Saudi Arabia Takes Proxy War With Iran To Nigeria As Shias Are Brutalized

Human rights groups fear that as many as 1,000 were killed in a brutal crackdown on Nigeria’s Shia minority.
By @KitOConnell |
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    ABUJA, Nigeria — On Dec. 12, Nigerian government forces carried out a brutal massacre against the country’s minority Muslim Shia population, with some media reporting over 1,000 killed, after the military imprisoned and tortured the group’s important dissident leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.

    The news of the slaughter of a minority religious group emerges as Nigeria announced it is considering joining Saudi Arabia in the fight against Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the group commonly known in the West as ISIS), linking two nations known for repression and repeated, disturbing human rights violations. Saudi Arabia, in turn, has a history of promoting the extremist religious ideology of Wahhabism that inspires terrorist groups like Nigeria’s own Boko Haram, the terrorist group that the country is still struggling to control, and even al-Qaida and Daesh.

    And Zakzaky isn’t the only activist to face imprisonment in recent months — Nigeria has a reputation for quashing political dissent no matter where it’s source. However, the arrest and crackdown came just months after Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army general, successfully won election on a promise to restore order to the country.

    While Zakzaky is known as an outspoken dissident in Nigeria, it’s unlikely that his words or deeds alone provoked the savage crackdown on his Islamic Movement. Instead, Eric Draitser, the editor of the independent media site Stopimperialism.org, told MintPress that Zakzaky is a pawn in a global imperialist conflict.

    “Basically, I think that almost everyone has misread the Zakzaky massacre,” Draitser said. “Almost nobody who has written about the issue has placed it in the appropriate context. The context is not Nigeria. The context is a much broader global proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the one hand, and Iran on the other hand.”

    In this light, Draitser said, the arrest of Zakzaky has as much to do with the January 2 execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shiite cleric from Saudi Arabia, as it does with local politics in Nigeria. Instead, it’s part of the Saudi’s attempt to destabilize and provoke the Iranians around the globe.

     

    Ibrahim Zakzaky and the rise of Nigeria’s Islamic Movement

    Ibrahim Zakzaky (pictured right) meets with Nigerian community leaders. (photo: Islamic Movement in Nigeria)

    Ibrahim Zakzaky (pictured right) meets with Nigerian community leaders. (photo: Islamic Movement in Nigeria)

    The Islamic Revolution in Iran that ousted U.S. and British forces was bolstered by the belief that third world dependence on the West was an intrinsic result of neocolonialism and monopoly capitalism, with the only remedy being “working class internationalism.” Inspired by Iran’s success, Zakzaky founded Nigeria’s Islamic Movement in 1979 and began spreading his flavor of Shia Islam in the country. About 45 percent of Nigerians are Muslim, and, prior to the rise of the Islamic Movement, they were almost entirely Sunni. Shia remain a small but significant minority of the country’s population.

    Bat-el Ohayon, founder of sub-Sahara African consultancy Afrique Consulting Group, told Newsweek’s Conor Gaffey that “Shiite Muslims are generally well-integrated in Nigeria and do not suffer direct discrimination or persecution,” but that “there is specific and isolated conflict” with Zakzaky’s Islamic Movement, which is largely centered in Zaria, a major city in the northern part of Nigeria.

    Watch “Rise of Shia Islam in Nigeria” from Press TV:

    The conflict between Zakzaky’s movement and Nigerian leadership comes not from any doctrinal differences between Sunni and Shia, and not simply because the leader of Nigeria’s Shiite minority is unapologetic in his support for universal human rights and in his opposition to Nigeria’s alliances with Israel and Saudi Arabia. In July 2014, 34 protesters were killed by Nigerian forces while celebrating Quds Day in Zaria, including three of Zakzaky’s sons. Quds Day, or “land day,” is an annual holiday honoring the struggle of Palestinians against Israeli apartheid.

     

    Nigeria and the Saudi’s proxy war with Iran

    Nigeria's Senate President, Bukola Saraki, meets with a delegation of Advisory Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cooperation in tackling terrorism. Wednesday, 7th October, 2015. (Photo: Pulse)

    Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki, meets with a delegation of Advisory Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cooperation in tackling terrorism. Wednesday, 7th October, 2015. (Photo: Pulse)

    But these positions alone would have been unlikely to provoke such a controversial attack during the early days of Buhhari’s presidency. As Draitser pointed out, it’s Zakzaky’s ties to Iran that most likely provoked the arrest and attacks:

    “There are many sources, including U.S. counterterrorism sources, sources from the Middle East and all around the world that have painted Zakzaky as a proxy of the Iranians. Zakzaky and his family have made many trips to Iran that have been subsidized by the state. And as a general rule, this is even understood by those who are Shia and in support of Iran, basically, Iran bankrolls all these movements. And there’s no doubt that Iran has been bankrolling the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.”

    “So then the question becomes,” Draitser continued, “why would Zakzaky and his followers be targeted by the Nigerian military? For what possible reason?”

    Draitser explained:

    “As Saudi Arabia and Qatar have seen their position slipping in Syria, with Iranian engagement in that war on the side of the Syrian-Arab army, on the side of Russia and so forth, they have now counter-moved against Iranian interests in other parts of the world.

