Zakzaky Speaks: My sons were taken alive, then summarily executed by soldiers

Shiite muslims in Zaria
Shiite muslims in Zaria

The fiery preacher says soldiers were on instructions to execute his sons.

The leader of the Islamic Brotherhood in Nigeria, Ibrahim Zakzaky, has accused the Nigerian military of summarily executing two of his sons after their arrests, in addition to a third son killed earlier, allegedly by soldiers.

The alleged attack occurred during a procession by Shiite Muslims in Zaria Friday.

Speaking at a news conference Saturday, Mr. Zakzaky said there were no clashes between Shiite Muslims and soldiers as earlier reported, but that troops opened fire on the worshippers during an annual Qud procession in solidarity with Palestinians.

“During the shooting they have killed and wounded a lot of people, including children and women. It was during that shooting that one of my sons, Mahmud, a student of Almustapha International University in Beirut, was shot. He came home for holiday at the beginning of this Ramadan. He was shot at his abdomen. He was brought here bleeding, they wanted to take him to the hospital, but the soldiers had blocked the way. He therefore bled to death on the road (to the hospital),” Mr. Zakzaky narrated.

“Among those arrested were three of my children – Ahmad, Hameed and Ali. They were taken alive and in good condition. But later on, after we made contact with some people, specifically the police, they helped us to locate their where about.

“They were taken to a Military Hospital in Basawa. When we demanded that they should hand them over to us, they refused, but insisted on taking them to Shika Hospital (themselves) and that we should collect them there.

“Later on we came to know that, they have already killed Ahmad and Hamid, while Ali was wounded on his leg. He has compound fracture. I don’t think it was bullet wound, they broke his leg. Up to now he could not be brought back because they have blocked the road,” he said.

According to the cleric, the celebration of International Qud’s day is an event which has been observed globally for the last 35 years.

He said Friday’s procession in Zaria was the 32nd the brotherhood held.

“For the last 32 years continuously every year we have been observing the Qud’s Day celebration. It is marked as solidarity with the Palestinian people.

“It was set aside by Imam Khomaini in the 80’s, during the last Friday of each Ramadan,” he said.

He added that the Quds day was yesterday observed in Washington, New York, London, and Paris, “If one watched Press TV yesterday he world have seen the demonstration from all over the world”.

“In Nigeria we have been observing it in different cities, at least in about 22 cities, including principally Kaduna, Zaria, Kano, Jos, Bauchi, Katsina, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Yola, Lagos, Illorin and Port Harcourt among others.

“This year the event went on smoothly as it has always been done. The procession started after Juma’at prayers from Central Mosque of Sabon Gari and ended in Kofar Doka roundabout.”

Mr. Zakzaky said no one fired at the soldiers as reported. He accused the soldiers of shooting at the crowd without provocation, and killing far more than reported.

“However, all of a sudden there was sporadic shooting from the soldiers. They just appeared from nowhere and started shooting at people coming back from the procession. They continued shooting for some time deep into the night. They hid in the sugarcane farms of Kubanni area, where there were no houses,” he said.

He said his other two sons, Ahmad and Hameed, were also in the country for the Ramadan holiday, just like their brother, Mahmood.

“Ahmad was studying Chemical Engineering in Shenyang University of technology in China, while, Hameed was studying Aeronautical Engineering in Xian another city in China,” he said.

Ahmad was set to graduate next April, the father told reporters.

“Hameed came only last Saturday, his plane landed in Lagos on Friday and he took local flight to Kaduna on Saturday. So he was killed six days after he came back. I believe these two were murdered in cold blood, because they were taken alive. We believed that they killed them here, because someone has identified Ahmad alive at the Military Hospital, but wounded on his leg. They shot him before they took him to the hospital,”.

The military has not commented on the killings. Defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Friday and Saturday.

Casualty figure

Mahmud Ibrahim Zakzaky
Mahmud Ibrahim Zakzaky
Mr. Zakzaky said the casualty figure from the alleged attack has continued to grow.

“Yesterday we had a total of 16 corpses, while the soldiers took 9 corpses with them to the Teaching Hospital apart from my two children,” he said.

