El-Zakzaky: Shi’ites warn Buhari, speak on planning violent protests in Nigeria

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ites, have threatened to hold President Muhammadu Buhari responsible for the deteriorating health condition of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah, whom they said have been held in detention without access to medical treatment abroad.

This was contained in a statement signed on Thursday by the IMN spokesman, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, which denied speculations that the Shi’ites were planning a violent protest in Abuja and other parts of the country with a view to pressing for the release of El-Zakzaky.

He however called for the immediate release of the IMN leader, stressing that “The Islamic group will personally hold President Buhari responsible if anything should happen to El-Zakzaky or his wife in detention custody. Despite their deteriorating health condition and the Federal High Court’s Judgement, the Government has continued to keep them.”

“We hereby categorically and unequivocally dissociate ourselves from such unfounded and baseless threats of violence in pursuance of our demand for the immediate freedom of our revered Leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his wife Malama Zeenah Ibrahim and indeed all those the government is still detaining in relations to the infamous Zaria massacre of December, 2015.

“We have previously stated uncountable times and demonstrated it over the years that use of violence and issuance of threats are not in our character and have never, ever been our modus operandi.This is not going to change.

“Our peaceful Free Zakzaky campaigns over the past years since the government-sponsored genocide is enough attestation of our peaceful disposition even in the face of extreme provocation,” Musa said.

The Shi’ites continued: “Sheikh Zakzaky has never ever preached violence, hence anyone seen threading the path of violence can never be one of us. The government might just be trying to tarnish the image of the Islamic Movement in an attempt at justifying Buhari’s glaring failures in all spheres of governance”.

“Be rest assured that we would continue with our peaceful mass protests and take all legitimate ways in seeking redress as we have done until we exposed the atrocities of this government against peaceful citizens. We will never be deterred in the pursuit of our inalienable rights guaranteed in the constitution.

“We are once again calling for the immediate release of our leader and his wife, whose health situations appear to be deteriorating very fast, especially in view of the reported poisoning they were subjected to in detention. Their health status is of paramount significance to us all and Buhari must be held responsible should anything untoward happen to either the Sheikh or his wife,” Musa added.