    That is where the Zakzaky massacre falls into place. That is where the execution of Nimr al-Nimr and the other Shia followers of his falls into place. This is part of a global push by the Saudis and the Qataris to push back against what they perceive to be Iranian proxies and Iranian influence.”

    Draitser added that the Saudis also blame the Iranians for the Houthi takeover of Yemen, and the Saudis subsequent involvement in a bloody conflict there. Meanwhile, he argued that the Saudis and Qataris have also been strengthening their power throughout Africa through the support of Wahhabi Islam-inspired terrorist groups like Boko Haram and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

    “My theory,” Draitser suggested, “is that the Saudis and/or the Qataris made a significant payment to a high-ranking Nigerian military official, perhaps even the general in charge, to wipe out Zakzaky and his movement as a message to the Iranians. I think that is the only explanation of why the Nigerian military would do this when you consider that they’re actually focused on Boko Haram, the inverse of the Islamic Movement.”

    In a December interview with PressTV, Ibrahim Musa, spokesman for the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, echoed Draitser’s suspicions:

    “So possibly, this government has decided it will finish what [former President Goodluck] Jonathan had started. We believe it is a conspiracy between the Wahhabi, the Israelis and their American surrogates.”

     

    Nigeria is ‘Israel’s biggest ally’

    Since the late 20th-century, the Nigerian government has maintained close strategic and economic ties with Israel, a major U.S. and Saudi ally.  A Sept. 2014 report from Arutz Sheva, a right-wing, Zionist news source from Israel, called Nigeria “Israel’s biggest ally.”

    Arutz Sheva reporter Jonny Paul added, “Between 2012 and 2013, Nigeria’s exports to Israel rose from $165m to $276m.” 50 Israeli corporations have built branches in Israel, and over 5,000 Nigerian corporations operate in Israel.

    In September 2015, a stampede in Mecca killed over 700 and injured 800 during the annual pilgrimage. While the Saudi government tried to blame unsafe behavior by the pilgrims, according to Nigeria’s The Daily Trust, Zakzaky retorted, “For the government of Saudi Arabia to blame pilgrims for killing themselves is ridiculous and a form of human degradation, which is also criminal. They are saying this in order to cover up the real cause of the tragedy.” He put the blame instead on the Saudi royal family, who were visiting the site during the deadly incident: “According to him, the Al-Saud prince whose convoy caused the tragedy and all those [complicit] in the crime should be punished by death, as they caused the death of thousands of innocent pilgrims.”

    The Daily Trust quoted Zakzaky as blaming Saudi leadership for not just the disaster at Mecca, but suffering throughout the Middle East as well. “The Saudi authorities cannot fool the world or exonerate itself from the heinous crime and monumental tragedy, as the world knows who is killing their brethren in Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq and Syria,” he told the paper.

    Zakzaky’s arrest, then, comes as Nigeria is in the process of deepening its diplomatic ties to Saudi Arabia, including potentially joining Saudi Arabia in its widely publicized “anti-terrorism” alliance. “Nigeria has been formally invited to be a member of the alliance and President Buhari is looking into it,” government spokesman Garuba Shehu told Reuters on Dec. 17.

    Many critics have met the announcement of the Saudi-led anti-terrorism alliance with skepticism, and suggested that it’s merely another front for spreading Wahhabism, the extremist political ideology that has widespread support in Saudi Arabia, but also inspires terrorist groups from al-Qaida to Daesh to Boko Haram. In December, New Eastern Outlook also joined Zakzaky and numerous others in attacking Saudi support for terrorism:

    “In reality, decades of documented evidence reveal that the Saudis are the primary conduit through which Western cash, weapons, support, and directives flow into mercenary armies of extremists, indoctrinated by Saudi Wahhabism – a politically-motivated perversion of Islam – and sent to execute joint Western-Saudi  geopolitical ambitions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond.”

     

    Supporters of Zakzaky fear for his health after brutal arrest

    Ibrahim Zakzaky shown during his arrest by Nigerian security forces.

    Ibrahim Zakzaky shown during his arrest by Nigerian security forces.

    Shockingly, an army spokesman tried to defend the brutal crackdown on Zakzaky and his followers by citing years of largely peaceful civil disobedience by the group. Col. Sani Usman, a spokesman for the Nigerian army, told The Guardian on Dec. 16 that there had been “loss of lives as a result of the Shia group members blocking roads and not allowing other passersby to go about their lawful businesses and activities” and added:

    “It is important to note that over the years this group has subjected ordinary citizens using public roads to untold hardship, delays, threats and disruption simply because they insist on using public space irrespective of inconvenience and hardship on other law abiding citizens and motorists. This cannot be tolerated and must stop.”

    Civil disobedience, widely regarded as a human right in the face of intolerable conditions, cannot justify the army’s vicious crackdown, which claimed the lives of Aliy, another of of Zakzaky’s sons, along with hundreds of others.

    Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat went missing for days before Nigerian police admitted in late December that they had him in custody, and that he was undergoing medical treatment for injuries sustained during his violent arrest. However, citing ongoing investigations into Zakzaky’s activities and what he called “orders from above,” the inspector general of the Nigerian police reportedly refused to grant access to any of his supporters. While Zakzaky’s supporters continue to insist they’ve been peaceful, the Nigerian army has attempted to implicate the group in an assassination attempt on the army’s chief of staff in Zaria.