“This morning as they were passing in front of Husainiyyah, they decided to shoot, and kill 3 more people and wounded many. We also learnt that they have taken with them two more corpses this morning.

“This means, today there is additional five corpses, making a total of 35 people that were killed,” he said.
He said they have 19 corpses with them and the rest are still with the Soldiers.

“We had wanted to have a mass funeral today, but because they have set a road block, and it was not possible to collect the rest of the corpses from the University Teaching Hospital, we cannot,” he said.

The brotherhood leader said the soldiers who killed his followers came from Abuja.

“We learnt that the soldiers that did the shooting yesterday came from Abuja. They were brought from Abuja specifically for this purpose,” he said.

Mr. Zakzaky said contrary to reports, there was no clash between ‘Shiites’ and Soldiers and the procession was not restricted to a single religious belief.

“I don’t know why some section of the media when reporting event decided to call it a clash. In a headline they said “Shiites, soldiers clash”. Let me disabuse your minds about this idea of “Shiites”.

“This has nothing to do with belief; it is to do with people. You don’t have to be a “Shiite” to show solidarity with the Palestinians; you don’t even have to be a Muslim.

“If you check the internet you will see some Jews who participated in this Qud’s procession in London and New York. Several Christians participated, including some Heads of state. Hugo Chaves had always participated in Qud’s day procession,” he said.

He said expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people can never come at a better time than now.

He said for 19 days consecutively Gaza has been under siege with Missile shelling from Israel.

“The death toll is more than 900 now, getting to one thousand. And there has been demonstration all over the world not, only yesterday, ever since they started the attack in European countries,” he said.


The alleged attack has drawn sharp condemnations.

The Kaduna based Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria has condemned the killing of the members of the Islamic movement.
In a statement signed by its president, Shehu Sani, Saturday, the CSO said the attack and killing of the members of the Islamic movement by the soldiers stands unreservedly condemned.

“The killings are cruel, inhuman, barbaric and a dangerous act with wider security implications for the peace and stability of our country,”

It said the attack and killing of the members of the movement is a reprehensible and abominable act capable of triggering a wider bloodletting and endless conflict.

“The impunity and Brigandage by our security forces undermines the peace and stability of our country and by extension the authority and credibility of the Government.

“Security forces established, recognized and funded by constitutional guarantees must operate within the ambit of the laws and democratic tenets,” the statement said.

The statement also urged the Federal Government to” investigate the killings and bring to book all those who perpetrated this despicable and callous act”.


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  • Adams

    My God help us in this country Amin. My appeal to Malam is to calm down his followers and my suggestion to FG is to investigate this and presecute anybody wanting on this killing.

    • redeem

      No investigation is ever going to be conducted–with regards to these infortunate incident-we have had enough of these troubles from the fulani north-if its not boko haram–then its Izala or Maitasine-riot–the last protest untdertaken by these same fulani groups against the American troops in Afghanistan resulted in the death of more than 500 Nigerians-now this——-we already have trouble at home with boko haram-And as if that is not enough–we have the fulanis start another one again-the Palestinains issue has been on since 1945-how many arab nations have been able to finacially support the call for the creation of a free palestinian state–with their oil wealth-None–all they do is to pay lip services to the struggle-the african Union gave freedom to South Africa–what has the Arab league been able to achieve–were they not there when Gaddafi was killed by NATO-i begi

      • Mina


        • Ahmad

          Ameen. But come to think of it. What do you expect from someone with a linage/ progeny of armed robbers, ritualists, harlots and baby factories?

          • solomon

            Yours is under age fuckers and soulless bastards on streets begging as they inherited from their backward forgathers. Dog sexy your mamaaaaaaaaaaaa

        • solomon

          The curse is back to you and your born and unborn generations of beggars

      • Shehu


    • mike

      You have spoken well sir….. I keep wondering whether some of the other vision-less Nigerians here on this platform can withstand another “civil war fire which they are fanning”?

