By Mohammed Ibraheem Zakzaky
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.
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 ZariaMassacre. 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?
Then there is his health, specifically the health of his last remaining eye, which is already half blind. The attending single doctor whose name and qualification I do not know, nor has the DSS informed me, has already arbitrarily and single handedly proscribed one of his eyes as lost for good, without recourse to a second opinion. Granted in father’s own words, he does "appreciate" the doctor’s efforts, and the courtesy of certain members of the DSS, I for one am not grateful, I cannot be. I deserve answers we all do. If the DSS that is a Government organization of fundamental importance, is proudly insulting me by claiming to be spending five million Naira for my father, Ibraheem Zakzaky has a son who is alive and willing to spend multiples of that amount (and I can afford it), for his Father. But I cannot, because the opportunity to do such things for my father is blocked by the ‘Dutifully Protective Custodians.’ DPC. (Death Prospecting Cooperation).
If they really are just protecting my father as their lawyer has claimed, then I would want to ask them the following unanswered questions; firstly: What form of a threat is the visit of Family Members? What form of a threat is the visit of doctors? What threat does my father’s access to his lawyers constitute? Considering the impending and dangerous situation threatening to turn him blind, why are no doctors allowed? Why do they assault us with SLRs when all we want is to be able to attend to our flesh and blood? And why should I continue to play the silently grateful son of the guest who is actually more like a hostage? As my fingers shiver lest harm come to my parents for speaking the truth I would finally ask you what I have been asking myself, Can I entrust the truth to my tongue?
When I was a child I grew up on the tales of heroes and great men, and I truly did aspire to be more like some of my favorite heroes and great men, I even used to think who wouldn’t. One thing that they all had in common though; was that they all had something of worth whether it was an idea, a person or a thing, these great men and women were willing to risk all for that one thing. In the titanic and everlasting struggle that is good versus evil, justice versus in injustice, the fair versus the unfair.
I have found myself powerless to save my brothers all of whom are now with God. I have found it beyond my means, to protect my own mother. I have no power to protect what I care for, I live in a country where those whose job was to protect have become mindless predators. I have no protection against these serpents. I only have myself, my hands and my feet, there is nothing I can do. I have so few tools at my disposal, in spite my most optimistic efforts, I have come to the conclusion that the evil that has taken my brothers, my family, and has kidnapped my mother and my father, and placed them in a hostage situation, and is killing them slowly, seems to understand no language, that I know or understand. As my father is systematically and slowly being reduced to total blindness, I am becoming desperate.
It is true that I am weak and powerless in the face of such unfathomable levels of evil madness, reckless hatred, extreme prejudice and limitless inhumanity. The only thing I can do now is to complain, to protest, and protest by any means available. As I gradually lose all my senses due to worry, I find myself increasingly losing all hope of recourse to reason and feel ever increasingly compelled towards necessity. If violence and irrationalism is a strength, I don’t have it, I still regret killing that rat. I am incapable of breaking my own innocence. I cannot kill without remorse. I was born of a father who could never ever condone the path of wrath, even at the cost of his sight.
I want to call all those who believe in the inalienable right of all human beings to fairness, justice and dignity, to help by joining me in a redoubled effort. We must protest this seemingly never ending series of outrages, we must make our voices heard. We must act before it is too late, we must demonstrate wherever we are able. I for one will walk alone on my two feet from my father’s house in Zaria to Abuja if I have to, I will sit in front of any office for as long as it takes, I will stop eating and drinking for as long as it takes.
As God is my witness there is no time. My father needs access to doctors now! Right Now. As God is my witness I swear that having survived the unthinkable, my father is currently being wearied down into a blind man, he is being slowly crippled, destroyed. Compliments of the DSS and co. enough is enough. Post the dammed pictures make all the lies but do not insult us, let us send doctors, let us save my father’s eye.