Shiites stage protest to mark El-Zakzaky’s three-year detention

Hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria on Thursday staged a protest in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to mark three years of their leader Ibraheem El-Zakzaky's detention by the Federal Government, demanding his immediate release.

The group popularly known as Shiites were at the Federal Secretariat around 11am, carrying placards and chanting solidarity songs as they demanded the release of El-Zakzaky, who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services since December 2015.

A spokesman for the movement and Secretary of the IMN Academic Forum, Mr Abdullahi Musa, said three years after the alleged killing of some members of the sect by soldiers, and despite the recommendations made by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry in July 2016 for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the massacre, the Federal Government had yet to prosecute anyone for the killings.

However, he said the group would not relent in their call for the "unconditional release of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife".

Musa said, "On December 12, 2015, a planned and systematic attack on Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky was launched by soldiers under a road blockage hoax. The attack lasted for more than 48 hours and led to the killing of men, women and children. Those killed during the attack included the sons of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky namely, Ali, Hamid and Humaid. After the attack, the Muhammadu Buhari administration detained the Sheikh without a proper medical care.

"The attack started when soldiers were stationed directly opposite the Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah Centre (where teaching sessions and other activities are held) located along Sokoto Road, Zaria, where the followers of El-Zakzaky were to commemorate the arrival of Rabiul Awwal, the birth month of the Holy Prophet Muhammad."

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