  • Biodun Johnson [Ikeja]

    This is totally un-acceptable. The Nigerian Army must give
    cogent reasons why shots were fired in the first place. Killing of the three sons of Ibrahim
    Zakzaky – a Muslim Preacher – in one day is un-acceptable in a democracy. As a Christian
    Preacher i condemn it absolutely. All men of faith must join me to demand an explanation
    from the Nigerian Army. The explanation must be full and convincing to take
    this matter out of the Penal Code as murder.

    • Dan maikoko

      I am more inclined to believe the Sheikh that this killing was carefully planned and executed. The Nigerian Army has been recognised as being calm under fire and their conduct during the Boko Haram killings in Maiduguri has been praised even by Boko Haram themselves. They fought Muhammad Yusuf, arrested him, treated him for his wounds, gave him food and water, shot only those who bear arms, and handed him to the police, all this in a nation that has just come out of military rule. When Muhammad Yusuf was asked how he got the injury on his right hand, he replied that he fell and the soldiers treated him.
      To say that this same army will fire shots at a peaceful rally, arrest people who later turn up dead, 3 of which happen to be the children of the Sheikh leaves me with no doubt that this is a deliberate act. God save our country from the evil men that run it now.

    • mike

      As a S/E christian I also condemn this with you… Even a 99 % suspected terrorist must be tried before execution… More evidences that some people at the top are trying to cover up somethings, no wonder why none of the BOKO in government will never get OPEN JUSTICE… I WILL ONLY SUPPORT KILLING A TRIED TERRORIST

    • solomon

      cogent reason for killing bastards who rightly deserved death.

      God hates you biodun johnson

  • uduakomiri

    This El Zak Zaky needs to be contained now before he becomes another Boko Haram

    • Dan maikoko

      For more than 30 years Zakzaky has been treated like all islamic movements by ignoring him. Ignoring such movements is the best way to contain them. Now Zakzaky’s Shiites are almost mainstream Islamic. This callous act will definitely send him and his group underground and to violence. Every right thinking Nigerian knows that this provocation has to deliberate because the consequences are very clear. Those who perpetrate this act are aware of what they want to achieve and that is to put more petrol on the fire that is now consuming Nigeria because they are banking on the crisis to end in the destruction of the north and by extension Nigeria.

      • Peter2000

        Violence against who? Your religion of piss, never stops giving.

      • uduakomiri

        You mean the way past Nigerian governments headed mainly by muslim generals ignored extremist groups n the north over the last 50 years including the boko haram sect that now terrorise northerners?
        If you treat a problem from the early stages you stand more chance of getting it under control. If the government had been wise enough it could have done what most countries do, implement targeted liquidation of extremist leaders until such groups are suffocated.
        If you look at America, UK, Russia, China and Israel, these countries use the same tactics. Dead people don’t talk. Better remove a stubborn weed before it takes root than try to cut it down when it has established deep roots.
        What El Zak Zaky and people like him need is what they preach: Violence. To men like him, peace and harmony are for pussies and infidels. He is happy to issue fatwas on defenceless citizens, intimidate none muslims through his jihadi sermons filled with hate.
        Many of us even as Christians are unhappy with what Hamas and the Israelis are doing to the people of Palestine. But what I don’t understand is why must El Zak Zaky bring the problem of Palestine and Isreal to Nigeria? Why must he instigate violence against fellow Nigerians because of what is happening in the mid-east which if the truth must be told is not our problem. Do we not have enough problems in Nigeria? Why is El Zak Zaky and his group not protesting about the thousands of muslims, fellow northerners being killed by Boko Haram, at least to show us that they actually feel for the plight of the muslims in the north (even if they will not protest about many Christians killed by Boko Haram). Does it mean these muslims in the north killed by Boko Haram mean nothing to El Zak Zaky as much as Palestinians killed by Israel? Or does Zak Zaky like Nigerian politicians attach no value to the lives of fellow Nigerians even if they are muslims? Have you ever heard of Palestinians protesting in Gaza, Nablus, or Ramalla because Boko Haram killed some Nigerians?
        Sometimes you can’t help agree with the people who say Africans are idiots. We kill each other because of other people’s problems. Before Islam came to Nigeria, the people in the north were practising a different religion. So all these pretence about being holier than allah is plain bullshit.

