By Chidi Nwachukwu, Abuja
Hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) yesterday came out in Abuja to protest the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, by the federal government, and to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the group at Gyaletsu, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The protest march which took off from the Wuse Market, Abuja and terminated at the Berger round-about in Abuja, was attended by members of the movement from Oyo, Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Gombe, Borno, Yobe, Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kogi, Zamfara, Sokoto and Bauchi states.
Speaking to newsmen, Prof. Abdullahi Danladi of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said that the protest march was to reiterate the demand for the immediate and unconditional release of the Shiite leader, El-Zakzaky.
“We are calling on the National Human Right Commission, and other international bodies to come and join us in this divine struggle because this struggle is not addressed to Muslims alone, neither is it addressed to Nigerians. It is rather addressed to humanity. There should not be any oppression. What belongs to the nation should be shared, and looters must go,” the professor said.
Also present at the protest march was Mallam Abdullahi Zango, one of the lieutenants of El-Zakzaky who travelled all the way from Sokoto to participate in the march. He told newsmen that the youths of the movement are already getting impatient with the continued detention of their leader, and that if something urgent is not done to release the embattled cleric from custody, a big dispute might ensue between the Shiites and the government.
“We have never been violent since the four decades of our existence in this country. But we have been pushed to the wall, therefore anything can happen. We are millions, and when the situation gets worse, we will not be able to control this large population. So, I advice the federal government to adhere and listen to us, and carry out the court order,” said Zango.