Nigerian Govt’s Hard Stance Against The Shiite; A Time Bomb
Nigeria News take a look at the stands of the Federal Government against the Shiite Islamic Movement in the country.
It appears there is an official Federal Government policy to destroy the Shiite sect of Islam in Nigeria. Many Shiite members have been killed in Nigeria in the last two years of the present administration while its leader El Zak Zaky is still in custody despite the court order to release him on bail.
The regimes of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and late President Umaru Yar’Adua never encouraged these killings when both men were in office. But El Zak Zaky’s two sons, who had just graduated from universities abroad were killed when former President Goodluck Jonathan was in office.
Scores of other Shiites were also killed by Nigeria security forces at the time. Unfortunately, instead of outrage, there was a subtle encouragement for the extra-judicial killings by supposed Muslims in Northern Nigeria.
Not many of them believe the Shiites are Muslims. It was okay for these followers of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussein, to be slaughtered in a senseless manner like a game by those employed to protect them.
There are also those who believe the annual religious rite of Arabaeen Trek should be disallowed by the Government. To many, the Shiite block the roads each time it observes the trek.
In Nigeria, the constitution guarantees freedom of worship. Every Nigerian is free to worship whatever they want!
But the government should be told that several other Muslim and Christian communities do block the roads on a regular basis.
Until recently, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was always hellish for persons travelling into or outside Lagos when RCCG and others have their monthly services. Not once has anyone been arrested or killed!
In Zaria the other day, it was alleged that a convoy of the Chief of Army Staff was blocked by the trekking Shiites. The next thing was the deployment of live bullets by soldiers against unarmed civilians. It was followed up by the destruction of Zak Zaky’s house and massacre of more than 1,000 Shiites, mostly women and children.
President Muhammad Buhari appears to have increased the tempo of these extra-judicial killings, which he inherited from Jonathan.
Mohammed Yusuf was arrested alive along with some of his followers. Less than 24 hours later, they were extra-judicially executed by the Police. Hardly did anybody spoke up for them. To many, it was good riddance to bad rubbish. They forgot that these people have friends, family and the like.
Amnesty International had continued to highlight the orgy of extra-judicial killings by Nigeria’s security agencies.
The killings in Kano State at the weekend of the same Shiites is worrisome.
The killing if not stopped for now may become another version of virulent Boko Haram. The Shiites leadership is currently insisting its members forgive and not revenge.
The song can change tomorrow with possible extremist elements among them in a region awash with small arms from unstable neighbouring countries.
The Boko Haram challenge has shown that there is no big deal in ‘facing’ Nigeria’s security agents when properly motivated. And, there is no better motivation than anger and a promise of Paradise in the event of death.
Buhari should urgently reverse whatever official policy there is out there concerning this senseless killing of a religious minority, not just for the sake of respecting their human rights, but in order to stop planting the seeds of another war in Northern Nigeria. If these persecuted Shiites should resort to self-help, it will be worse than Boko Haram.
Suicide bombing was made fashionable by Shiites in Lebanon. They embraced death in their thousands when the U.S encouraged Saddam Hussein to attack Iran.
Apart from Russian assistance, the sacrifice of Shiites in Syria is the major factor responsible for keeping Assad in power. They remain Israel’s worst nightmare in Lebanon.