        • Efe1

          We can see how Nigeria is progressing headed by a Christian drunk with semi active brain. This is not the first religious crisis in Nigeria but this is the first goat heading Nigeria and we all can see the result.

          • solomon

            You will see more as you people are seeing it now

          • Efe1

            You have not yet com firm you are the father of those girls you call yours.

          • dearyl

            u talk like an animal mr solomon

    • Hassan Karofi Aliyu

      I will not pray that someone should kill your 3 children for whatever reason(s). But as human being hatred for someone’s religion or tribe should not make us forget our humanity. The killing of one innocent life in Nigeria should worry all. It is division like this our leaders are using to exploit all of us. Poverty, insecurity whether as religious extremism, arm robbery, kidnapping, ritualism or 419 does not have boundaries. Nigerians must have human feelings, it is views as yours that always show how inhuman we are to ourselves, no wonder Nigerians of all persuasions are suffering

      • uduakomiri

        And I will not pray that you behave like El Zak Zaky and put your family in danger because of some stupid religion some foreigner invented. How many northerners have died from the BH terror attacks including the recent one in Kaduna? Official FG figures is around 12000 people. Now how many Palestinians died in the current Israeli attacks, maybe 1000. So 12000 Nigerians majority of whom are northerners are not worthy of El Zak Zaky and his stupid group to protest but he is more than happy to protest on behalf of Palestinians?
        Stupid people. He should be thankful that the current president in such a weak person who is slow to act. I doubt that if IBB or Buhari is the president, that El Zak Zaky would even dare to march on the streets of Kaduna just barely hours after a bomb blast killed people in the same city.
        Anyone who is defending the action of El Zak Zaky must have no sympathy for the dead. More than 20 people died in a bomb blast in Kaduna and this asshole, this coward is rather protesting about Palestinians. He should hold himself solely responsible for the death of his sons.
        After all, El Zak Zaky is not responsible for maintaining security in Kaduna state. I just cant understand what is wrong with some of these muslim fanatics in the north. There is an ongoing security situation which didn’t need to be made worse by El Zak Zaky. I mean, if the soldiers allowed them to go on with the protest, we know what could have happened especially with them trying to go through Sabon Gari where many non-muslims live. Again while they are passing through Sabon Gari, a Boko Haram suicide bomber filters into the crowd to kill many of them, this same people would turn round and blame the president in order to inflame the situation, or even accuse non-muslims of being responsible.
        These El Zak Zaky is a total idiot pure and simple

    • Efe1

      Asari should be contained, so let’s go kill three of his children! I really think suffering has turned a lot of Nigerians into animals. Stand back and reflect on your statement. You killed three sons of a man all be cause they were taking part in a procession that happen every year for the last 34 or so years and you are here talk about the man being contained. What are his crimes?

      • solomon

        Keep crying animal

        • Efe1

          Have you confirmed you fathered those girls?

  • Efe1

    This is how boko haram started. The cold blooded murder of an innocent man. GEJ don’t you have enough on your hand?

    • Peter2000

      when will your lying ass ever stand for Nigeria? The army should have wiped out the entire protesters. Wondered why they never took to the streets to protest boko haram.

      • Efe1

        Just as you very capable army have rescued our girls and wiped out boko haram. This is just how stupid Nigerians can be. You particularly don’t have the ability to wipe your own butt but want to comment on national issue. Hopeless pig!

        • solomon

          They are not our girls but their girls, pls stop this OURS.

          I have my girls at home.

          • Efe1

            Can you prove 100% you fathered those ones you call yours ?

    • mike

      Even a 99 % suspected terrorist must be tried before execution… More evidences that some people at the top are trying to cover up somethings, no wonder why none of the BOKO in government will never get OPEN JUSTICE…

  • Wähala

    Ibrahim Zakzaky should refrain from stoking religious tensions by claiming his sons were summarily executed, he wants to emulate his Shiite cousins in the Middle East and brew trouble in an already security-challenged Naija atmosphere…
    Nigeria will emulate the Egyptians and sentence any arid thugs to the gallows so peace reigns. Without video proof, Zakzacky should be ignored and monitored for all I care. Enough blood is flowing. However, if his sons were truly murdered extra-judicially, then, we’ve come full circle to Yussuf… bad omen. Yussuf’s brutal execution set-off the deadly Boko Haram insurgency Dr. Dumbo is now choking to contain. Since the NA has bad name on human rights violations, a reason foreign countries are reluctant to commit troops to help find our Chibok girls, if this allegation turns out legit…
    na another bad omen! The Hague must await some goons for war crimes!!!