    Zakzaky’s Islamic Movement continue to protest for their rights and for their leader. A group of women from the movement marched on January 6 to demand the release of Zakzaky and other arrested Shiite Muslims, according to Africa News:

    “The women mostly in black attire marched to the offices of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat, in Kaduna holding different placards and asking for the release of the leader and other members of the sect.”

    Hajiya Aisha Hassan, secretary of the Shiite Women’s Wing, told the assembled journalists that the government must acknowledge the massacre “by paying Diyya, (Death Compensation) to all affected families and relations,” and added:

    “We call for immediate and unconditional release of our revered leader his Eminence Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife.”

    The U.S. State Department has joined human rights advocates in calling for an investigation of the massacre, but Nigeria seems unlikely to act fast enough. And Zakzaky’s arrest comes amid a widespread crackdown on dissident voices in Nigeria. Police continue to hold Nnami Kanu, leader of the Biafran separatist group in custody and on Dec. 18, Nigerian forces also shot and killed five of his supporters during a rally for the leader. Sambo Dasuki, a former Nigerian security chief, is also under arrest, allegedly for embezzling billions from the fund set aside to fight Boko Haram.

    On Jan. 2, Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Nigerian culture minister, took to Twitter to warn that the mistreatment of these Zakzaky and these other prisoners threatened to destabilize the country according to another report from Newsweek:

    And America too, is complicit in these attacks, according to Draitser. “The instability in Nigeria is, to a large extent, being fomented by the United States because the United States views Nigeria as a proxy and an ally that is shaky at best. Remember, that Nigeria has made major overtures with China in the couple of last years.”

    In September, Taylor Butch, writing for International Policy Digest, wrote that Nigeria was China’s “New BFF.”

    “Bilateral trade levels between China and Nigeria have exponentially increased since the two countries established strategic relations ten years ago,” he added.

    With Nigeria, and its oil riches, in play between the more powerful nations of Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the United States and China, the suffering of its people seems likely to continue for some time.

    “I think it’s quite likely that what we’re seeing is an attempt by the U.S. to prevent a realignment of Nigeria,” Draitser concluded.

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    • James Wherry

      Kit, I don’t suppose you noticed out how Christians have been brutalized in Nigeria for years?

      Try “thousands of churches destroyed in Nigeria.” http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4986/nigeria-churches-destroyed

      Or, November, 2014: “Nigeria: On November 10, a suicide bomb attack on a Christian secondary school as students gathered for morning assembly killed at least 47 people. The Islamic group Boko Haram— meaning: “Western education is forbidden”—is believed to be behind the blast. In a separate incident, Christians from the predominantly Christian city of Mubi in Adamawa state were tortured and killed after Boko Haram took control of the town. Churches and homes were torched throughout the city, which was renamed Madinat al-Islam, or “the City of Islam.” In yet another separate incident, Boko Haram militants raided the mostly Christian town of Shani. According to a resident speaking to Reuters, “They rode on motorcycles and were more than 30 men. They started throwing bombs into houses… then the Boko Haram fired shots at people fleeing. They set ablaze the police station, houses and a telecom mast… I saw people fleeing, some bodies on the ground.” Reuters continues: “The Sunni jihadist movement is fighting to revive a medieval Islamic caliphate in Nigeria’s north.”

      http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5005/muslim-persecution-of-christians-november-2014
      Then your phony narrative is compounded by the unfounded allegation that America is “complicit” in these attacks because we have tried to support Nigeria as an ally? Non-sense. Your entire premise is dust and ashes, Kit.

      Next time, try some research.

    • JohnT

      The notion that Shia are brutalized in Nigeria is a
      misleading report the type that is easily and subtly sponsored by Iran in what
      has become an open hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This report in the
      MintPress news is also totally misleading, a cacophony of half truths, a
      failure to report with balance, and cover all sides of the issue adequately
      enough. It needs to be mentioned that the Islamic Movement of Nigeria headed by
      Zakzaky have made itself notorious for years, taking the law into its own hands
      and often constituting itself into a law unto itself, in the name of Islam. It
      raised a para-military group which it pretends to be the equivalent of Boys
      Scout, and which have been known to threaten law and order in parts of the
      North. When it went too far again, blocked a public road, and threatened a
      highly placed military officers’ life, it met its match in the military guys
      giving them a taste of their own medicine.

      The military may have been a little high handed, but those
      who site human civic rights violation are not suggesting that individuals can
      force their will on their neighborhood and not bring themselves against some form
      of law enforcement. And the call for compensation to the victims of the clash
      with the army first came from Iran, as if the Ayatollah has a say in the affairs
      of Nigeria. It is a request which puts Nigeria’s interest as secondary to those
      of some Shia sponsored group.

      The truth be told, Sunnis and Shia sects of Islam have been
      at each others throat from time, and have set their sight on making Nigeria one
      of their battle grounds. As they juggle for support in Nigeria each tries to
      get it’s surrogates to sway Nigeria in its favor. Both Iran and Saudia want to
      make Nigeria into a form of Islamic state, and stare up all kinds of Islam
      based hostility, and make Nigeria go the way of many Arab and Islamic nations
      today. This is the battle we must all recognize and denounce. Niether Saudia
      nor Iran is a champion of human rights. None allow unrestricted rights to
      members of other religions to practice their faith in their countries. None of
      them will stand criticism from any religious organization in their country.
      Nigerian Moslems and non-Moslems must not fall for this religious bait to
      plunge Nigeria into chaos, destruction of life and property caused by both
      Sunni and Shia ideals.

