By Abdulmumin Giwa
Following a most recent brutal clampdown on Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria IMN (Shias) by the Nigerian Army, Nigerians have expressed anger against the Buhari regime’s decision to engage in genocide against innocent citizens.
Expressing their views through various media, politicians, activists, human rights organizations, social commentators and others have condemned the brutal killing of Shias as extra-judicial and unconstitutional.
In a statement issued at the wake of the killings on Saturday, the movement explained that it was on an annual symbolic trek commemorated by the Shias annually all over the world called Arba’een in remembrance of Hussain AS the grandson of Prophet Muhammad SAWA. They expressed that it was a religious activity also attended by women and children.
The movement stated that the Army brutally clampdown on its members unprovoked without any warning when they concluded the first event of the Arba’een on Saturday at Zuba at the outskirt of Abuja after a peaceful trek of about 10 kilometers from Suleja.
The Army responded with a statement accusing the Movement of attempting to seize ammunitions and missiles from its men, staging illegal checkpoint and attacking its men using stones to which they retaliated using AK47 and other dangerous military weapons where they killed at least six and injured many including women and children.
The Movement condemned the army response as outdated concoction of lies in order to deceive the public insisting that the attack was predetermined by the perpetrators.
About 48 hours later the Army again brutally clampdown on another Arba’een trek coming towards Abuja through Maraba where they killed tens and injured many others, a situation which drew the attention of Nigerians who expressed anger on the Buhari regime and condemned it for deliberate killing of innocent unarmed citizens.
Donld Duke, the SDP presidential aspirant declared in a press statement that enough is enough and called on Nigerians to roundly speak up and reject the bloodshed. He described the government as callous and insensitive and has no value for human life. He added that if it is Shiites today, who would it be tomorrow?
Sir Jamda, a social critic from Plateau state called on Nigerians and the international committee to compel the Buhari regime to respect the law and obey court order by releasing all political prisoners as well as start paying rapt attention on the incessant killings perpetrated by the regime. He condemned the Nigerian military of incapacity to handle peaceful assembly.
Another social critic, Mr Deji Adeyanju stated on his twitter handle that Shiites are Nigerians, they are fellow human beings and their lives matter. “You may not like their religion and how they worship their God but you must respect their choice and treat them like human beings” he declared. He added that no government has the right to kill them for practicing their religion.
Another commentator, Elnathan John on his twitter handle reminded the Buhari regime of the disposition of the Shias since the 2015 clampdown on the Movement.
“The Shiites protest many times every month. They don’t kill people. They don’t burn down people’s houses. They don’t ambush and kill random Christians. They just say give us justice. You don’t have to like them but you must give them justice. It is not a favor. It is a right” he said.
Even as the Nigerian army has chosen to be fighting against the Amnesty International AI, a human rights organization of global repute, the AI still issued a statement on the bloodbath perpetrated by the army saying “Fatalities as a result of soldiers use of maximum force in confrontation with IMN protesters demonstrates that the security forces were not seeking to maintain public order but to murder”.
Another Presidential candidate under the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar expressed that he is deeply saddened by the untimely death of the young Nigerians whose only crime was protesting against the injustice meted on their leader who has been in illegal detention for three years now. He condemned how innocent people keep dying under the Buhari regime saying, “We cannot continue like this”.
More so, former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank, has called on all the international Human righhs organisations to note the record of brutal killings, especially that of Shiites people under the current administration, saying President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, must face trial after their stay in office.