Leaders of Islamic groups and Imams have told the Federal Government not to allow the violent agitations by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to degenerate into another Boko Haram insurgency.
In separate interviews with our correspondent on Wednesday, they expressed concern over the continued detention of Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky, leader of the sect otherwise known as Shi’ites. They are also worried by the protests by the group to force the FG to release their leader.
The Director of Muslim Rights Concern, Prof Ishaq Akintola, advised the FG to release El-Zakyzaky.
He said, “We suggest the FG show goodwill and allow leaders of the Muslim community in Nigeria headed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, to intervene and ensure a Memorandum of Understanding between the leaders of the protesters, Muslim leaders and the FG that will contain the conditionality for El-Zakyzaky’s release such as non-violence and peaceful processions. We are not against his release, but peace must be guaranteed.”
Worldwide Missioner, Ansar-u-deen Society of Nigeria, Imam Abdurrahman Ahmad, told the FG to allow the court to convict or acquit El-Zakyzaky.
Executive Chairman, Muslim Public Affairs Centre, Disu Kamor, described the detention of El-Zakyzaky as “senseless and a potential danger for Nigerians”.
He said, “President Buhari should accept full responsibility for allowing this situation to deteriorate under his watch. It seems Nigeria is sleepwalking into another Boko Haram quagmire in the making with the continued illegal detention of the Shi’ites leader.”
Chief Imam, University of Abuja, Prof Taofiq Abdulaziz, however, said the FG should not bow to pressure to release El-Zakyzaky, saying “other terrorist groups will get away with their crimes through protests”.
Imam Nojeem Jimoh of The Companion said, “I call on the government to review the situation of El-Zakyzaky and his wife’s detention and make a decision in the overall interest of peace in the country. We do not want another Boko Haram coming out of this.”