      Right now most hot spots in the world, most refugee issues, and most bloodshed
      and sufferings in the world today, have some connection to Islam. See how much
      many Arab countries have been decimated by religious zealotness. We can pretend
      the issues are political and otherwise, but the bare truth is that the flames
      of all their troubles have religious roots. Arab countries are not a good
      example for any country to emulate, religiously, economically and otherwise.

      Arabs should fight Iranians themselves, and so should Iranians fight Arabs themselves,
      they don’t need Nigerian Moslems, or indeed Nigeria as a whole to join them.

      But in all fairness, whether they are Sunnis or Shia,
      Taliban or Mujjahideen, Islam is costing the world so much death and bloodshed
      for causes which are ultimately related to their faith, and the religious need
      to eliminate all who disagree with them. Many Moslem countries are already
      bogged down in religion-related or downright political turmoil of one kind or
      the other. And now we have their two god-father nations, Sunni and Shia, are at
      it with each other. Both are huge exporters of terrorism. Both are huge exporters of Islamic evangelism
      through the prisms of jihad and inevitable bloodshed. Blood is shed through
      normal application of the law as was the case in Saudi Arabia recently when it
      executed a Shia cleric, or by the elimination of perceived enemies of their
      faith by a call to jihad.

      Hard to understand how any faith can expect to be spread through violence
      however well the ultimate violent intentions are disguised. Saudis sponsor
      terrorism just as much as Iran does, each interfere in the affairs of other
      countries as part of their mission to spread their brand of Islam. Western
      nations who have allowed favors to Iran and the Saudis share in the blame and
      the bloodshed these countries have caused the world, all in the name of Allah,
      and by the almighty power of their oil. Yet these are some of the most western
      educated Moslem countries in the world.

      Now what next? How many more countries and how much more bloodshed will come
      out of this punching-out between Iran and Saudia, the world’s “most Islamic”,
      and most influential blood thirsty nations. Nigerian Moslems especially must
      begin to keep away from these countries not to plunge Nigeria into the same doom
      and gloom many Arab countries now find themselves in. That is the issue we must
      see in the confrontation between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and the
      military. We must call a spade by its name and recognize that this is not about
      human rights, but the face of a local religious interest taking root to ferment
      trouble for Nigeria’s stability. It needs to be stopped.

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    • Stinking Robs

      Nigerians, Pls., let continue to live without religious wars.

      Nigeria as a nation belongs to no Iran or Saudi. I am a Muslim from Nigeria. I was born and raised a muslim. I attended 5 Ile Kewu(Islamic Lesson classes). I think I was thought Quran by more than 20 Islamic Teachers. There was not a second, a minute or a day when any of them or us tried to teach me the different between a Sunny Islam & a Shiite a Islam. Nigerians know a one Islam and that has helped us live in peace. We do not want journalists, who live at the other side of the world, who knows nothing about Nigeria to had fuel to the atrocities, bombing, kidnapping the illiterate and poverty ridden heads are committing in the North Side of our God Blessed country.

      Boko-Haram is a political device. The founders succeeded it creation in the North, NOT because North is mostly Muslim but it the most poverty ridden area of Nigeria. See the guys carrying guns in the north, they are young chaps who see no future in their lives in Nigeria. An Idle hand is workshop of the Devil. If these guys has 12 hours work schedule with good salary, good life in a country with state of the heart infrastructure. I am 1000% sure they will carry no gun for no one. You want a prove?. Go to Lagos. Even life is worse there but people still have little opportunity to survive the condemn life Nigerian politicians impose on us.

      All Nigerians, Please, say NO to Saudi and Iran wars in Nigeria. The best way to say know to Saudi and Iran War in Nigeria is to say NO to American propaganda in Nigeria. Where was American when Obasanjo killed innocent citizen in Bayelsa and wiped out villages. Obasanjo did it to suit the west, to ensure free flow of oil. When Obasanjo carried out the unspeakable approach toward his own citizens, no Western Journalist uttered a word. Was Journalist sleeping then?.

      We Nigerians do not accept this as a proxy war of Saudi & Iran. Let remember our great leaders who suffer similar but not exactly the same struggle as Zakzaky. Fela Anikulapo never lunched an attack on a Government official, he never vandalized public properties nor did he attack Military convoy but he was maltreated more than far more than what Zakzaky is facing now. There was no Saudi or Iran attached to Fela Anikulapu maltreatment by then Nigerian Government. I am not judging Zakzaky but we do not need a Nigerian who attacks our military or trying to create unconstitutional states within established states in Nigeria.

      As a Nigerian, I believe our enemies is not between us, niether our enemies are Saudis or Iranians. What we should fear most is western propaganda. Let not allow them to decide our directions, let not allow them to set our sails as they did in Korea. We in Nigeria know no north or south, we know no west or east. All we know is ONE Nigeria. If a region wants to break, I think we should allow them to go constitutionally without no war.

