- CAN commiserates with cleric, condemns latest Kano blast
By Evelyn Okakwu
The leader of the Islamic Brotherhood in Nigeria, Ibrahim Zakzaky, has accused the Nigerian military of summarily executing two of his sons after their arrests, in addition to a third son killed earlier, allegedly by soldiers. The alleged attack occurred during a procession by Shiite Muslims in Zaria Friday.
Speaking at a news conference at the weekend, Mr. Zakzaky said there were no clashes between Shiite Muslims and soldiers as earlier reported, but that troops opened fire on the worshippers during an annual Qud procession in solidarity with Palestinians.
“During the shooting they have killed and wounded a lot of people, including children and women. It was during that shooting that one of my sons, Mahmud, a student of Almustapha International University in Beirut, was shot. He came home for holiday at the beginning of this Ramadan. He was shot at his abdomen. He was brought here bleeding, they wanted to take him to the hospital, but the soldiers had blocked the way. He, therefore, bled to death on the road (to the hospital),” Mr. Zakzaky stated.
“Among those arrested were three of my children – Ahmad, Hameed and Ali. They were taken alive and in good condition. But later on, after we made contact with some people, specifically the police, they helped us to locate their where about.
“They were taken to a Military Hospital in Basawa. When we demanded that they should hand them over to us, they refused, but insisted on taking them to Shika Hospital (themselves) and that we should collect them there.
“Later on we came to know that, they have already killed Ahmad and Hamid, while Ali was wounded on his leg. He has compound fracture. I don’t think it was bullet wound, they broke his leg. Up to now he could not be brought back because they have blocked the road,” he said.
According to the cleric, the celebration of International Qud’s day is an event which has been observed globally for the last 35 years. He said Friday’s procession in Zaria was the 32nd the brotherhood held.
“In Nigeria we have been observing it in different cities, at least in about 22 cities, including principally Kaduna, Zaria, Kano, Jos, Bauchi, Katsina, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Yola, Lagos, Illorin and Port Harcourt among others.“This year the event went on smoothly as it has always been done. The procession started after Juma’at prayers from Central Mosque of Sabon Gari and ended in Kofar Doka roundabout.”
Mr. Zakzaky said no one fired at the soldiers as reported. He accused the soldiers of shooting at the crowd without provocation, and killing far more than reported.“However, all of a sudden there was sporadic shooting from the soldiers. They just appeared from nowhere and started shooting at people coming back from the procession. They continued shooting for some time deep into the night. They hid in the sugarcane farms of Kubanni area, where there were no houses,” he said.
He said his other two sons, Ahmad and Hameed, were also in the country for the Ramadan holiday, just like their brother, Mahmood. Ahmad was studying Chemical Engineering in Shenyang University of technology in China, while, Hameed was studying Aeronautical Engineering in Xian another city in China,” he said.
“Ahmad was set to graduate next April, the father told reporters.“Hameed came only last Saturday, his plane landed in Lagos on Friday and he took local flight to Kaduna on Saturday. So, he was killed six days after he came back. I believe these two were murdered in cold blood, because they were taken alive. We believe that they killed them here; because someone has identified Ahmad alive at the Military hospital, but wounded on his leg. They shot him before they took him to the hospital”.
The military has not commented on the killings. Defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed sadness over the unfortunate incident in Zaria, which led the killing of some people,
including the son of a renowned Islamic scholar, ZakZaky.
A statement from the office CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, said, “CAN commiserates with Islamic scholar ZakZakky over the loss of his son appealing to him to take solace in God. It added that CAN is particularly saddened by the implication of the incident, as it is capable of throwing the community into more crises”.
The statement noted that the demise of the scholar’s son is most unfortunate and regrettable particularly at a time when the energy and wise counsel of all in the society is needed to tame insecurity.
CAN appealed to Nigerians to live peacefully irrespective of religious, ethnic and political difference in the quest for new national re birth”.
CAN reiterated its earlier call for Nigerians to give useful information to security agents as they try their best to tackle insurgency adding that the CAN president has condemned Sunday bomb blast killing innocent Christians in a catholic church, in Kano.
Pastor Oritsejafor described the act as barbaric and inhuman and called on Nigerians should be security conscious.