Mr President, Where Is Fairness In Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s Continued Incarceration? -By Ifeanyichukwu Mmoh

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John F Kennedy once said “If society cannot protect the many who are poor; it cannot save the few who are rich.” I have wondered oftentimes what government was about if it cannot perform the simple task of carrying her citizens along. We are at cross-roads at the moment in the chequered history of this amazing country.

A time when our hard-earned democracy was fast transforming into a colonial or totalitarian regime and our so-called federal government had all the rights to assume the role of judge in her own case. It is sickening that what we called democracy was in fairness, an insult on the sensibility of those who know too well that it’s only joke.

A few years ago, Sheikh Ibrahim El-zakzaky became needlessly involved with the said totalitarian system when – it was alleged – that a procession of his followers clashed with the top man of the Nigerian military (who as we heard, was on his way on an official assignment when his convoy ran into the Sheikh and his people.)

Conflicting reports as to the number of harmless Nigerian citizens who died at gun point has remained controversial till date. Not satisfied that they had done enough damage on the Sheikh – having snuffed life out of members of his household – the authorities went further to brow-beat him and has since consigned him behind bars.

 

Shi’ites leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky

Nigerians were told that the Sheikh’s “offense” was those of obstructing free passage for motorists especially the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff but we are aware that the Fulani herdsmen engaged in similar “offenses” and have even extended into actual destruction of innocent lives and property without being invited let alone detained.

Interestingly, very strong indications seem to suggest that the Sheikh’s ordeal with the President Buhari’s administration had everything to do with the threat in which a growing population of very educated Shiite Muslims the world over posed to the Sunni Muslims whose ideologies Mr. President openly believes and sympathizes with.

There is an existing ruling from the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to the effect that Sheikh El-Zakzaky be released from detention effective from December 2, 2016. However in a veiled contempt of the court ruling, the government justifies her refusal to obey that order.

This, the government’s minister for information tells us that “At every point in time, a government will make very hard decision between your personal liberty and national security. We are saying today that in the case of both El-Zakzaky and Dasuki, we are talking about national security.”

How interesting? National security! Maybe Mr. president should answer this poser: MR PRESIDENT, WHERE IS FAIRNESS IN SHEIKH EL-ZAKZAKY’S CONTINUED INCARCERATION? If Sheikh El-Zakzaky commanded a following of terrorists or religious extremists; would not have their protest since turned very violent by now?

How could I be convinced that the Shiites, who are easily very educated and highly knowledgeable, could stoop so low as to becoming a threat to national security? We know that in Dubai – for instances – the Shiites are mostly commanders of the Mainstream economy as against the Sunnis who are largely very intolerant.

In this country, faithful’s of the Sunni ideology have made it to the heights of administration and have failed to carry faithful’s of other religious beliefs along because of intolerance. Mr. President is a typical example of the Sunni faithful. If he were a Shiite, he would’ve been thankful to coexist with folks of other beliefs.

His extremist views are reasons why he seeks to do the bidding of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by jailing a citizen of his country under the guise of national security. Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is another example and we have seen how extreme his views are especially how as Governor; he quarreled with about all his Senators.

No Shiite in his right senses will dare lend himself as bigot in the name of terrorism neither will the economy of northern Nigeria be in this ugly mess, if the majority Sunnis embraced education and a cosmopolitan culture like their Shiite counterpart. Today, we are rebuilding Borno after it was devastated by the terrorism. What’s more?

Our beloved President seeks to rebuild the north by attempting to intimidate the few progressives in the region who are mostly Shiites. Sheikh El-Zakzaky – in the eyes of knowledgeable Nigerians – remains a victim of a miscarried justice as long as he is still in jail. If he was guilty of an offense; he is entitled to a fair hearing and not abuse.

Comrade Ifeanyichukwu Mmoh is an advocate for attitudinal change, a researcher and authored (THE ORIGIN OF IGBO MARGINALIZATION IN NIGERIA). 08062577718.

 

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