      • dimchi

        Well said compatriot, I hope somebody listens.

      • Kalu_J_Okafor

        I LOVE YOUR LECTURE.

        (1) Nigeria as a nation belongs to no Iran or Saudi. I am a Muslim from
        Nigeria. I was born and raised a muslim. I attended 5 Ile Kewu(Islamic
        Lesson classes). I think I was thought Quran by more than 20 Islamic
        Teachers. There was not a second, a minute or a day when any of them or
        us tried to teach me the different between a Sunny Islam & a Shiite a
        Islam. Nigerians know a one Islam and that has helped us live in peace.
        We do not want journalists, who live at the other side of the world,
        who knows nothing about Nigeria to had fuel to the atrocities, bombing,
        kidnapping the illiterate and poverty ridden heads are committing in the
        North Side of our God Blessed country.

        MY QUESTION IS, DID JOURNALIST OR THE WEST CREATE SUNNI AND SHIITE ISLAM? WERE THEY INVOLVED IN THE WAR IN WHICH WAHHABI MUSLIMS KILLED HUSSAIN, THE GRANDSON OF MOHAMED IN KARBALA IRAQ HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO?

        (2) As a Nigerian, I believe our enemies is not between us, niether our
        enemies are Saudis or Iranians. What we should fear most is western
        propaganda. Let not allow them to decide our directions, let not allow
        them to set our sails as they did in Korea. We in Nigeria know no north
        or south, we know no west or east. All we know is ONE Nigeria. If a
        region wants to break, I think we should allow them to go
        constitutionally without no war.

        LET US NOT DECEIVE OURSELVES. MOST FRIDAYS SOME ROADS ARE CLOSED FOR JUMAAT PRAYERS EVEN WHEN THERE IS STILL SPACE INSIDE THE MOSQUES. I THINK THE PROBLEM IS THE ORIENTATION OF MOST MUSLIMS. THEY BELIEVE SO MUCH IN VIOLENCE THAT IT IS OFTEN DIFFICULT TO PERSUADE THEM ALONG GOOD REASONING. 2015 WAS NOT THE FIRST YEAR THOSE SHIITES WERE ENGAGING IN SUCH PROCESSIONS. GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE CALLED THEIR LEADERS FOR A NEGOTIATED ALTERNATIVE. IF PEOPLE ARE CALLING FOR SPECIAL GRAZING ROUTES FOR CATTLE ALL OVER NIGERIA, WHY NOT ROUTES FOR SHIITES? ARE YOU SAYING THE SULTAN AND OTHER SUNNI MUSLIMS WOULD NOT BE MAD IF SUNNIS WERE SO MASSACRED IN THE COURSE OF THEIR RELIGIOUS RITES? IS IT THE DUTY OF THE ARMY TO CLEAR ROADS OR DIRECT TRAFFIC? SUNNIS AND SHIITES ARE SWORN ENEMIES. THEY MAY UNITE TO PERSECUTE NON MUSLIMS BUT THEY ALWAYS GO BACK TO THEIR OWN WARS AGAINST EACH OTHER. IT IS SO AND WILL REMAIN SO. NO AMOUNT OF BRAINWASHING CAN CHANGE THAT.

        I LOVE YOUR STAND ON SELF DETERMINATION FOR SECTIONS OF THE COUNTRY THAT HAVE LOST CONFIDENCE IN ‘ONE NIGERIA’. WE CAN’T KEEP PRETENDING THAT ALL IS WELL.

    • buraydah

      ” Saudi Arabia takes the proxy war with Iran to Nigeria”? That’s a stretch by the yellow journalism. First of all, the Shiites in Nigeria is tiny minority (few thousands) in the midst of nearly 90 million Muslims. Second, unfortunately, the Shiites and Sunnis in some countries are always in quarrel, they don’t need any extra incentive to fight each other. Lastly, Saudi Arabia gains nothing by having Nigerians killing each other, nor Iran will be hurt by such action.

    • dimchi

      “..the suffering of its people seems likely to continue for some time”. For some time? Or did you mean to say perpetually? Nigeria, a country without hope.

      • Pastor Andy

        Nigeria is God’s own Nation, no matter how some religious worshipers are trying their acts of staining the glorious name of the Country. It is abnormal for some people to rise up in the name of a good and decent God – Allah the Almighty to stain the name of this country.

        Were we not living together in peace and harmony, not until the wise religious advocates rose up to killing the innocent? Muslims had long co-inhabited this country long before now. Let us watch every of our conduces, and make sure that only God – Allah shall judge every of our deeds.

        • dimchi

          By the way, the God of the Bible is the God of Israel and he is not Allah.

    • Nwa Biafra

      We Biafrans don’t care about Shia And Sunni in Nigeria afterall they are this same sheep in this cloth , what we need now is our Biafra independent , which will bring peace to the Eastern part of the so called Nigeria. Nigeria is a fraud created by unholy British for their own selfish gain , Imagine lumping saudiarabia , Iran, United Kingdom and Russia togather under one country, do you think there will be peace? this is exactly what Evil British did in that country called Nigeria and that’s why since her independent there have been never peace . World should know the crime Britain has been committing through the back door.

