By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, otherwise known as Shi’ites, have warned that no amount of threat against the sect will stop them from demanding unconditional release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, from the Kaduna Correctional Centre.
They also warned the Federal Government not to use new trumped-up charges to deny El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, the opportunity to seek urgent medical intervention to salvage their deteriorating health.
The Muslim group, in a press release by the Secretary of its Academic Forum, Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, on Tuesday, in Abuja, lamented that the government seemed not to have done enough to protect the rights of the downtrodden and persecuted members of the society.
According to him, the buck stopped at President Muhammadu Buhari’s table alone. Therefore, his administration was to blame for El-Zakzaky’s ordeal.
“It should also be noted that the Sheikh has already suffered two strokes in more than half a decade in detention. Both Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife need urgent interventions to salvage their health.
“Therefore, there is no stopping us from condemning and protesting against all this, unless our leader is released unconditionally,” he said.
The IMN scribe insisted that only justice could resolve the many agitations in the country.
“Peaceful protesters have been killed in large numbers in broad daylight, places of worship, schools, homes and other property demolished without cause. There is virtually no civil right upon which the regime has not trampled and violated.
“The public is not unaware that after the 2015 massacre, Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife, through their chief counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, approached the Federal High Court, Abuja for the enforcement of their fundamental rights. On December 2, 2016, the Court ordered Buhari to release the couple unconditionally.
“The government, reportedly not happy with the historic judgement because it didn’t go its way, ignored the order and concocted charges against the ailing couple to hold them in detention in perpetuity, and the two were transferred to the unhealthy prison in Kaduna.”
Nonetheless, Musa maintained that El-Zakzaky’s counsel has taken the necessary legal steps to bring the new series of trumped-up charges to an end.