24 April 2019

Nigeria: El-Zakzaky - We're Not At Odds With Buhari Govt - Shi'ites

Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has said it is not at odds with either the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari or any other constituted authority in Nigeria in spite of intense provocation by agents of the present administration.

Members of the Muslim sect also referred to as Shi'ites, however, vowed to continue in their expression of dismay over the refusal of the government to obey multiple Court orders directing the release of their leader, Shiekh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, through every legitimate means at their disposal.

Sheikh El-Zakzaky, who has been held since 2015 by the Department of State Services (DSS), marked his 68th birthday last weekend under 'protective' custody.

Speaking with Vanguard in Abuja, the Chairman, Free El-Zakzaky Campaign Committee of IMN, Sheikh Abdulrahman Abubakar, said: "We are not at odds with the government. The reality is that we are expressing our concerns and dismay as regards the continuous incarceration of our leader, who was attacked by the Nigerian army.

We believe the attack was at the instance of the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian army who is the President, Mr Buhari.

"Despite the Court order that the Sheikh is being detained illegally and should be released unconditionally, the government has refused to obey even as his condition of health is deteriorating. That's why we have to keep expressing our views as regards what the government has done through regular protests which are a legitimate means.

"We have taken the government to the court yet the government still refused to obey a valid Court injunction that it is unconstitutional to detain somebody under 'protective' custody.

Through our regular street protests, we only want Nigerians to be the judges in El-Zakzaky's case. We have to stand for justice."

Asked if the group was on the verge of transforming into a 'state' within a state, Sheikh Abubakar retorted: "What action have we taken to show that we are becoming a state within a state? Can we be working on a parallel government within the Nigerian state yet take the federal government to a legitimate court constituted on the Nigerian laws?"

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