    • so what

      All
      terrorist groups Al qida, Taliban, book haram, ISIS L, Huqqanis, jihadis …….. arebrotherens of one another bound by one
      SINGEL goal – kill all the infidels.

      Pakistani
      gov and military ISI regularly train, $ fund, provide arms and full support to
      terrorists for the last 30 + years and now it is too late to change that
      attitude. They are hiding Ayman Al Zawahiri, Mulla Omar, Hafiz Sayyed, Dr AQ
      Kharn, Daud Ibrahim ALL are wanted by UN and carry BIG $ reward for their
      capture just like Osama Bin Laden- Pakistan is NOT a victim but creators of
      their own DOOM.

      How long
      before these terrorists get their hands on the Pakistani Nukes?

    • This is nothing more then African population control, this is how it’s been done for thousands of years.

      • Deovolente

        What do they call the blood-letting going on in Ukraine?

    • Joan

      It is wise for us to understand that the world has become a global village that beliefs, philosophies and religions of other nations have impact on others, if economic situation can have severe impact, so also, is religion. Whether you believe it or not, there are alliances between all the nations of the world and Nigeria is not exceptional. Nigerian government should apply wisdom in order not to start another war because Saudi herself had breeds many terrorists organisation including well-know al-Qaida. Nigerian government should make sure nothing happens to Zakzaky, if not there are inviting trouble from Shiites all over the world.

    • Wale Bolodeoku

      Pure, undiluted fiction. This reporter deserves an award for imaginary journalism. Great effort in concocting and weaving together a web of lies.

      • Kalu_J_Okafor

        Give us a better and more reliable perspective.

        • Wale Bolodeoku

          A bunch of implacable fanatics blocked a major highway to human and vehicular traffic. They do this often and have boldly declared that they do not recognize any authority of the state. On the day of this crisis the head of the army was visiting Zaria for a state function. These fanatics not only blocked the road brandishing dangerous weapons like clubs, matchettes and butcher’s knives, they refused all entrities to allow the passage of the army chief. It is on record that that some of these hoodlums were actually hitting the man’s chest. The soldiers that came to clear the road for motorists were attacked. When you resist an army sent to carry out a legitimate task, you must be ready for the consequences. I’ve lived in Kaduna State, and can tell you how lawless and provocative this particular sect can be. It is therefore sheer balony to insinuate that what happened had anything to do with Israel or any other foreign entity.

          • Adeyinka Cole

            This is pure nonsense journalism: …”The demonstration was in part provoked after a recent attack by Nigerian soldiers who fired on unarmed Islamic Shiite children with no provocation, killing some hundreds of the minority group in the West African nation, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.”

            How do people just cook up lies and call it reporting just to serve their selfish interest? These youths were brandishing machetes, catapults etc and here some one is reporting they are “unarmed”!! Please watch this video and judge for your self . We all also know what usually follows when they start this blood chilling rant ” Alah Akbar” ….all common sense reasoning evaporates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffuFXYEYlp4

            • Babaloja

              “brandishing machetes, catapults’ and it’s a deadly weapon as you bastards believe, I doubt if they really fought BH with the same zeal, remember your government are still seeking for negotiation with BH terrorist while killing un armed civilians. My prayer is that the injustice will visit one of your family members very soon, IJN I pray, AMEN!

      • Olufemi Jacob

        Pure lies and unprofitable academic exercise. I am appalled at the ignorance or conspiracy theory displayed here.

    • tk

      I’m not surprised , social media as been a platform were propaganda prevail . Feeding the world with total different rubbish about Nigeria. The question is, How come they get to write things that is not true about Nigeria

      • Kalu_J_Okafor

        Give us the true story.

        • Olufemi Jacob

          See the reply of Wale Bolodeoku up there. But then we know you, anything that is against the president is your joy.

    • Debekeme

      Utterly irresponsible and inaccurate.
      Come on! All it took for this article to be accurate was an interview with someone knowledgeable about these affairs.
      And this is a media platforms feeding the world with information? Scary.

    • exlink10

      The things happening in Nigeria now is really pathetic and alarming. The worst part of it is that Nigerians are not willing to do anything about it rather than making fun of the whole thing in terms of comedy and even supporting the evil perpetuated by this so called apc administration.

      From the Arrest and invade of Zakzaky, Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu and the indefinite detention, Olisa Metuh and the latest being the human right activists Emeka Ugwuonye, Esquire, ( you can read more on that at: http://www.exlinklodge.com/2016/01/popular-human-right-activist-arrested.html) purported to have taken into custody by the DSS for allegedly speaking to Buhari on an insulting tune of his facebook page.

      Which way are we really heading in this country? Is the saying “I can guarantee you freedom of speech but cannot guarantee you freedom after speech” coming to pass in Nigeria? I thought we practice democratic system in this country.

    • ALEEM BABAJIDE

      This article is not in any way portray what is going on in Nigeria, associating the standoff between Nigeria army and an extremist bi-polar group between Saudi & Iran is outrageous and lack every quality and merit. It’s usages of words and association of Saudi arabia, Israel and Iran with barbaric behavior of an extremist is not only void but not accepted. May be the author needs to come over to Nigeria and see for him self un-Godly behavior of this group towards their fellow citizen.

      Talking about human wright violation of the leader of the group, I will employ you to come to Nigeria North east for a sample survey on this group and then come up with a conclusion rather than this guarded article.

