Badia Ibraheem Zakzaky, daughter of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, expressed deep concern about her parents’ fate after they were wounded and detained by the Nigerian army in Zaria region mid December.
“I don’t have any news on the fate and health conditions of my parents 40 days after the Zaria disaster,” Badia said.
She also said that the fate of nearly 800 people of Zaria region who were killed or arrested by the army forces is still unknown.
Badia called on the international human rights organizations to act upon their responsibility and at least provide her with a chance to find and meet her parents.
The Nigerian army attacked two religious centers of the country’s Shiite community on December 12, killing hundreds of defenseless civilians there. A few hours later on December 13, the military arrested Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky after raiding his house and killing three of his sons, assistants and followers.
Political activists said later that the Nigerian army forces buried and set fire on the corpses of those Shiite Muslims who had been killed during the recent raids in Zaria region.
“The Nigerian army has buried in mass graves and burnt a large number of dead bodies of those Muslims who have been massacred in the recent army forces’ attacks,” the activists revealed.
They said that the army was attempting to destroy every evidences of its crimes against the suppressed Muslim community, adding that if it had any convincing reason for the mass-killing, it wouldn’t resort to such methods to conceal its crimes.
Late in December, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria demanded setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the killings of their members in Zaria on December 12 and 13, during its meeting with House of Representatives panel.
The movement also demanded for the unconditional release of their leader Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife who have been in the custody of security agencies since the incident.
Members of the movement made the demand when they appeared before a House of Representatives panel investigating the matter.
Although the meeting was held behind closed-door, a lawmaker at the meeting said that six members of the movement including some lawyers, chairman of their medical team, an associate professor from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and the head of their education section were present.
It was also gathered that the movement members demanded for the corpses of their members for proper Islamic burial as well as the release of the injured for medical attention, alleging that hundreds of their members are currently detained in Kaduna prison without being charged to court.
The source said they told the committee that the killings were premeditated based on the way and manner they were carried out and sustained for more than 48 hours.
They said there was no reason for their leader and his wife would be held in custody for weeks without any information on his whereabouts without being charged to court.
It was wrong, they added, for anybody to refer to them as a sect, but that they are a movement comprising of adherents of Shiite, Sunni, Tijjaniyya and even Christian priests.
The source added that they alleged that apart from killing scores and destroying their Hussainiyya center, soldiers also went to where Zakzaky’s mother was buried and tried to exhume her body and also destroyed their cemetery at Darur Rahma along Jos-Zaria road.
They further said that when the killings were going on, personnel of the Red Cross who attempted to render help to the injured and evacuate those killed were denied access by soldiers.
After listening to their submissions, the committee chairman Rep Aminu Sani Jaji (APC, Zamfara), said his committee would do a thorough investigation.
He said his committee would intervene for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky and other members of the movement in detention.
The lawmaker said the committee would also visit the movement Hussainiyya, Zakzaky’s residence as well as the Darur Rahma, and other affected places to see for themselves.
He promised that he would ensure that justice is done no matter which of the two sides is found guilty.