    • Kola Adekola

      Do you call your dad dumbo? Just asking.

      • Wähala

        Is GEJ your dad? Just wondering.

        • redeem

          “@wahala the question is do u call yr father–if have any-from the orphange that u were brought out from in Ivory coast-a dumbo-Call a man who climbed to the zone where yr regional leaders failed to reach———a dumbo-abi-from yr post above its clear u hail from a family of cow-hands-nomadic ppl–opportuned to abina with yr mom-which may have resulted in yr birth in the forest of abagana-by mistake–
          Besides–who told u that it was the murder of Yusuf the leader of boko haram-that ignited the boko haram war–Yusuf first victim was Pastor Ijeh-and memebrs of his church-whom he gunned down without any porvocation-see how some of u APC janjaweeds go about planting falsehood in the minds yr agents in boko haram ati APC?-he like Zakyzaky was law unto himself-cause of the money they receive from the fulan i elites–ati their sultans and emirs-as well as Kuwait and saudi arabia-
          Was it the murder of Yusuf that set off the Maitasine riot in the North? Was it the incident that led to the murder of Akaluka an Ibo trader-by Sanusi-now an APC emir-in Kano-The Miatasine riot led to the death of over 20,000 9jas-soon u will come here to allege that its poverty that is pushing the fulanis to enlist with boko haram-when its a well-know fact that boko haram is one of the richest jihadist group in afirca-why not use their wealth to go into farming-? The soldiers for the first time did a great job–and should be commended-by all and sundry–if they had not acted as fast as they did-its the same u who will come here and abuse the hell out of jonathan for not nipping the incident in bud-early enough-same as the chibok girlst APC arranged to kidnap–then blame the president-for not opening fir on them-rogues

    • Mosaku 147

      Wahala,this cleric is amongst the very few that speak against BH openly. Is it fair to execute three of his sons? Has the army told anyone if any of these young men were armed? I think we should all condemn the NA. They got it wrong once again.

    • dearyl

      i use to see him like one of the problem, but what has his sons to do with this?

  • nestar41

    Zakzaky you lied..I saw everything live in PZ area of Zaria on Friday…your boys were the aggressors started around Diamond bank roundabout where your boys were controlling that process they had some issues with the soilders who we’re returning from duty instead of going away your boys went and reinforced and cameback to attack the soilders with weapons and stones…the soldiers acted in self defense…I saw it live..

    • Dan maikoko

      Good. If soldiers are attacked with knives and stones, do they respond by shooting with live bullets?

      • Kola Adekola

        Of course.
        What do you expect when the army is attacked by extremists in a country that is plagued with boko haram?

      • longben

        No, they respond by chewing gworo

      • nestar41

        You see if you were there you will see things for yourself…even 2 Igbo shop owners lost their life as a result of the fighting..when you chase the soldiers to the gate of their barracks and were still throwing stones what do you expect the soldiers to do??? Moreover there was a bomb blast in kaduna on Wednesday another blast in Kano on Thursday…so why demonstrate on Friday when you know that extremists could have easily taken advantage to cause more mayhem….

    • Usman

      that was exactly how boko haram began, I am a critic of why they were allowed to do what they do in Zaria and other cities, but that is not a death offence, Soldiers are professionals, they should act differently, besides, why his kids were singles out?

  • Usman

    this is exactly how boko haram began, the big question is, how and why his kids were singled out of the execution? the Government have different ways of stopping them from doing what they do every year, it seems the security only wanted to start trouble in the peaceful city of Zaria, the soldiers are professions but acted in the most blatant way, those that carried out the execution ought to be traced and be dealt with

  • Tunde

    This needs to be fully independently investigated, and if true, the culprits brought to book!

    • solomon

      Investigated what it served them very well.

      Soulless group of bastards soldier should have kill them all.