The Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, has said that how he and his wife, Malama Zeenah, survived the military shootings during a raid on his house in 2015 was a mystery.
El-Zakzaky stated this from his Abuja home at a press briefing in remembrance of the December 2015 Zaria Massacre.
His remarks was made available on Friday by the Secretary, Academic Forum of Islamic Movement, Engr. Abdullahi Musa, in Abuja.
“This is an occasion which we remember the Zaria massacre, which happened six years ago exactly.
“it happened on 12th, 13th and 14th of December 2015 – three days consecutively.
“The soldiers in the Nigerian army have cordoned Zaria town, all the roads leading to the town; and they carried systematic killing of people they consider unwanted; whatever name they gave us, at that time they were said to be clearing people they call ‘Shiites.’
“In fact, in Gyallesu (my residence in Zaria) they were asking whomever they want to shoot; is he Shia?
“And the crowd will say yes, and they would fire! And if the crowd would say No, they would allow the person.
“So, clearly they were saying that they were destroying Shia once and for all.
“On 14th of the same month, they reach me and open fire on us: myself and my family, instantly killing three of my sons in front of me, and injuring both my wife and myself and some others who were with us.
“Luckily enough, for the wisdom of God, we don’t know why, but he so designed that my wife and myself will survive a shooting that nobody can survive at all! God is able to do anything he wishes,” he said.
He said despite the arrest, detention and lawsuit, the court vindicated them and discharged and acquitted them in the same way three different courts had discharged and acquitted so many others who were arraigned for the same similar charges.
According to him, I find that up till today, if I am reading some newspapers, they will say: El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested following a clash between his followers and the Nigerian army when his people block the road on the day the chief of army staff was passing.
He described the narratives as falsehood and untrue.
“This matter was taken to court, they have accused some people of blocking the road, including ourselves.
“They say we instigated the blockage; and then about 153 others were all arraigned before different courts for the same charges; blocking the road, causing this and that, about eight charges- including the murder of a soldier.
“The first court which gives its verdict sometimes in July 2018, not only say that those arraigned before it (77 of them) did not commit the crime, but it also says that the crime was not even committed.
“This is very important. No blockage of road whatsoever! Nobody blocks anybody’s road, and nobody kill anybody,” he said.
El-Zakzaky alleged that rather, it was the army that “cordoned everywhere and killed everybody they could found- whatever you might be, because near a place we call Husseiniyyah (an Islamic center) near Unity bank; they thought that Shiites wear black clothes, and because the uniform of workers in that bank is black they shot all of them.
“And also my house is situated about three kilometers away from the area where the said road was blocked, I don’t know whether my house also block the road for the chief of army staff.
“They went and cordoned it and killed everybody they could find, including our neighbours.
“A lot of students in Congo Campus of Ahmadu Bello University were killed, some students of Federal College of Education – which is in our neighborhood, were also killed: some of them are not even Muslims (are Christians), so they kill everybody they could find,” he alleged.
Speaking further, he said the first court ruled that the road was not blocked, nobody blocks any road.
“The second court gave similar verdict. And the third court in fact brought up part of my speech in their verdict (in which those in authority say I instigate the blockage of road), I was saying that: ‘if the soldiers come to attack us in our territory don’t block their way.’ That was very clear.
“And the judge even continue to mention this particularly; where is the blockage of road here? So nobody blocks anybody’s road,” he added.
El-Zakzaky stated that the military carried out such dastardly actions as a preplanned attack “to destroy all of us.”
He thanked the media for the support over the years.
“They (journalists) have been with us all through, they have undergone a lot of tribulations.
“And in fact one of them was killed in action in July 2019 in front of the Federal Secretariat.
“So, we thank them very much for standing by us,” he said.