Photo: Zakzaky and his sons before death was visited on them
There is a childhood memory that I have never been able to lose touch with, it is personal, intimately so.
I do not like sharing it.
But I feel that considering my current circumstances its best I share it, especially considering that in life I have lost almost all the things that constitute my reason for being.
I have eventually lost, and it is very clear that I can lose anything else, all by the virtue of ending up as a Nigerian.
I am Mohammed Ibraheem, known to my friends as Ibraheem affixed with my numerous nicknames.
I was possibly 6 years old; we lived in a three bedroom, two sitting room, one kitchen, one garage, back garden and front yard house.
That house was plagued by brown rats; two of which got trapped in a water tank in the kitchen, so that they could not swim out of the water, and leap to safety.
Everyone was so enraged by them, and rightly so, for these foreign rats can be so fearfully annoying, plus they once chewed the soles off my mother’s feet.
The two rats must have lasted long, for by the time they were discovered, they really were too exhausted to run.
I don’t remember what went on before the fact.
All I know is that they were ushered out of the water and successfully marched on what must have been rat miles all the way to the back garden.
I was then given a stick by the nanny and told to kill one of them.
In an unforgettable act, after a little hesitation I hit the rat, after being mocked and taunted for being too soft.
I still remember the look in the eyes of that rat looking up at me after I hit him; it haunts me to this day.
The gleeful murder of a mischievous rat is a truly un-forgettable experience for me, much as I can imagine it I cannot see myself killing anything larger than a mosquito or house fly without guilt.
Yet it was men armed to the teeth who have slaughtered all of my brothers, and multiples of men, women and children along with them, as if they were nothing.
Doctors, Nurses, Engineers, Technicians, Journalists, men and women of all professions – there were even boys and girls among them, like (Karofi) a one week old University of Greenwich graduate.
Students whose only aspiration was to make beautiful dreams come true; friends, families, the old and the young, all brutally slaughtered by an army that was supposed to protect them!
A few days ago it was announced that the commission established by the Kaduna State Government, submitted a report on its findings, on the massacre and destruction visited upon innocent people by elements representing the Nigerian Army.
Over a thousand people are missing, over three hundred and forty people were admittedly buried in a mass grave, hundreds were arrested and hundreds of millions worth in property destroyed.
Having followed the commission’s sessions with interest, I watched as it slowly degenerated from a commission of enquiry into a case of murder and destruction, being convoluted into a commission whose focus seemed to only be a sectarian one.
Although the movement sent no representatives, I am yet to read its findings as it is yet to be publicized.
Prior to that in an unusual twist, the custodians/captors/detainers of my parents, the DSS claimed that my father, is being kept in “protective custody” “because he is a vulnerable individual”.
And according to their lawyer, it is the DSS’s duty to provide protection to vulnerable citizens!
Adding salt to injury, they further even claimed to have spent five million Naira on his health alone.
It is unbearably hard enough that I’ve had to watch helplessly as they killed all those innocent people including my three remaining brothers.
But this claim was the worst affront to my sense of self, more painfully insulting than all before it.
Ever since the statement was made, I have made several attempts to type a response.
Each time I begin to type, my fingers shake from excess of wrath, anger, despair and the all too fresh realization of the truly unbelievable depths of insincerity, hypocrisy and cruelty.
I always think and question the humanity of the cabal that masterminded the Zaria Massacre.
How can it be rationally explained that we share the same taxonomy as this brutal breed of beasts wearing the uniform of the Nigerian army who executed this inhuman massacre?
This is a most grievous insult, the gravity of which is unfathomable to say the least.
Although my parents are not being held in a prison cell, they are certainly not living in a comfortable state, nor are they ‘Safe.’