in the past, alleged that you simply killed a deputy commissioner of police throughout a protest…

These accusations have been persistently repeated by them, however repeating it time and again won’t ever make it true. In December 2015, one of many justifications the military tried to make use of for its operation that went for days was that it was in response to an assassination try on the Military chief. Until date, the Buhari authorities has not been capable of show allegations of unlawful possession of firearms by any member of the Shia group, or perhaps a fancily believable conspiracy to purchase them. Despite their finest efforts to this point, not even a credible hearsay exists of possession of weapons resembling these carried by the bandits and kidnappers at the moment roaming free within the northern states.

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As for the latest case of the deputy commissioner of police, over 60 folks have been arrested and charged with the killing and are at the moment in jail. Nevertheless, because the case progressed over the previous months, their legal professionals have been capable of exhibit fairly clearly that the person was shot from behind, both intentionally or by accident by one other police officer.

A number of suspicious issues have come to gentle; first, the officer was buried some hours after the incident, which is towards commonplace process in such a case. Second, the overwhelming majority of these arrested weren’t even on the scene when the incident occurred. Third, he was shot from behind whereas talking with the protesters, a few of whom have been additionally hit together with the officer. Fourth, earlier than the accused have been charged to courtroom, they have been held by the Particular Anti-Theft Squad for weeks with none clarification, throughout which era a lot of them have been brutally tortured in an try to power them to incriminate themselves. It was solely after authorized representatives utilized strain that they have been transferred to jail after which charged.

What sort of individual is your father?

Describing one’s father is definitely quite simple. He’s my father. It turns into difficult when he’s the sufferer of terrorism.

How did he increase you and your siblings?

From after we have been all younger, he all the time performed an enormous function in our lives and took part in all of the processes of caring for us together with our mom; from bathing to feeding us, cleansing up after us, cooking, and so on. He all the time emphasised the significance of pursuing data and considering freely, to the extent that he would chorus from sharing his opinions on issues he thought we would do in sure methods as a result of he mentioned so. Although he was all the time fairly busy more often than not, he made certain to make time to show every of us Islamic research, from jurisprudence to theology, historical past and lots of different issues. He even obtained us a number of schooling, historic and entertaining books that we is perhaps in. He additionally offered us with academic pc programmes and video games.

How massive is your loved ones?

In the event you imply his spouse and youngsters, then he’s married to Zeenah Ibraheem (our mom), who’s in the identical jail with him. He has 15 youngsters; 9 of them are his organic youngsters and the others are youngsters of mates and relations that he adopted and raised.

What would you describe as his values?

He’s a person who lives by his phrases.

It was as soon as reported that three of his youngsters have been killed by the military or police, how did it occur?

That occurred in 2014 when a convoy attacked the rear of an in any other case peaceable demonstration marking the annual worldwide Quds day in assist of the Palestinian trigger. The ceremony has been happening all over the world for the reason that late 70s and early 80s within the final week of Ramadan. The convoy, led by a lieutenant colonel on the time, indiscriminately opened hearth. One in all my brothers, Mahmood, was amongst these killed on the spot. Three of my brothers, Ahmad, Hamid and Ali, who had pushed to the scene to attempt to method the troopers to diffuse the state of affairs, have been instantly shot together with others that attempted to intervene. The troopers then put them of their automobiles and took them to Basawa Barracks. On the barracks, Hamid was bayoneted whereas Ahmad bled out. After a number of hours, they took each the useless and the survivors, together with Ali, and dumped them in entrance of Ahmadu Bello College Instructing Hospital at Shika, Zaria.

What have the clashes with police and military, and the arrest of El-Zakzaky and his detention price the household as a complete in lives and properties?

To start with, so far as I’m involved, the phrase ‘conflict’ is inappropriate when talking of what occurred in December 2015; it was a sudden surprising assault by the Nigerian Military on a gathering completed yearly to kick-start the celebrations of the start of Prophet Muhammad. Trying again now, I can say it was an aggressive and clearly predetermined case of mass homicide. The regime has price me six brothers. Although the Nigerian Military did kill Ahmad, Hamid and Mahmood, at least we obtained to bury them, and we have been promised a good inquiry. That was earlier than the Nigerian Military killed, looted and burnt our locations in December 2015. The military desecrated their graves. It additionally price the household a library of books and data, together with a set of manuscripts. Personally, essentially the most priceless of those was a Quran written by my nice grandfather. Their lives are priceless to me. The books are priceless to the world. The associated fee is incalculable.

Does your father or the IMN have any hyperlink to Iran as the federal government has mentioned?

