Zaria Residents Protest Against El-Zakzaky’s Release

Zaria Residents Protest Against El-Zakzaky's ReleaseResidents of Gyellesu Community in Zaria, Kaduna State, have staged a peaceful protest to resist any move by government to bring back the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky to the community or any other part of the state.

The residents, who marched around the community to express their anger, also faulted the recent Federal High Court judgement that ordered the release of El-Zakzaky from detention, describing the ruling as dangerous and a threat to the corporate existence of the nation.

Having suffered from what they termed as decades of persecution in the hands of the Shiite members, the residents say they will resist any attempt to bring the group back to Zaria.

Marching around the community and chanting songs, the residents comprising of children, youths and adults, warned that the movement, if allowed to come back to Zaria, could pose a security threat to the entire state and ultimately the nation at large.

A leader of the community narrated how the sect, led by Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, allegedly terrorized residents of Zaria and Sabon Gari, and have constituted themselves into a parallel government in the state.

He said that peace had returned to the community since the Shiites were routed out after their clash with the Army, and any attempt by the court to bring them back to Zaria would amount to taking them back to dark days.

According to him, activities of the sect have forced many residents to flee the community and relocate to safer areas.

He called on the Federal Government to ban the Islamic Movement from operating in any part of the country because of their antecedent of harassing and intimidating members of the public.

Politically Motivated

But in a swift reaction Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria described the demonstration as politically motivated.

One of the leaders of the sect, Sheikh AbdulHamid Bello, denied allegations of human rights abuse levelled against their members by residents of Zaria.

At a news conference, he described the allegation by the Gyullesu residents as a propaganda sponsored to justify the killings of innocent members of the movement, and destruction of their property including the residence of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El Zakzaky.

He also said that contrary to the purported lies by some people, their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky had lived with Gyallesu residents in Zaria happily despite attempts by security operatives to cause disharmony at various times.

The Shiites also rejected the white paper released by the state government which finds them guilty in the December 12, 2015 clash with soldiers in Zaria.

Shiite Islamic Group Vows To Contest Ban In Northern Kaduna State

Shiites, ShariaA Nigerian minority Shiite Muslim sect that has been declared an unlawful society by the government of Kaduna State vowed on Saturday to challenge the ban.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria came to prominence when its members clashed with the Nigerian Army in the northern city of Zaria, Kaduna state, in December 2015.

A judicial inquiry in August concluded that the army killed 348 of the sect’s members, a figure that the army has disputed.

The Kaduna State government on Friday said anyone convicted of being a member of the sect could be imprisoned for seven years, fined or both. The size of the fine was not specified.

Diplomats and security analysts say the violence risked spawning a radical Shiite militant wing, just as the Boko Haram uprising began in 2009 after security forces killed hundreds of its members and its leader Mohammed Yusuf died in custody.

The Shiite sect’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, has been held in custody, without charge, by Nigeria’s security agency since his December arrest following the clashes. His supporters have called for his release.

The Kaduna state government said the group had “overtly continued with unlawful processions” and “obstruction of public highways” since the clashes.

“These acts, if allowed to go unchecked will constitute danger to the peace, tranquillity, harmonious coexistence and good governance of Kaduna state,” it said, declaring the group unlawful with immediate effect.

A spokesman for the sect, Ibraheem Musa, said its members were not going to be intimidated into resorting to violence.

“Very soon, we shall challenge this ban through legal and peaceful means,” he said.

Police Stop ‘Free Zakzaky’ Protest In Abuja

Police, Zakzaky, AbujaPolice have interrupted a protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria who are demanding the release of their leader.

Members of the group had staged a similar protest in Kano a week earlier and the Police stiffly resisted their attempt to stage another protest on Thursday in Abuja.

The Commissioner of Police in Abuja, Alkali Usman, said that their action was to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the Federal Capital Territory.

The leader of the group, popularly known as Shiites, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has been in custody of the Department of State Services since December 2015.

The arrest was a fall out of a bloody clash between members of the group and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Since Zakzaky’s detention, the Shiites have staged several protests across Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, as the matter is still in court.

The latest by the group was the demonstration in Kano State where members including women and children, carried posters of their leader while chanting various anti-government slogans.

One of the protesters, Fatima Muhammad, said that their leader had been confirmed sick and needed immediate medical attention, noting that his health was deteriorating.