      When a group terrorizing is own people physically, mentally and spiritually based on religion ideology, i think that is total violation of human wright to the level of telling Chief of Army Staff to his face to turn back on federal road.

      Kindly go to youtube and watch the stand off lasted over 30 minutes when personal of Nigerian army were begging this bunch of idiot for swift passage to an official assignment.

      Thank You .

      • CK

        And the ridiculous theory that Israel and the United States are also somehow involved in Nigerian internal affairs–don’t take anything this bogus site posts seriously. This site regularly posts such hyperbolic nonsense; a story circulated last year that Israel open its dam and the waters flooded Gaza; only problem is that there are no dams near Gaza.

      • tk

        I’m not surprised , social media as been a platform were propaganda prevail . Feeding the world with total different rubbish about Nigeria. The question is, How come they get to write things that is not true about Nigeria

      • Kalu_J_Okafor

        You decided to believe the
        lies of compromised Nigerian army and refuse to see connection of this shameful
        saga in a factual and well though out analysis. Well, Wahhabis, like you, are
        easily brainwashed by the political religion handed down to you by your lords
        in Saudi Arabia. How could a procession that Shiites have been performing for
        years without any violence lead to so much loss of lives and incarceration in
        the hands of the Nigerian army? Is it the duty of the army to clear roads? Why
        was it on that faithful day that your so-called Chief of Army Staff had to be traveling
        along that road on a phantom assignment? Was Boko Haram that he was supposed to
        be fighting along that road? Initially, the army said there were explosions
        from the direction of the sect. There has not been any report of anybody who
        died or was wounded by any explosion. Lest see how far this Janjaweed Wahhabism
        you call federal government can take you in Nigeria.

    • Bill

      The Shia population started by attacking the Nigerian military using weapons and money from Iran. Yes it is another Shia proxy war showing the attempt to create Iranian puppet states. it is time for the world to say NO MORE.

    • Stanley

      Since the late 20th-century, the Nigerian government has maintained close strategic and economic ties with Israel, a major U.S. and Saudi ally. A Sept. 2014 report from Arutz Sheva, a right-wing, Zionist news source from Israel, called Nigeria “Israel’s biggest ally.”

      Arutz Sheva reporter Jonny Paul added, “Between 2012 and 2013, Nigeria’s exports to Israel rose from $165m to $276m.” 50 Israeli corporations have built branches in Israel, and over 5,000 Nigerian corporations operate in Israel.

      What does this have to do with Sunnis killing Shia?

      • Mecca

        Northern Muslim in Nigeria contributes nothing but violence in Nigeria. Can’t wait for this unholy union to be over so we can go our separate ways.

    • Biafra son

      We the Biafra cannot live with a well known terrorist as a president. We want our nation back very soon the Biafra defence force will be out to fight this Sharia boko haram government just very soon. The only room for peace in the contracption called Nigeria is to let Biafra stand as we have been exist b4 the British come and join us with terrorist together. Biafra must be restore or we all will die just very soon.

    • Biafra son

      Nigeria president Buhari is terrorist he is the leader of Boko haram sharia islamic army.

    • 72 Virgin Goats,No Infidels!

      Here be the problem….The Islam, the Shiter, the Sunner be warring 24/7 …365 a year…

    • 72 Virgin Goats,No Infidels!

      BULLSHIA Shiters !

    • Ajantala

      Kit O’Connell you need to be fired for writing lies here. Whatever, happened in Nigeria in this case, has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia. Nigeria is NOT a proxy for SA. Please, you might want to google You tube to have a glimpse of what happened. This article is VERY misleading and an attempt to cause bad blood. Arm-chair journalist.

      • Richard Davis

        “Google You-Tube” to get the real story? Really? The picture I see here is that of a bloodied cleric…bloodied by Nigerian security forces.

        • Ajantala

          At least much better than writing story while you’re thousands of miles away from the actual scene. Those pictures were after the fact. You need to know the event leading to that and that is part of journalism, I suppose.

    • Llayoko .

      Well with all the trouble these Muslims are causing around the world, it is only natural that the Nigerians and everyone else under attack by this false religion get tough and take back their right to live in peace. The Muslim Hyenas can only attack the lion so much before the lion decides to bite back. You brought this on yourselves!

      • cairbuster

        You are so stupid to think you can mask your stinky smoke screen? You know very well that the regime in Nigeria is not fighting Bakri (Sunni) Wahhabi or Salafi terrorists, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda or ISIS. Nor the Nigerian government is fighting the boiler rooms where scam artists, who are mainly Bakris (Sunnis) deprive naive and unsuspecting Westerners out of their livelihood. The Nigerian government is attacking the most peaceful underdog people, the Shia. If you ever see a Bakri government persecute Shia, this very government usually nurtures Bakri terrorists. This is the parable of the “Muslim” world.

    • FU

      I really like cult wars. I want to see plenty of cult blood spilled in Nigeria, and elsewhere. The extermination of ALL cults on this planet, and their leaders, is inevitable. The sooner, the better.

      • cairbuster

        The only dangerous cult on the face of this earth is the Wahhabi Salafi Saudi cult.

