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Sheikh Zakzaky: Riyadh was involved in Zaria massacre but only on US, UK orders

Nigeria’s most senior Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky speaks in an interview with Al-Alam news network published on October 11, 2022.

Nigeria’s most senior Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky says that although Saudi Arabia was involved in the Zaria massacre in the Nigerian capital Abuja, the kingdom was only acting on the orders of Washington and London.

“We believe that Saudi Arabia was not the main cause of the [massacre], but acted on behalf of the US and the UK and carried out the orders of Washington and London,” Sheikh Zakzaky said in an interview with Al-Alam news network published on Tuesday.

He said the US and the UK were not willing to pay the price of the plot and, therefore, compelled Saudi Arabia to implement it.

In December 2015, Nigerian army troops attacked Sheikh Zakzaky’s residence and a place of worship belonging to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, killing hundreds of his supporters and detaining the cleric and his wife.

The Nigerian troops burned Zakzaky’s house down and afflicted him and his wife with serious injuries that caused the cleric to lose his left eye. Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat also lost three sons during the Zaria massacre.

During the interview, he recalled that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman once claimed that the kingdom suppressed a movement in Africa similar to the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah and prevented him as the leader of the movement from establishing an Islamic government similar to the one in Iran.

“We did not see a single person from the Saudi army there, but it was the Nigerian army that carried out the massacre and this means that the Saudi government paid for it,” he said.

The prominent Nigerian cleric added that his country’s government has told various lies about the massacre. “First, they said that not a single person had been killed, but then they said the army had killed 17 people because they chanted slogans in support of their leader.”

According to Sheikh Zakzaky, however, more than 1,000 people were killed in the massacre, with at least 800 Shias and more than 200 others.

‘Muslims see Islamic Republic as role model’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zakzaky thanked the Iranian government and nation’s support for the Nigerian resistance movement, saying Muslims around the world see the Islamic Republic as a role model.

“Thank God, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the government and the people, are all with us. They are doing everything in their power to support our oppressed people,” he said.

“They have done everything they could, and we thank them for that, and we thank the government that was and still is by our side,” he added.

The cleric also said that Muslims see Iran as a role model, arguing that even non-Muslim nations, like Nicaragua and the Philippines, have been inspired by the Islamic Republic.

“Although these countries were not Islamic, they have followed the example of the Islamic Revolution. The Ahl al-Bayt school, which was unknown before the revolution, has also been expanded. These are among the results of the Islamic Revolution.”

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