Is Nigeria’s Government Looking For A Second Boko Haram?

25th July Nigeria SITREP (Breaking)

Earlier today, soldiers from the Nigerian Army opened fire on a peaceful march organized by the Leader of Shia (Ahlul-Bait) in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Az-Zakzaki, killing over a dozen people including a son of the Shia leader Mahmud Zakzaky, and injuring over 100 others. Troops also detained scores of other peaceful marchers including the Sheikh’s second son Ahmad Zakzaky who around 10pm was reported dead in military custody.

The rally according to eyewitnesses was peaceful and was held to express solidarity with the Muslims of Gaza suffering from Israeli bombardment. It was also part of the Islamic Movement’s (a Shia-Sunni politico-religious group led by Sheikh Zakzaky) annual Al-Quds Day (Jerusalem Day).

However soldiers appeared as the procession was ending their march around Zaria City (some 80km north of Kaduna City) and on the pretext that a little boy had a catapult (which they usually hold during the annual Al-Quds march in solidarity with Palestinian youths whose only weapon against Israeli settlers is a catapult and a stone) they opened fire on the innocent Muslim crowd, claiming that they were armed. Amongst the dead is a woman who died with her child on her back.

Second Boko Haram

Those who were in Maiduguri or Northern Nigeria generally, remember that the events in July 2009 that launched this war Nigeria is fighting against the Boko Haram movement, were sparked when soldiers on several occasions opened fire on peaceful funeral processions of Yusufiyya brothers killed by policemen after the Police stormed the houses and mosque of the Yusufiyya sect’s members claiming that they had intelligence reports that Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf and his followers were stockpiling arms. Reports that at the end turned out to fabricated intelligence supplied by the CIA, SIS/MI-6 and the Mossad.

The first procession the Army shot and killed 18 Yusufiyya brothers going to bury their dead friends and family members killed by the police (as explained above).

When they went to bury these 18 dead bodies, the Police and Army accosted them and opened fire on the funeral procession killing 32 of the and injuring scores more.

The funeral procession to bury these 32 was also attacked and 20 more Yusufiyya shot dead by the Army and Police.

Later that same day, about a dozen Yusufiyya men on motorbikes who were on their way for their studies at the mosque were arrested and locked up by the Police for not wearing motorcycle helmets and other frivolous excuses.

When the news of their arrests reached the mosque, the people said enough is enough and they went and stormed the police station in their hundreds and freed their compatriots. From there riots broke out as the angry Yusufiyya demonstrated.

The next day then President Ýar ‘Adua ordered a full scale military assault based on (fabricated) intelligence, that would later be discredited,  supplied by America, Israel and the UK, alleging that Sheikh Yusuf had amassed a large weapons stockpile and was planning to launch a rebellion.
And the rest is history.

In the case of Sheikh Zakzaky, two of his sons have just been killed in cold blood by the Nigerian Army, many of his members have suffered the same fight. Already hundreds of troops are moving to Zaria from Jaji Cantonment (30km south of Zaria along the road to Kaduna) and Headquarters 1st Mechanized Division located inside Kaduna City.

Sources say that Gyallesu a surburb of Zaria where the home and headquarters of Sheikh Zakzaky is located is already being surrounded and cordoned off.

Risks Arising

Unlike Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf, Sheikh Ibrahim Az-Zakzaki (Zakzaky) and his Shia followers in Gyallesu are well armed with small arms and crew-served infantry weapons ( mostly supplied by Iran for their self-defence). They have built up a large arsenal since the late 90s and have a small informal militia. However they have kept to themselves and not turned their weapons on anyone.

Attacking them risks triggering a second conflict which will be drawn out and will sap the energy and resources of the Nigerian Army (which lacks alot of things).

Already calls for revenge by the Shias in Nigeria have been sounding across social media.

Unless the government takes sincere steps to defuse this potential  crisis, what we may find unleashed is a terrible monster that will wreak serious havoc in this country.

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