“I Lost 2 Daughters, A Niece, Her Husband And My 1.5 Year-Old Grandniece In Zaria”
A Nigerian, Malam Abubakar Zaki, lost five family members in the chaos of the clash between the army and members of the Shi’ite Islamic Movement in Nigeria that occurred on December 12 in Zaria, Kaduna state.
In an interview published by News Rescue, Mr Zaki says he lost his niece A’isha whom he took care of as a guardian after her father, his brother, pa$$ed away; A’isha’s husband, Buhari Bello Jega, their daughter and his grandniece, 18-month-old Fatimah-Batula, and his own two daughters, Nusaiba and Fatimah.
Nusaiba was a 200-level student at the University of Abuja, and her younger sister Fatima had just gained admission into the College of Education in Zuba.
Recalling the day of the tragedy, Mr Zaki says his relatives left Gwagwalada for Zaria to see the annual change of flag ceremony.
“However, after news broke of the clash, and I was speaking to one of my daughters at about 6pm, she told me: ‘Daddy, forgive us, as it will be hard for us to meet. I was shot in the stomach, and Aisha has been shot in the head’,” Mr Zaki says.
“Buhari Jega, my in-law, was shot first and Fatima called my younger brother Abdullahi, who had escaped unhurt, to tell him people were being shot. He asked about her location and told her to stay quiet and out of sight. That was their last communication.”
In the interview, Mr Zaki speaks on how the Zaria killings shocked the entire nation and even the international community. He argues that Shia Muslims do not pose any security threat.