“Never seen barbarism like this. Peaceful trekkers were assaulted by armed police..” -John Danfulani
The word “Arbaeen” means 40 in Arabic language and by application to religious ceremonies in Shia Islam it means 40 Days after the Martyrdom of the 3rd Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (as), the beloved Grandson of Prophet Muhammad (sa). The Arbaeen is a very important date and is commemorated by Shia Muslims the world over. Great historical events happened in the course of Islamic history that made the Arbaeen of Imam Hussein (as) very important. A famous Companion of the Prophet (sa), Jabir Ibn Abdullahi AlAnsari, and the survived son of Imam Hussein (as) and his sister Sayyeda Zainab (as) all made it to Karbala during the Arbaeen of Imam Hussein (as). Since then Shia Muslims use walking as part of religious activities to commemorate and re-live that great historical events. This year some Shia Muslims from the snow covered mountains and valleys of Russia trekked to Karbala as part of Arbaeen commemoration.
In Nigeria we have Shia Muslims who yearly trekked to the Zaria Husseiniyah where the Arbaeen ceremonies are held. IMN under the leadership of His Eminence Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky decided to organize the Arbaeen Walk to make it easier for the Arbaeen mourners. Location points were established where Arbaeen mourners will meet and commence the Arbaeen Walk to Zaria.
This year due to the unfortunate and brutal massacre of Shia civilians by the Nigerian government last December that killed close to one thousand Nigerians and their bodies dumped in mass graves, IMN launched massive social media campaigns on all the platforms to enlighten Nigerians about the Arbaeen Walk and the threats of attack by Boko Haram terrorism and the Nigerian government. In it Twitter campaign the hangtag ArbaeenTrekNigeria became popular.
Dr. John Danfulani, academician and Activist, informed me few days back via phone of his intention to join the Arbaeen Walk. Dr. Danfulani though a Christian wanted to do that as part of his activism support for endangered minority groups in Nigeria. Dr. Danfulani was in Kano yesterday (14/11/2016) for the flag off of this year Arbaeen Walk and what I quoted above was his experience.
This year Arbaeen Walk had started like in previous years solemnly with the Arbaeen mourners full of hope of their journey. Shortly after the journey had started a contingent of armed policemen appeared and started firing teargas on the trekkers without provocations. Due to the huge crowd the trek continued and when the Trekkers reached a neighborhood called Kwanar Dawaki, about five Kilometers from Kano, police opened fire on the Trekkers with live ammunition. The goal of the Police attack was to stop the Arbaeen Walk at all cost without disregard to human lives. More than one hundred Nigerians were murdered by security forces in this attack and hundreds others injured.
The attacks and massacre were preplanned by the Nigerian government and so its sponsored media outlets started spreading lies and false propaganda that the Arbaeen mourners “attacked Police and motorists”. There were pregnant and baby nursing mothers among the Arbaeen mourners, how can such people attack heavily-armed Police? Last year’s edition was attacked by Boko Haram terrorism and yesterday’s attack was by the official Boko Haram.
The Arbaeen massacre is part of the foreign imperialist agenda that has the Saudi regime as a front that is being executed by President Buhari. Nigerians are already dying of hunger due to the harsh economic policies of President Buhari’s government that led to recession, the question is why is President Buhari massacring innocent and defenceless Nigerian civilians to please some Saudi Wahhabi savages?
Our heartfelt condolences to the families of Nigerians murdered by the Nigerian government in the Arbaeen massacre, God bless the souls of the Martyrs and heal all those injured.