Leaders of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, otherwise known as Shiites, have cried out to Southern leaders not to abandon them as they create and strengthen alliances in agitating for a better deal for their people in the country.
Speaking at the public presentation of the book, “The Vanity of ‘Change’ and the Audacity of Truth” written by Jude Ndukwe, which held at Merit House, Abuja on Wednesday, 24th of May, 2017, leaders of the Islamic sect pleaded with southern leaders that they should not forget the minorities of the north like Shiites and people of Southern Kaduna who have suddenly become endangered species as they are subjected to mass murders of genocidal proportions under the government of president Muhammadu Buhari.
He spoke in reaction to the call by the keynote address speaker at the occasion, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation, who had earlier reeled out a series of what he termed “wicked and inhuman” acts of the present day government against the citizens that have led Nigerians from the south and the middle belt to seek alliances on how they would stop what he called “the tyranny of the Buhari administration against the people” and demand the restructuring of the country.
Sheikh Mohammed Ibrahim Gamawa, speaking in an emotion laden voice, lamented the brutality which their sect has had to endure under the Buhari-led administration. He recalled how soldiers stormed the residence of their leader, Sheikh El Zakzaky, shot and killed many harmless, armless, defenceless and helpless men and women including children in their sleep, while they also shot their leader and his wife severally and took them away, refusing to release them after close to one and a half years in illegal detention despite court orders to have them released.
He said that while the southern leaders are in alliance with the Middle Belt in the growing demands for restructuring and referendum on the fate of the nation going forward, no one seems to be remembering the suffering and already traumatized minorities of the north like members of the Sect. He cautioned that if the Shiites are not protected by southern leaders, the Buhari administration is determined to exterminate them.
While acknowledging the efforts of some leaders in the north to intervene in their situation, he said political heavyweights from the region who hate them for no just cause are thwarting all efforts at ensuring justice and freedom for their people.
He further wondered what wrong they have done to deserve the wickedness being visited upon them by Buhari and Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, calling on brave forces like Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Governor Ayodele Fayose, the author, Jude Ndukwe, and other leaders from the south to help in leading the crusade against plans of the government to finish off members of their Sect for no just cause.
The spokesperson of the Sect, Abdurrahman Yola, who was also present at the event, had earlier narrated what he described as the barbarity of events leading to the arrest of their leader and his wife, and all the killing of their members in the unfortunate incident of December 2015 which he termed the “Zaria massacre”.
Earlier Fani-Kayode had commended the author for chronicling some of these injustices, tyranny, nepotism, sophistry, incompetence and alleged murder of innocent citizens in their large numbers by the Buhari administration.
He said that the title of the book is apt as it exposes the vanity of the promised ‘change’ by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and president Muhammadu Buhari, in the run up to the last general elections. He praised the author for standing up to despotism and speaking truth to power even when it is not in any way convenient to do so, describing him as one of the rising lights of Nigeria’s modern democracy.
On her part, the reviewer of the book, Aziza Uko-Douglas, publisher of The Trent Online, described the author, Jude Ndukwe, as one with whom she has “been in the trenches of demanding for good governance, resisting the tyranny of the Muhammadu Buhari regime, and demanding for social and economic justice for the victims of the brutality of this government”.
Speaking further, Aziza said “In the course of the struggle, I have found him (Ndukwe)to be a formidable ally and a fearless warrior and it has been an honour to have walked with him on this journey to making Nigeria great for every single Nigerian”.
In his own reaction, the author, Jude Ndukwe, said that he had to write the book as his own contribution to the struggle for the emancipation of the common man who is daily dying under the brutish rule of the Buhari-led administration which has brought nothing but hardship and death upon the people. He concluded by saying that “I have no freedom of my own until every man of every faith and every race is free”.