Friday, July 10, 2020
Sharp-Journal > Editorial > El-Zakzaky followers: another Boko Haram in the making

El-Zakzaky followers: another Boko Haram in the making


For the second year running, violence has proved inevitable in the activities of the Shi’ite Islamic sect (Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah) headed by Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. Hell was let loose in Zaria, Kaduna State, on Saturday when members of this group had serious altercation with the military which resulted to multiple casualties.

From the video evidence of this incident monitored on NTA, members of this group wielded dangerous objects which obviously aggravated the situation. In the wake of the present atrocities being carried out by the deadly Boko Haram, Sharp Journal is seriously concerned about the gradual rise and support of this Islamic group who were very unruly to the extent of stopping the convoy of Gen. Tukur Buratai.

If peaceful co-existence is to be guaranteed in the society, fundamentalism and extremism should not be part of any religion. 

The version of report from this group says the attack on them by soldiers was unprovoked and that the violence should be blamed on the Nigeria army. But more visual evidence shows that this group vehemently refused to comply with simple rules and regulation of traffic. How can a senior military officer on official assignment be prevented from using a public road despite all persuasion just to pacify the erring group?

The group claimed they were peaceful in their demonstration. But is burn-fire, obstruction of traffic, possession of dangerous objects part of the peaceful protest or demonstration? Islam as globally understood means peace and it preaches tolerance in relationship with other members of the society. The activity of this group is getting overboard. If peaceful co-existence is to be guaranteed in the society, fundamentalism and extremism should not be part of any religion.

Kaduna State has always been a hot-bed of religious crisis which has claimed thousands of lives over the years. The gradual popularity of this group is becoming unsettling which may bring about more religious crisis even among the Muslims themselves, let alone Christians. Observation of Islamic hadiths by this group is quite different from other Islamic groups. This is the same problem that brought war and division among the Sunni and Shi’ite group in Iraq. Brothers divided by religious beliefs.

Nigeria is a secular Nation-State, religious sentiments or extreme ideologies affiliated to both Islam and Christianity should not be allowed to destabilize the peace and unity of this country. No religious group can hold Nigeria to ransom just because of some unrealistic set of beliefs or ideology. Sheikh El-Zakzaky should teach tolerance and call his supporters to order to prevent further escalation of this violence. Since the group publicly declared that they are always peaceful in their public demonstration, violence of this nature is a contrast to such claims.

Sharp Journal is therefore, warning the Federal Government not to be passive with the activities of this group in order to forestall subsequent violence of this nature and prevent future eventuality like that of Boko Haram. The predominance of Boko Haram was allowed to fester and it eventually boomeranged. The group, within a short period of time acquired military arsenal matching to that of the Nigeria military. It was an unbelievable intelligence flop by the administration of former President Jonathan.

In the light of this, any religious group that threatens the peace and unity of this country should be severely dealt with before they become uncontrolled. The emergence of Boko Haram as a strong militia group within the territory of Nigeria is a disgrace to stakeholders who were saddled with the responsibility of gathering intelligence and ensuring internal security. Lessons should have been learnt. Consequently, the government of Buhari should forcefully clampdown on any violent religious group that preaches intolerance, violence, and extreme ideologies before their acceptance or popularity snowballs to serious security threats.

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