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Zakzaky: Freedom In The Clime of Sorts, By El-Kauthar Mukhtar

Leader of The Islamic Movement Sheikh Ibraheem ElZakzaky.

By El-Kauthar Mukhtar

My incredulity keeps on intensifying with a growing realization. Take Nigeria a jigsaw puzzle which requires a piece for complete overhaul and transformation. While the piece is readily available, people hold on being either blind or indifferent to what is apparently the way out of the woods, particularly when the Buhari regime cast a bloodbath pall over Zaria at the end of the second week of December, 2015, with a public demonstration of brutalities as well as the crimes of war.

With blood-spattered face, having been shot severally along with his wife and dragged in tow on his slain children's corpses, Sheikh Zakzaky was depicted to have been dumped and pushed in a wheelbarrow before being carted off. That was the beginning of what seemed an eternity in the power brokers' exertion to mock and even make fun of him deliberately, pulverize the movement he leads by penetrating and dispersing his teeming following, and to see to it that only what they wanted stay or the grassroots do. But can a work of forty years standing be discredited through wishful thinking?

To jug our memories here the more, the Nigerian Army got to the Sheikh only after massacring more than a thousand of his followers in the cruellest of manners never before seen in this part of the world. Many were gunned down at sight, numerous burnt dead or alive, and a lot of the victims went through a combination of both of the sprees, indiscriminately. Several families were wiped out from the face of the earth, and many lost their breadwinners. Not to mention men and women that were widowed, and children orphaned; to say nothing of billions’ worth of the property completely destroyed.

In the wake of the December savagery, the eventuality of the continued brutality was for sure only a matter of when, not if. The rash killings went on, as the Nigeria Police Force took over the wand from the Army. From Sokoto to Gombe and Kano to Abuja, police officers would kill innocent citizens, without recourse to laws. In almost five years, and in Abuja alone, 78 people were brutally gunned down.

By its evil acts, with such state-sponsored terrorism and serial untold persecutions, what did the Buhari regime try to elicit from the public? The regime might have got some support from those whose understanding of religion entails violence and chaos, which they preach in the main. These types of extremists are ready-made bloodsuckers in religious garb, just sartorial elegance. Have they anything to offer apart from what they imbibe from their 13th-century terrorism chalice and its ilk? They are experts in antipathy and hate speech. Even in their day-to-day dealings, there is little or no love lost.

The proof of an existential pudding is in the progress it makes much easier. Nigeria is in need of a personage in whose heart reside the citizens and at whose fingertips are solutions to the most difficult problems besetting the country. Sheikh Zakzaky has the God-given wherewithal to change the rein of this country. The four decades of his proselytism are as thought-provoking as the joint militocrats' and politicians' do not hold water.

There is no disputing the fact that Sheikh Zakzaky is the sight of millions of sore eyes, and the toast of the oppressed, who have been subjected to tyranny, oppression and injustice by successive Nigerian regimes. Because the power brokers seek delusions of grandeur. If not for the topsy-turvy into which Nigeria has grown, why should criminals roam about freely in a scornful and domineering manner at the expense of innocent victims!

Really eerie is the ambience in which one understands less of what they see often. In such clime of sorts, freedom isn’t absolute; it is not more than an illusion. Yet there is hope for the best. Where does it lie, then? For this brutal regime to have made a claim in a court of law and failed in defending the claim against no other person than the one those in the driving seat so much love to hate, and about whom they could fabricate blatant lies and make laws flagrant, is not a success for the oppressed personality, but the citizens in general, particularly those who acknowledge the intrinsic power of the masses.

On the 28 of July, 2021, euphoria gripped the country over the glad tidings of the discharge and acquittal of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, having expended five years seven months in detention, despite their critical and deteriorating health condition. The euphoric mood has begun to harangue those in the power corridors that Nigeria won’t perhaps continue to be the same any longer. The trio of injustice, oppression and tyranny won’t hold an eternal sway, never. Thus, Sheikh Zakzaky's victory at the court is a timely slap on the wrist, and it is high time Nigerians got things that matter right.

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