The Sisters Forum of Islamic Movement of Nigeria have staged a peaceful protest to demand for the immediate release of their leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife.
The women took their protest to the Secretariat of the Kaduna State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists on Tuesday in northwest Nigeria.
According to the spokesperson, Aisha Hassan, the group also wants the immediate release of the corpses of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, who were killed during a clash with soldiers.
They also asked the government to immediately compensate all affected families and relations in the interest of peace and justice.
According to them, at least 1,000 members of the sect, popularly known as Shiite, were brutally killed in a coordinated attack by men of the Nigerian Army during a peaceful procession. They maintained that the attack was a gross violation of their fundamental rights of free association and movement.
There had been rumours that El-Zakzaky was arrested by soldiers at his residence and his wife killed, but the Nigerian Army had debunked the claims.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, said that the Islamic cleric and his wife were rescued alive during the bloody clash between the sect members and soldiers.
Defending his men’s action, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, said that they acted within the law.
The Army Chief, who described the action of El-Zakzaky’s men as an infringement on national security, said that the incident could have been avoided if the sect members heeded earlier warnings to allow free movement.