The group had also stated that there would be no going back and that they would continue with the protest until their demands were met.

 

Shiites Storm Kano To Protest Zakzaky’s Detention

shiite protest Zakzaky's arrest in KanoMembers of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria have taken their protest to Kano State in the northwest region of the country.

Once again, the Shiites are asking for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, after the alleged massacre of their members in Zaria.

Including women and children, members of the group carried posters of their leader while chanting various anti-government slogans.

One of the protesters, Fatima Muhammad, said that their leader has been confirmed sick and needed immediate medical attention, noting that his health was deteriorating.

The group stated that there would be no going back and that they would continue with the protest until their demands were met.

They maintained that Zakzaky and the entire members of the movement have not committed any offence.

The Shiites added that they would also continue to follow due process in ensuring the release of their leader whom they said has lost his sense of sight.

El-Zakzaky was arrested in 2015 following a clash between some Army personnel and members of the religious group in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Shiites Criticise Sharia Council’s Call For Group Ban

Shiites, ShariaThe Islamic Movement in Nigeria has faulted the call for its ban by the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN).

The spokesman for the Shiites, Mr Ibrahim Musa, made the observation on Monday during in telephone interview with Channels Television.

He claimed that the Sharia group had never respected the beliefs of the movement led by Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, saying they are not surprised at such call.

Hate Campaigns

“The group called Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria is a group of some people that are known for their hate campaigns against anybody who is not following their own religious belief, especially Christians and we who are followers of Shiite Islamic faith.

“Islamic Movement in Nigeria is just a collection of Muslims who believe that Muslims should be guided by Allah’s teaching and his prophet’s teachings.

“So how can you ban such group?” Musa questioned.

The Kaduna State chapter of the Sharia group had earlier called on the Federal Government to ban all activities of the Shiites and prosecute their leader, El-Zakzaky.

They noted that the acts of impunity exhibited by the Shiite group over the years in Zaria, Kaduna State and other states in Nigeria’s northern region, were against the teachings of Islam and the Nigerian Constitution.

The Islamic group re-emphasised the urgent need to proscribe the Shiites for the interest of peace and security of Nigeria.

Muslim Leaders Ask FG To Ban Shiites

Muslim-SCSN-ShiitesThe Kaduna State chapter of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN) has called on the Federal Government, to ban all activities of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and prosecute their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.

Rising from their meeting in Kaduna, the group comprising of Islamic preachers and scholars, supported the indictment of the Shiites by the Judicial Commission of enquiry set up by the Kaduna State government to investigate the December 2015 clash between the Shiites and soldiers in Zaria.

The Muslim leaders maintained that the acts of impunity exhibited by the group over the years in Zaria and other states in Nigeria’s northern region, were against the teachings of Islam and the Nigerian Constitution.

They re-emphasised the urgent need to proscribe the Shiites for the interest of peace and security of Nigeria.

The spokesman for the SCSN, Sheikh Muhammad Suleiman, told reporters that failure of the government to deal decisively with the alleged excesses of the Shiites would pose a great security risk for the country.

The Islamic group also called on the Federal Government to stop the herdsmen crisis by checkmating the influx of herdsmen that come into Nigerian from other neighbouring African countries.

They stated that the armed herdsmen that have been attacking and killing innocent citizens in some parts of the country are not Nigerians.

Shiite Leader Debunks Human Rights Abuse Claims

kaduna-ShiiteOne of the leaders of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Abdulmumi Giwa, has denied allegations of human rights abuse levelled against their members by residents of Zaria.

Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, Mr Giwa described the allegation by the Gyullesu elders as a propaganda sponsored by government.

He said the government was using the claims to justify the killings of innocent members of the movement, popularly known as Shiite, and to distract the attention of the public over the recent incident.

The Shiite frontrunner also said the claims were mere lie.

The leader of the group, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, had lived with Gyallesu residents happily, despite attempts by security operatives to cause disharmony at various times.

Residents of Gyellesu Community in Zaria, Kaduna State in northwest Nigeria, had called on the Federal Government to ban the group, alleging that its members harass and intimidate innocent people in the area.

Citing alleged hardship caused by the sect in the last 20 years, the Zaria residents warned that the Shiite group, if allowed to continue to exist, could pose a security threat to the state and ultimately the nation.