    • Kay

      Saudi Arabia and Iran should get their hands off Nigeria! And anyone within the country that’s pandering to the aforementioned country’s religious persuasion must be very careful. Years ago, Babangida tried to commit Nigeria as a Muslim country and the resistant was great. If nothing else, any stupid action and meddling into the affairs of the Nigerian government by either of the Gulf States will be the beginning of the end of Nigeria as One country. If the Nigerian Northerners wish to go the way of Iran or Saudi Arabia, then the country should split into two or more separate countries.

    • Abe

      As I said, most people are wise enough to see the lies in this piece. And many people are used to funny but stupid news like this that are bent on attacking Sunni Muslims, even it means standing for terrorist Iranian Ayatollahs.

      • cairbuster

        Bakri (Sunni) dogma was compiled by Satan to empower the tyrants and despots of the Middle East. It worked to enslave the masses for 1400 years. Prove me wrong by showing me just one single group of people who where the subjects of 1400 years of uninterrupted chain of tyrants and despots. The good news is, these despots and tyrants know their time is up and it shows.

        • Abe

          Prove me wrong by showing me that you are not a child of out of wedlock and are therefore a bastaaard? Seriously, I mean it.

          • cairbuster

            I can make the same claim about you.

          • cairbuster

            So tell us about the rosy history of this Bakri cult of yours.

          • cairbuster

            Tell us how your suckling mother, MAMA Aisha used to take her attractive servant to the bazaars to solicit young men.

          • cairbuster

            Tell us how your suckling mother, MAMA Aisha, accompanied by thousands of terrorists, rode on the back of her camel all the way from Medina to Mecca, to recruit terrorists, then she rode her cursed camel all the way to Basra to wage the bloodiest war against the rightful successor of the Prophet. A bloody war that ended up causing the death of tens of thousands of souls from both sides.

          • cairbuster

            Tell us about what used to go on between your suckling mother, MAMA Aisha and her sweet heart Talha on their way to Basra to steel the treasury of Basra.

          • cairbuster

            Tell us about your role model, the father of all terrorists, BABA Abu Bakir and how he and Omar and their wicked daughters conspired to poison the Prophet to death.

    • justesse

      yep- the Saudi royal family IS the EVIL AND MUST BE ERIDICATED.

    • Kunle

      Work of fiction. The suggestion that the Army chief went to look for Zakzaky is a big joke. That 1000 people were killed is an outright lie. That Shiites were deliberately targeted is ludicrous and ridiculous.

      • Abe

        Do not worry Kunle. most people are wise enough to see the lies in this piece. And many people are used to funny but stupid news like this that are bent on attacking Sunni Muslims. So take it eeeasy and have a good laugh.

      • Uche Biafra

        you are monumental lunatic and why is it hard for any yooruba to accept and speak d truth, fulnais conquerred kwara state becoz of your backstabbing ,cowardice and treacherous lifestyle of average yorubas.. exposing what is happening in dat condemned entity is making u uncomfortable ..hug transformer if you can

        • Kunle

          What is the truth? Uche, you better stop dreaming. Check the pulse of responsible older Igbos and you’ll discover that you’re just on a fantasy trip with this your Biafra thing. What you cannot see while standing on a tree, Igbo elders can see while sitting down. Think Uche. Think.

    • AZYM

      Saudi Arabia (our #1 profitable puppet) made Trillions dollar for oil in its history but only part Been spend on itself and rest of the Trillions went to USA, England,Israel and some of the Europeans and puppet King and 3000 of their family
      Saudi courts has issued more than 2000 sentences mostly crash the Human rights activist but 30% of their youth that are shIe Muslin are unemployed , they all are criminals
      like another of OUR puppet Egypt Sisi that killed 2600 protestors and put 40,000 people Human rights activist in jail and all done with US knowledge and help So to sell them more arms and to make Israel happy
      US overthrow good Iran government in 1953, and 90 year ago England killed my Royal Family and brought the father of our puppet ‘Shah”, and later Israel / US arm dealers helped Sadam Hosuin in EIGHT( 8) year war, my house got damaged and my family and million more lost every thing with the war profit they built house in US and for Jews in Palestinian land, ONE MILION IRANIAN DIED OR INJURED AND TRILLION DAMAGED ( is same as if Iran help to kill and injure 9 MILLION AMERICAN OR 200,000 ISRAELI ), NOW do you see the trajedy of US / Israel evil doers,they made 100s of billions but Trillion dollar damaged to Iran and brought the fanatics

    • tapatio

      Nigeria, like Saudi Arabia and the wealthy Gulf states, is a Zionist vassal state. The Zionists fear and hate the Shia Muslims far more than the more corruptible Sunni. The Rothschild Bankster Cartel provides the control over the Sunni Muslim states, Nigeria, the UK and United States. The United States, of course, provides the implied force to maintain that control through its willingness to slaughter its own youth and hundreds of thousands in maintaining the Rothschilds Zionist empire.

    • Me Who

      Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, and any other country, commits human rights violations and crimes against humanity, it is illegal (because country committing crimes broke laws, treaties, agreements both made with western countries and western countries internal laws for working with foreign countries) for Western countries to give them domestic or military aid, and private contracts should be considered null and void because of crimes committed. Belgium has already refused military arms contracts with Saudis because of their war crimes in Yemen.