Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakyzaky is the leader of the ISM (Islamic Shia Movement of Nigeria), a pro-Iranian organisation, which has tens of thousand of followers.
On 11 December 2015, Shia Sect members, numbering hundreds and carrying dangerous weapons blocked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratia, forcing him out of the vehicle in an “alleged”assassination attempt.
Despite the fact Nigerian troops displayed uncommon and remarkable restraint, this was the time to fleeing, given the reputation of the Nigerian for brutality. Instead the IMN members took to the streets of Kaduna with their leader at night on a victory match.
14 December 2015.
The Nigerian army commenced its systematic assault against the Shiite Islamic sect in Zaria with the sole intent of wiping out the sect once and for all.
The soldiers hunted down the sect’s leader, Sheik Zakzaky, who had fled to his residence for fear of his life.
The assault troops made an announcement over a loud speaker calling on everybody to come out with their hands in the air. They refused . Then the troops stormed the compound.
By the end of the operation over 300 sect members were killed by Nigerian troops.
The Nigerian army has a reputation of extreme ruthlessness. As Liberian rebels once attested
” Nigerian soldiers are evil and merciless men who are willing to wipe out an entire village to get the job down. ”
Now, even before the Nigerian army was known to be rather heavy handed when in their application of force. Images of Nigerian soldiers beheading 100 Boko Haram soldiers one after the other till the last man, driving some into insanity really drove home the point.
Hence it came as no surprise that Nigerian soldiers were alleged to have exhumed the bodies of three of Sheik Zakzaky’s brothers from their graves, and took away their remains to an unknown location. Another source even claimed that the soldiers targeted the tomb of Sheik Zakzaky’s grandmother, with the intent of exhuming her remains as well.
He was eventually captured and kept incommunicado at a military facility within Kaduna State, denying him access to legal counsel and members of his family. They also obtained a recorded phone conversation in which Sheik Zakzaky told an unidentified Iranian official about the gunfire around his residence and the military’s attempt to abduct him.
The worlds number one sponsorer of terrorist, Iran, was furious. On 15 December the Iranian military threatened Nigeria of serious consequences if the leader of the Shia sect is not released.
In the words of the Iranian military :
“The time when they could oppress Shias and get away with it is long gone, we shall pay a visit to the puppet regime in Nigeria soon, God willing. ”
It should be noted that in 2010, Iran was caught trying to smuggle container load of weapons to Nigeria.
In another incident, Nigeria intercepted 13 Iranian missile containers destined for Gaza.
Most recently in February 2013 the Nigerian intelligence service uncovered an Iranian terror cell planning to launch attacks against Israeli and American targets in Lagos.