Desist From Needless Violent Protests, FG Warns Shiites
The Federal Government has told the El-Zakzaky-led Shiite members to desist from violent street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.
Shiite members have been on a series of protests demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in custody since fighting between his supporters and the army broke out in December 2015.
The Shi’ia leader is facing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace, among others.
In a statement on Friday, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity said that the FG no longer has hands in the matter and should be cleared of any alleged violations of court orders.
“The Presidency appeals to El-Zakzaky-led Shiite members to desist from needless violent street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.
“As far as this country’s Ministry of Justice is concerned, the case involving El-Zakzaky is no longer in its domain. The Federal Government no more has hands in the matter and to that extent, the government at the centre can be said to be clear of any alleged violations of court orders as being trumpeted every day.
“The issue of El-ZakZaky is before the court in Kaduna and his supporters should focus on his on-going trial instead of causing daily damages, disruptions and public nuisance in Abuja.”
The statement added that all the rallies and threats are an insult to the President and other leaders.
“These rallies and street dances ostensibly to openly insult the President and other leaders, threatening bloodshed will lead nowhere because President Buhari will not ask the country’s judiciary to abandon due process and set a suspect free.
“At the same time, the administration is determined to enforce the decision of the court clearly issued. The Buhari administration has absolutely no hand in the on-going court case and the courts are free to determine the bail request and the final outcome.
“The mentality that you are above the law and that your own rights are superior to other people’s rights is unacceptable.”
The Presidency asked that members loyal to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky should embrace dialogue and avoid all forms of violence.
“Law-abiding citizens must avoid deliberate lawlessness. It is not within the rights of any group to enter protected public institutions such as the National Assembly by force to attack police and destroy public and private property.
“It is always advisable to embrace dialogue and eschew violence in all our actions so that we can continue to live together in peace.”
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