by Zafar Bangash (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 43, No. 6, Shawwal, 1435)
The Nigerian regime of Goodluck Jonathan is not only corrupt but also completely subservient to the zionists. To prove loyalty to his masters, his army perpetrated a bloodbath of peaceful participants in the Quds day rally.
Zionist brutalities against defenceless Palestinians are bad enough; in some countries the regimes try to obstruct those that want to protest such crimes against humanity. Then there are other regimes that shoot and kill innocent protesters. This is what happened in Zaria, Nigeria where the army opened fire on peaceful Quds Day protesters on July 25 and killed 25 of them instantly. Scores of others were injured while at least 12 people were arrested. They were all shot dead at the military compound before handing over their bodies to the families. Why the Nigerian military perpetrated the massacre of innocent civilians?
Nigeria’s clownish President Goodluck Jonathan—he has brought anything but luck to the people of Nigeria—is a Zionist puppet. There is massive corruption in the country with Jonathan and his cronies stealing billions from oil revenues. Nigeria has the potential to be the power engine of Africa but its hapless people have been reduced to penury.
He is determined to instigate religious warfare between the Muslim majority and the Christian minority. The terrorist group Boko Haram is aided and abetted by his regime in order to demonize Islam and Muslims. Jonathan himself is a Christian as are most of the senior officers in the Nigerian military. It would not, however, matter whether the officers are Christian or Muslim; their commitment is to their own personal interests and survival.
The Quds rally in Nigeria was organized by the Islamic movement of Nigeria led by Mallam Ibrahim al-Zakzaky. He has been an outspoken critic of both the regime’s corruption as well as Boko Haram. He lost three of his sons in the army shooting. Syed Mahmud Zakzaky was shot and martyred during the rally while another son was injured; two of his sons were arrested and later shot dead by the army together with other detainees. Nigerian forces then bombed a mosque in Zaria in which three persons were killed on July 26.
This was followed on July 29 by two suicide bombers attacking open air mosques used by Mallam Zakzaky’s followers in Potiskum in Yobe State. Eight people were killed in this twin attack that occurred during evening prayers. The attackers were members of Boko Haram terrorist outfit. The assault by the Nigerian military on a peaceful Quds rally on July 25 and four days later the twin suicide bombings by Boko Haram on mosques confirms the nexus between the regime and the terrorist outfit.
There were Quds Day rallies in other Nigerian cities as well like Kano, Kaduna, Jos, Bauchi and Potiskum. They all went off peacefully. It is clear that the regime was determined to attack the source: Mallam Zakzaky’s home base in Zaria in order to crush the growing strength of the movement. He was the target of this criminal attack but the Sheikh survived while losing three of his sons to the trigger happy soldiers that in any case have little regard for human life. Given the regime’s complicity in such crimes, the soldiers were even more aggressive in shooting and killing people. Among the dead were also a woman and the baby she was carrying on her back. Both were shot and killed.
There was a massive funeral procession for the Quds Day martyrs in Zaria on July 30. The mood of the mourners was sombre but defiant in the face of regime’s brutality against innocent civilians who were doing no more than expressing sympathy with the oppressed people of Gaza and drawing attention to the continued occupation of Masjid al-Aqsa and the Holy Land by the Zionist invaders.
Over the years, Quds Day rallies have attracted ever larger number of people in Nigeria. This year’s rally was particularly huge because of the ongoing Zionist assault on Gaza in which more than 1300 innocent Palestinians have been murdered since July 8. The exposure of Zionist crimes in Gaza and of Jonathan’s subservience to the Zionists in Occupied Palestine was something the corrupt Nigerian president was not prepared to tolerate any longer. In fact, the Nigerian regime felt vulnerable on three fronts: exposure of its massive corruption; its support for the terrorist group Boko Haram and exposure of its subservience to the Zionist regime. On the Corruption Index, Nigeria annually ranks among the most corrupt countries in the world. Goodluck Jonathan has done nothing to deal with the issue; in fact, it seems he does not even care. All he is interested in is keeping his grubby hands on the levers of power so that he and his cronies can continue to plunder state resources while keeping the overwhelming majority in extreme poverty.
Mallam Ibrahim Zakzaky is a charismatic leader who has spent many years in Nigeria’s notorious prisons under successive regimes. He has a huge following in the country and refuses to compromise with the country’s corrupt power brokers and rulers. He has not only called for investigation into official corruption but also demanded that people’s rights be respected. While this attracts ordinary people to his cause, it also arouses the wrath of the corrupt elements that feel vulnerable because increasing numbers of people are becoming aware of what is really going on in the country.
The Quds day rally massacre in Zaria is unlikely to deter committed Muslims from continuing their struggle. Instead, it will arouse greater awareness among the people and increase their hatred of a corrupt regime that is driving Nigeria into an endless cycle of violence and bloodshed. Neither the Nigerian military nor Boko Haram terrorists will be able to save the corrupt regime. In fact, it is difficult to tell which group is worse: Boko Haram or the Nigerian army in terms of killing innocent people.