As a Shia, he’s a part of a spiritual group that exists in all nations world wide. One of many 12 Imams (of Shia) was buried in Mashhad, Iran. It is a vital pilgrimage website. So sure, my father has been to Iran, all Shia like to go to Iran. There are religious, communal and ideological hyperlinks to Iran. All Jews, Christians and Muslims have a hyperlink to Jerusalem, a metropolis all of them care about. Catholics have a hyperlink to Rome, Italy; Protestants have a hyperlink to Bern, Switzerland; and Anglicans have a hyperlink to Canterbury, England, UK. As a Muslim, I’ve a hyperlink to what’s now Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Iran, amongst others. The Shia have a number of religious hyperlinks to places and communities world wide. This isn’t and has by no means been against the law. The problem is that there’s a concerted effort to color my father as a level man on Iran’s overseas coverage in any respect prices.

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One in all your father’s brothers, Sheikh Mohammed Yakoob, as soon as mentioned your father was lured to turn out to be a Shiite by Iran with cash, how would you react to that?

His identify is Mallam Sani Yakubu and he’s my father’s half-brother. I am truly by no means shocked, as he has a historical past of being exploited to make such allegations. Nevertheless, since he’s my uncle, I’d reasonably chorus from exposing him to ridicule. My father nonetheless has 4 different brothers and 4 sisters; any of them might be higher suited to speak about him.

Who has been taking good care of your welfare and the welfare of your brothers and sisters since your dad and mom have been in detention?

There are at the moment solely three out of 9 youngsters which have survived the massacres. I began work as quickly as I returned to Nigeria in 2012 and have by no means wanted to be taken care of. My sister, who is 2 years youthful than me, is a medical physician and has labored in two nations. The one one not working is our youthful sister, who’s pursuing her college research.

In the event you may meet the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) as we speak, what can be your request?

At this level, I’m undecided if there may be something that may be mentioned. You have to perceive that the present President got here to energy as a consequence of the goodwill and immense efforts of an enormous united part of Nigeria’s inhabitants in an unprecedented instance of individuals exercising their constitutional franchise. Nevertheless, from the start of his first time period as President, he has introduced nothing however disappointment, poverty, destruction and dying upon the very individuals who gave him his seat. The states with the worst instances of mounting poverty, insecurity and now starvation, occur to be the states the place he gained essentially the most votes.

All his marketing campaign guarantees again in 2015 occur to be the primary ones he broke. This catastrophic betrayal has solely obtained worse after his controversial victory within the 2019 election for his second time period. Issues have gotten so unhealthy that even those that vehemently opposed the re-election of Goodluck Jonathan with the slogan of ‘change’ have since both regretted their roles or on the very least, fallen silent.

Is your father able to compromise to safe his launch if given some situations?

In case you are talking about my father, the query I’m certain he would ask is ‘what situations?’ My father has damaged no legal guidelines within the Nigerian structure, and freedom of speech and affiliation are rights he possesses as a citizen of this nation; the suitable to life and personal properties are additionally assured.

Why do you assume the Nigerian authorities actually arrested your father and has been unwilling to launch him?

I can not say, and I want to not speculate; this can be a query that ought to finest be directed at Buhari himself.

Some Nigerians ask – why is IMN unwilling to recognise a constitutional authorities?

This is likely one of the most absurd narratives which have been repeatedly pushed by this authorities and its extra cautious mouthpieces. The narrative is so fully absurd that I’m all the time at a loss as to reply to it. We’re victims of a bloodbath by the Nigerian Military. It’s totally absurd to insinuate such grandiose claims as refusal to recognise constitutional authorities to those that have solely ever used constitutional means to deal with essentially the most unthinkable violations of human rights.

An arm of a ‘constitutional’ authorities dedicated against the law in violation of the structure; we took our ache and sorrow to the constitutionally sanctioned judiciary of Nigeria. That constitutionally sanctioned judiciary has repeatedly declared the actions of Buhari’s administration and his closely armed forces as unconstitutional.

Buhari has refused to obey the judiciary at will. The rule of regulation, which is a key a part of the social contract that’s the foundation of Nigeria, is brazenly being violated by an administration that controls the military, police, DSS and quite a few different armed our bodies that threaten, intimidate, kidnap and homicide Nigerians at will.

Buhari, his inside circle and all these concerned in his administration are those who don’t recognise a constitutional authorities. These concerned within the Zaria bloodbath and the large cover-up of the crime dedicated by the military are those who present completely no respect for the Structure of Nigeria. Despite its many amendments, the regime of Buhari appears decided to tear the Structure of Nigeria and substitute it with a codified model of the type of Nigeria we stay in as we speak.

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Supply: Sunday PUNCH

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